Author Topic: Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story  (Read 115 times)

JanTetstone

  • Guest
Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:55:32 AM »
Paragraphs are used to tell part of a story.

Each paragraph should deal with one part of your story.
Every sentence in the paragraph should tell something
about the central thought of the paragraph.

Many paragraphs have a topic sentence.

The topic sentence tells the main idea of the paragraph.
Usually the topic sentence comes at or near the beginning
of the paragraph. [It may, however be any place within
the paragraph.

Choose a good opening sentence for each paragraph.

A label on a package creates interest in what the package
contains. A good opening sentence will interest your reader in
going on with the remainder of the paragraph.

Use vivid details to build up a paragraph.

Vivid details in a paragraph often make your readers feel
as if they were sharing your experiences.

Use conversation for added interest and variety.

In writing a story, you can often make your account seem far
more interesting and lifelike by including the exact words
of the speakers. [Such passages are called "direct quotations."]

When you write conversation, begin a new paragraph each time
the speaker changes.

End your paragraphs in an interesting way.

The first sentence introduces the paragraph to the reader. It
should be interesting so that the reader will want to
continue reading.[However, don't allow the paragraph to
dwindle on and on.] Keep the interest alive throughout.
Close with a strong ending statement.

Good luck with your writing.       jt

Offline landmersm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • Better the Devil at Wordpress
Re: Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 10:45:35 AM »
Nice advice!
My blog is  https://betterdevil.wordpress.com/  (It's new!)

Also, check out my self-published first novel, The Last Time

@ http://a.co/d/hP980yk  (Amazon link)

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72238
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 06:14:02 PM »

When you write conversation, begin a new paragraph each time
the speaker changes.


A lot of aspiring writers seem to shy away from this one.  They think it leaves too many gaps, too much white space on a page.  What it really does is add clarity.

We're not at school where some obsessive monitor begrudges handing out extra paper.

But if you have a whole page of single-sentence rapid-fire dialogue it does start to look a bit like a contents list or a recipe,.  If you chuck in an an occasional 'action tag' it breaks things up and keeps it more interesting.  It also helps prevent the reader losing track of who is speaking.  (There's a lot more to be said about that problem, but we'll keep it for another time.)

Let the speaker turn away, or make a violent hand gesture.  Pick the right action and it also reinforces the words.  Just don't overdo the description.

Gyppo
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 06:15:37 PM by Gyppo »
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline landmersm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • Better the Devil at Wordpress
Re: Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 08:58:51 PM »
I've always found when having a long conversation between two characters to not go more than 3, maybe 4 switches without a dialogue tag.  Anything more than that and my brain automatically goes, "Who said that?"
My blog is  https://betterdevil.wordpress.com/  (It's new!)

Also, check out my self-published first novel, The Last Time

@ http://a.co/d/hP980yk  (Amazon link)

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72238
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Paragraphs Used to Tell a Story
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 04:16:19 AM »
That's a pretty good general guideline.

It also helps if the two characters have distinctly different speech patterns.  This doesn't mean that one has to have an accent slapped on thick with a trowel whilst the other is very formal.

The difference can be as simple as one person always using contractions, such as can't, don't, and won't, whilst the other uses the more formal cannot, do not, or will not.  These , when appropriate,can also point to a generational difference.  Individual words can really earn their keep when used this way.

NOTE:  Some will prefer can not to cannot.  Either is acceptable, so in the world of fictional dialogue I suggest you pick one and stick to it for the sake of consistency.  In more formal writing there is a distinction between the two.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/cannot-or-can-not

Gyppo

My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1