Saturday, December 10, 2011

Headaches and Paragraphs

Oh, the tragedy! Alas, forsooth, and all that mumbo-jumbo! I forgot to post yesterday. I feel as though I am eternally shamed. I have failed my readers and I apologize from the very entirety of my soul. With all that said, I'll move onward to today's topic: paragraphs.

Remember when you were in that English course in High School or College? Remember that massive compilation of tiny print classics. For the writers, I am sure that you enjoyed the classics or, at least, recognized the art in them. You all know that feeling of dread when you cracked open that dumbbell-weighted volume and saw a massive block of text spanning two whole pages.

In their book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Browne and King warn writers to "be on the lookout for paragraphs that run more than, say, a half-page in length." Our purpose as writers not only entails giving the reader pleasure, but teaching him something as well. How can we teach the readers anything if they only open to page one before closing our book and leaving with a headache? The answer in each and every one of your heads is simply, "we can't!" So, fellow writers, look out for those long paragraphs.

1 comment:

  1. I try to keep paragraphs under 7 lines. Keep the flow going, ya know?


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