1. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Breaking the flow of a paragraph or not.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Artist369, Sep 10, 2014.

    Is it taboo to have a brief mention of another character's interaction in a paragraph or must we start a new one? Basically, which is best:

    (Faster-Paced, but does the sentence referring to the woman throw us from the narrative? Just fyi- she usually wears a leather jacket)


    (Correct- maybe? But it chops it up and we lose flow: )


    (The only way to reconcile them by losing the faster-paced rhythm: )

    I can go with the last example no problem, but I'd still like to know the protocol for future use. Thanks!
     
  2. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first paragraph is perfectly fine. There is a logical cause-then-effect flow. The cause is "His face pressed against her collarbone" (it is at least part of the cause; the overall cause is that he rests his weight on her) and the effect is "She sagged under his weight."
     
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't find a problem with the sentence. If I've crashed into her and she starts sagging I think I could mention it without breaking pov or flow.
     
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  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need a new paragraph here, he perceived that she sagged under his weight, it's all consistent with the POV.
     
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  5. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Oh, good to know! I seem to have problems knowing where to break paragraphs. I suppose the rule is only when there is a clear POV change (which in my case, the story is written in limited POV, so it ought to be clear from the get go), or when the other character is doing something that isn't an integral reaction to that particular paragraph?
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that both of those are good guidelines, the first mandatory (hmm, in which case I'm mistaken to call it a "guideline") and the second advisable.

    Edited to add: Which means that I agree that your first paragraph is fine. The only iffy bit would be whether it was clear to him that her sagging was due to his weight, but that seems reasonable enough for him to assume.

    Edited again to add: If it had been, oh, "...sagged as she realized..." then you'd need to break the paragraph. And even then the head-hopping would be alarmingly rapid.
     
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  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every time action changes, you need a new paragraph. Also, in dialogue, every time speaker changes, you need a new line. Take your favourite novel and read a couple of chapters, you'll see what I mean.

    As far as POV changes, I'd stick to a single POV per scene, even a chapter, Any more often than that and you end up head-hopping which can be annoying.
     
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  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. I just realized--I thought that it was already established that she was supporting him, and that in this paragraph she weakened and sagged. If he was perfectly upright and collapsed in this paragraph, I think that I do feel that we need a clear statement that she did grab him, and that that statement should be in a new paragraph.
     
  9. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Hm, well actually they were kissing, holding each other tight already. I assume that's enough?

    Some of the previous bit:

     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep; I revert to saying that I see the first example as fine.
     
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