1. Pauly Pen Feathers
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    Pauly Pen Feathers Member

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    Correct treatment of paragraphs

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pauly Pen Feathers, Dec 3, 2012.

    Hello community, I’m new here, and new to Creative Writing in general. I am putting the finishing touches on a short story I’d like to submit to Weekly Contest #124 and I have a question.

    Back in school my Rhetoric teachers taught me to end a paragraph with a sentence such that it leads into the next paragraph. Elementary, I’m sure.

    However, in my story, a paragraph is setting up as we sit around the dinner table and “Grandpa”, who usually doesn’t talk much, is talking about his past. This paragraph ends with “Grandpa talked a lot!” The next two paragraphs jump into some much needed background information into what Grandpa is going to be talking about later in the story. It begins “When our Willie was about three years old I went back to Ted’s” … blah, blah, blah. Then the next paragraph goes back to Grandpa in the preceding section where it begins “Grandpa talked about a lot of things that Sunday afternoon, and he talked about that old car, too”. This sentence is telling the reader not only that Grandpa is talking more in his old age, but that he’s going to be talking about “that old car” which is a central component in the story and plays within the theme.

    I wonder, is it just me, or does this seem like an awful lot of jumping around?

    How would you treat something like this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MJE
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    MJE New Member

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    I'm not an expert or anything but here goes. Maybe you should try mentioning the central component i.e. 'that old car' somehow before you mention Grandpa talking a lot.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's a common occurrence in writing fiction... whenever you have a major shift of scene/time/location, instead of just going to a new paragraph [where there should be a good segue, as your teacher said], you insert a 'line break' to let the reader know there has been a shift... to do this, you place a single # in the center of the next line and start your new paragraph after that...
     
  4. Pauly Pen Feathers
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    Pauly Pen Feathers Member

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  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, not chapters, since they're too frequent and no symbol is used between chapters... one would just go to a new page and leave the area below the last line of the last chapter blank...

    those asteresks would be indicating line breaks... some new writers use other symbols, but the professional standard is a single #...
     

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