1. CrimsonWolf
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    CrimsonWolf Member

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    Paragraphing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrimsonWolf, Aug 14, 2008.

    I'm always a bit concerned about whether my paragraphs are well divided or not. I tend to make a new paragraph whenever the current topic changes direction, but that can often be quiet long. Also, here's how I tend to write:

    <TAB>This would be where I have a descriptive paragraph or an explanation about whatever's going on. If I felt I was changing the topic a bit, I'd hit ENTER and TAB in again to start another one.
    __"This is what i'd have someone say," he said. "With a little indent."
    Then if it was part of the same sequence, I wouldn't TAB in like I would for a new paragraph here.

    So is that a correct way to paragraph and space? Hopefully that actually made sense...
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's hard to get with your example... why don't you just post a section of a chapter that shows where you indented?... but since indents don't work in posting, you'll have to use line breaks instead, wherever your work is indented...
     
  3. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    I agree; posting an except would be a good idea, so we can get more of a sense of how you do it. I tend to keep in mind who my intended audience is when I'm splitting up my paragraphs too. I know that sounds crazy; obviously there are certain places that you should always start a new paragraph, like when you change speakers.

    But I feel like, in a fantasy novel, for example, fantasy readers are famously tolerant of long works in the eight hundred page range. A lot of them tend to be in tiny print to fit more on the page, and they often don't start new paragraphs as frequently as other books do.

    Romance on the other hand, I associate with a short attention span (which may not always be the case, I guess). Hence, I write shorter novels, shorter sentences, and shorter paragraphs in romance.
     
  4. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I always thought one tab was used to start a new paragraph no matter what was in it. The only thing that I've seen that is different is when a Diary or Letter is being read.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Paragraph style for manuscripts conventionally uses an indent the first line of each paragraph by 5-7 spaces or about 1/2", with no leading or trailing vertical space (manuscript is all double-spaced). Any word processing program can be easily given a default paragraph style with such a first line indent and double spacing.

    For posting in this site, leading line indents don't exist, so for posting anything here, put a blank line between all paragraphs instead.

    For general display, i.e. for web sites or documents you print out to share, a combination of leading an/or trailing vertical space for each paragraph, along with a 1/2" first line indent, makes a very readable page. This is what the default documenyt template for a word processing program usually provides (or ity may leave out the first line indent).

    Whatever you do, though, be consistent.
     

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