1. thatoneauthor

    thatoneauthor Member

    Jan 8, 2015
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    How writing a paragraph goes for you.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by thatoneauthor, Aug 5, 2015.

    While writing a sentence, I'm reading it in my head to check multiple things at once.

    Avoid sloppy writing to make the re-write easier.

    Here's what I check while typing.

    Is it too wordy?
    Is it interrupting the flow?
    Is it my best?
    Could I defend each word I write in this sentence?
    Is it moving the story along or am I rambling?
    Do I repeat any words or sounds?
    Is this something I would like to read?
    Is the tense correct?

    Sometimes when I write a sentence, I think, yeah of course it has all of those.

    Until it doesn't have all of those.. So back to rewriting I go before I move on to the next paragraph.

    -Keep in mind I could type about 5000 words a day if I'm full time.

    I feel like the more I practice this method, the better my first draft can be. So I can be perfect later in the long run.

    And editing won't be a pain in the ass.

    And the book will seem like less of a brain strangler.

    I also reread a lot of the sentences I wrote a couple of minutes ago and do those same checks.

    I'd like to hear your guys process, hope mine had helped.

    P.s Do any of you have a notebook to keep your notes in about writing?
  2. dreamersky1212

    dreamersky1212 Active Member

    Jul 19, 2015
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    New York (State Not City)
    I write what feels right. When I have finished a paragraph, I go back an read it. If something is spelled wrong, I used the wrong tense or the wording just seems off, then I mess with it until I like how the paragraph reads. Then I move on.

    I usually write about 2,000 words a day. When I am done with today's writing, I then go through and reread the entire thing to see how each paragraph flows into the next. Again editing until I like how it reads. Lastly, (no one else I know does this, but it honestly works for me) I copy and paste it into a text-to-speech program, and listen to it. If something sounds off then I fix it. I catch a lot of typos that I otherwise seem to miss this way.
  3. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    I just follow my gut. A dumb way to do it, but that's ok. I take each sentence as it comes, reading it back and making adjustments before moving on.
    peachalulu likes this.
  4. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    If I followed these rules, every paragraph would take me an hour. I'd rather write my usual several hundred words an hour, and then edit.
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  5. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    If you want to construct a perfect sentence or paragraph every time, then your method will work a treat.

    If you want to create an exciting and moving story that extends over thousands of sentences ...I think you're on the wrong track.

    Good writing is MUCH more than just perfect sentence and paragraph construction. You need to pay attention to story flow, character development, pacing, narrative versus dialogue, setting development (but not overdevelopment) and all the other little tricks of the trade that make a book readable, enjoyable and unforgettable. You need to get heart and soul into the piece. If you spend too much time worrying about sentence/paragraph perfection, you'll be seeing a tree and missing the forest.

    Just get your story out there, as honestly and completely as you can. By all means, do a quick edit at the end of your writing session (or the start of the next one) to iron out the obvious flaws, like tense agreement. Tweak a little, but then keep going till you reach the end.

    And THEN cut, paste, delete, add, edit and polish to perfection. By then you will know what constitutes 'rambling' and what is actually essential to your story. You will be able to see what moves a story forward, and what stalls it. What details add to the overall feel of the setting, that may prove important later on. You may need to rewrite these details so they stick, and the reader will notice and remember them. You'll see what drags on too long, and what probably needs to be expanded. Once you've redone all this stuff, so the story flows as it should and includes all the elements it should in the places that it should ...THEN strive for perfect sentence construction and word choice. You don't frost a cake until it has baked and cooled, do you? Don't try to frost an unbaked story.

    Editing is never a pain in the ass. It's what gives you your finished product. But aside from a quick look-over, it's best left till the end. It's a finished story you're creating, not a parade of perfect sentences.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
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  6. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    I'm with Jannert here! If I would think of all these things while writing each paragraph in the first draft phase, I'd go NUTS! Plus, I wouldn't get very far either. And as mentioned above, a story is so much more than perfect sentences. Don't worry about creating the near perfect first draft, that is a skill you will develop with time anyway (ok, maybe not perfect, but from editing your own work and learning your most common mistakes, you'll automatically correct yourself in the future). And like Jannert said, by focusing so much on the sentences, you might miss the bigger picture.
    peachalulu likes this.
  7. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    I'll show you how writing a paragraph goes for me using an interpretive dance:

    Aaron DC, Wreybies, Komposten and 3 others like this.
  8. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I used to really be intimidated by paragraphs so much so I avoided them. In my earlier drafts I used slashes instead of paragraphs -
    - "Hello," September nodded to Dexter.
    - He took in her short skirt, hiked up past regulation. "Right back atcha."
    That sort of thing. Later on I made the mistake of doing a draft with no paragraphs. Huge mistake.

    Now I try not to be so self conscious. To keep them under control I open OpenOffice and view about 1/3 of the page at a time. I try not to let my paragraphs exceed that. But within that boundary anything goes. The idea is to get the scene, playing in my head, into words on the screen. I stick with the character, keeping in his shoes and that can eliminate a lot of unnecessary detail. I might see the overall setting in my head - but really, what is my mc taking notice of, what effects him? That's the important stuff. Another thing is to keep it linear. If you don't get ahead of yourself it cuts back on unnecessary. Details. But rambling isn't a bad thing - it can give you symbolism which adds layers, it can give you a detail that may not be pertinent to that paragraph but another within the scene and it can be used for foreshadowing.

    Editing is the key. I try not to over tweak until the scene is finished.

    I keep notebooks but what I jot in them is pretty random. If I mention my story it's usually trying to figure out scene order or something like that.
  9. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    May 21, 2009
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    I'm not entirely sure what it is you're asking, thaoneauhor, but what I can tell you is that 'to paragraph or not to paragraph' has always been a stumbling block for me. I can sometimes spend a good five minutes mulling over the damn things.

    When I'm reading, I just take them for granted and it always seems so 'right' when they're used. When writing, however, they can be a real bugbear of mine.

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