Paragraphs?

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #39740
    Ariella Newheart
    @ariella-newheart

    Hello, everyone! I have a question about paragraphs. In book writing, how do you know when to divide up sentences into paragraphs? Do you include several lines of dialogue in one paragraph, or separate them? I’ve always read in books that they are separated, but someone recently suggested that it was the other way.

    Here’s an example from one of my books:

    After several minutes, we came into view of the steep cliff we had been searching for. At its base stood two girls and two boys, their ages varying from ten to fifteen years. Beyond them, a vague indication of a pathway led upward through a narrow cleft in the rock face.

    The oldest of the four was the first to speak. She was tall, with fiery orange hair that stuck out of her loose braid and framed her pale face. “Good gracious! Whatever is the matter?”

    “Cadenza!” I gasped out, trying to catch my breath. “There’s a fire!”

    Her eyebrows arched incredulously. “A forest fire?”

    Rendon shook his head, also breathing hard. “No, the smoke comes from the direction of the village.”

    “Has it crossed the river?” one of the other boys asked, a flicker of worry in his icy blue eyes.

    The other person suggested it should be changed to this:

    After several minutes, we came into view of the steep cliff we had been searching for. At its base stood two girls and two boys, their ages varying from ten to fifteen years. Beyond them, a vague indication of a pathway led upward through a narrow cleft in the rock face. The oldest of the four was the first to speak. She was tall, with fiery orange hair that stuck out of her loose braid and framed her pale face. “Good gracious! Whatever is the matter?” “Cadenza!” I gasped out, trying to catch my breath. “There’s a fire!” Her eyebrows arched incredulously. “A forest fire?” Rendon shook his head, also breathing hard. “No, the smoke comes from the direction of the village.” “Has it crossed the river?” one of the other boys asked, a flicker of worry in his icy blue eyes.


    @j-a-penrose
    @daeus-lamb @steward-of-the-pen @dekreel @evelyn @anyone

    Writer, illustrator, Parimi Alcan

    Check out my new blog! https://arbitraryfairy.wordpress.com/

    #39745
    J.A.Penrose
    @j-a-penrose

    @ariella-newheart Other person is mistaken.

     

    A paragraph changes when the topic changes, a new person is speaking, a new POV is occuring, or for dramatic effect.

     

    After several minutes, we came into view of the steep cliff we had been searching for. At its base stood two girls and two boys, their ages varying from ten to fifteen years. Beyond them, a vague indication of a pathway led upward through a narrow cleft in the rock face. The oldest of the four was the first to speak. She was tall, with fiery orange hair that stuck out of her loose braid and framed her pale face. “Good gracious! Whatever is the matter?”

    “Cadenza!” I gasped out, trying to catch my breath. “There’s a fire!”

    Her eyebrows arched incredulously. “A forest fire?”

    Rendon shook his head, also breathing hard. “No, the smoke comes from the direction of the village.”

    “Has it crossed the river?” one of the other boys asked, a flicker of worry in his icy blue eyes.

    I swallowed, shaking my head and running a hand over my hair. The run had stolen my breath and I instead gestured behind me and their eyes followed.

    Smoke.

    So, in there, you can see the correct dividings of paragraphs, and then the optional dramatic moment at the end. (Figured I’d demonstrate.)

     

    Some books chose to have strange paragraphs for stylistic effect. (Blindness by José Saramago) I personally do not like this as it is so hard to read. Often it is best to follow the rules, even if it doesn’t fit for the character. ie. If you’re writing from the POV of a 5 year old, that doesn’t mean you use the same spelling, punctuation, grammar and structure of a 5 year old, but you may use more simple words.

     

    Hope that helped!

     

    Writer | Freelance editor
    Inspiration

    #39746
    Ariella Newheart
    @ariella-newheart

    @j-a-penrose That does help! Thank you so much! 😀

    Writer, illustrator, Parimi Alcan

    Check out my new blog! https://arbitraryfairy.wordpress.com/

    #39813
    Evelyn
    @evelyn

    What @j-a-penrose said. 😉

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Pin It on Pinterest