Monday, September 29, 2014
Paragraphs: How I'm (Sort of) Becoming a Writer #2
Hello, everyone! I'm back to tell you how I'm learning how to be a writer. Just as a disclaimer, this is just some things that I've been learning in my fiction writing workshop. This is just some stuff that helps me. It may not help you, but then again, it might. So with that in mind, let get to what I learned about this week.
This workshop we talked about paragraphs. I didn't realize that there were different styles of paragraphs. I just wrote and spaced out the paragraphs whenever it felt right to me, which I guess is a style all of it's own.
But let's break down paragraphs. For stores, paragraphs are the way for readers to rest or pace their reading. Francine Prose calls them flashes of lightening, which I thought made them so much more dramatic than anything I thought they were. Some writers purposefully don't use paragraphs so that the chaotic mind of the character comes through the writing style as well as the words used.
One thing we were cautioned against was a single sentence paragraph. When used correctly, they can have a strong dramatic effect. However, if there are too many of them, it's like when someone breaks to hard when their driving. Also, if the sentence was not strong enough, it won't send the correct message to the reader.
I was also told to be conscious of how the paragraphs break. One sentence could change the tone between two paragraphs, which I honestly didn't believe the first time that I heard it. But I did see how taking the end sentence of one paragraph and placing it at the beginning of the new paragraph can change the tone between resentment and determination.
Also keeping the paragraphs on topic with the first sentence. I am horrible about doing this. Sometimes, especially when I'm free writing, I get away with a subject and ramble for several sentences and stray away from my first sentence. Making sure the sentences have structure within the paragraphs will have your readers focus on the story rather than making sense of what's going on.
We didn't have any stories due this week, but next week, we're doing short short fiction. For us, that means a story between three to five pages. So far, I've been having some trouble with it, but I'll let you know more about that next week.
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