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How to Use Paragraphs

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A common reason why stories and articles get deleted are walls of text. That is; they're lacking paragraphs. They're just big, engulfing, unreadable, headache causing blocks of text with a readable story in there crying and screaming to get out.

Of course, on the other hand you've got those people who get off on thumping that enter key; the issue being they thump it in all the wrong places.

So, I've decided to closely examine and provide a how to on when to use said paragraphs. We're going to cover the three main times to start a new paragraph:

  • Transitioning subjects
  • Dialogue
  • Idea Transitioning.

So, without further ado, let's get started!

Transitioning SubjectsEdit

See the first two paragraphs of this blog post? The first talks about walls of text; the second is a single sentence that points out people who make paragraphs in the wrong places.

Whenever your story changes subjects, start a new paragraph. It's grammatically correct and keeps the reader from boring themselves, but doesn't give them an eyesore to deal with either. Paragraphs are like sentences; they need to make sense.

When your paragraph talks about a house one moment, but a door knob the next, the paragraph stops making sense. You've effectively sandwiched your reader in that paragraph.

So, logically, when trasitioning subjects, start a new paragraph!

Examples of subjects: Events, different objects, talking points, places, and ideas.

Now, this isn't to say it's inappropriate to occasionally cap off a paragraph  with the starting sentence of the next subject, then start your paragraph, provided you've got the grammar correct. In fact, sometimes this allows for a smoother transition. The reader knows that you'll be talking about something else in the next paragraph.

Example set up:

>Insert paragraph here  .......................................... ............................................... ....................... ............................... .................... ................................... ...................................... ...................................... .......................................< >insert transitioning sentence here as conclusion to paragraph<

>insert start of new paragraph here<

See that? The transition sentence is placed at the end of the paragraph.

DialogueEdit

Whenever there's a new speaker, start a new paragraph. One would think this is obvious.

"Hello," the business man said.

See? Dialogue. You have to start a paragraph there, or it just makes things look jumbled. Now, note this is whenever there is a new speaker.

"Hello," the business man said. "I'm from Crap Company Inc."

"Hello," said the woman. "Would you like to buy our product?" the business man asked.

Now, which one is correct and which one's not? Before you call me out on that being a trick question, the first is correct. There was not a new speaker, therefore, there was no need to start a new paragraph.

The second one is not. The second quote was a new speaker, and therefore, a new paragraph was needed.

Idea TransitioningEdit

Idea Transitioning is effectively breaking your 37 sentence block of text description of a leaf into small 4 sentence sections by finding out what details are emphasized where.

For example, if one moment you're talking about the stem of the leaf, and you spend time talking about it, then the next you start talking about the body of the leaf, you need to start a new paragraph.

This is usually used for heavy amounts of description, long events, or etc. Generally, things that require more than one paragraph to progress the story or describe.

It's a lot like subject transitioning, even though you're still on the same subject. Think of the details as sub-subjects. The ones that get the most emphasition get new paragraphs. The lesser ones get intermixed with the paragraphs.

And now, enjoy. Maybe eventually I'll run out of things to write into guides. xD

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