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Question about paragraphs. : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Question about paragraphs.

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
CatiK
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Question about paragraphs.

Postby CatiK » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:19 pm

Ok so just to throw this out there, when I write, I just write. I don't care about grammar or format or anything. Which leads me to my question about paragraphs. Say when I am writing dialogue but there are actions happening during a conversation. What is the proper procedure to writing those in. Im not sure I am doing it right. I will have two people talking, each will say something then an action happens. It is actions that are needed but they are maybe once sentence to two sentences before dialogue starts back up. It's all one continuous conversation though. I will put an example because I am confusing myself. Disregard any grammar issues. I usually do not mess with that stuff till I am done but I want to save me some trouble by doing some things correctly before. If i need to rethink the small actions and make them more, do tell. I hope i posted this in the right board. And thanks ahead of time.

“Well you have a great talent there, Miss…” He said.

“Ryanne, my name's Ryanne. Here you go, all wrapped up.”

“Well, Ryanne. You did a great job. I’m Jakob, but Mr. Handsome does make me sound more interesting.”


Avery burst out laughing. Ryanne knew he heard them, now she looked so silly standing there blushing like a little school girl.

“I…I…Avery started that…” Ryanne stuttered.

“I’m not offended, actually flattered.” Jakob said, laughing.

The bus driver alerted the passengers that it was time to leave. She told him bye. (it continues I just grabbed some for an example)

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DrG2
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Re: Question about paragraphs.

Postby DrG2 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:13 pm

I don't think there was necessarily anything wrong with it. I didn't understand everything that was going on, but I didn't have the context of what came before that excerpt. It seemed like someone was wrapping a present, and I thought it might be at a department store, then the description when to a bus driver. With proper context, I don't think it would be a problem.

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Question about paragraphs.

Postby onceuponwednesday » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:27 pm

It used to be in the old days that people crammed all kinds of things into one giant paragraph, multiple people talking and acting, thoughts and descriptions, rants about lewd women showing too much ankle.

But it's different now, and what you wrote looks perfectly acceptable to me, you create a new paragraph when you switch dialog to a new person. It's all about legibility and making sure the reader knows who's talking and what's going on, you don't want them to have to reread lines.

The rules for actions and paragraphs are less strict. You can have multiple people's actions in one paragraph. Like in a fight. Or even after dialog. Here's an example, but you can just scan through books you like to see how other people do it.

Gwen grabbed Joe by the ear and pulled him to the ground. Her cellphone fell out of her pocket and crashed into the gravel. The sharp crack silenced all the shouting. It was lying face down. Gwen's grip loosened on Joe's ear. He shoved her off.

"Get off me."

"You broke my phone. I can't believe you," Gwen said, her voice quiet now compared to how she shouted earlier. She folded to her knees and edged her hand slowly towards the phone, then hesitated. Joe picked up it up and turned it around so he could see. The other kids crowded around his back, desperate to see if it was broken, but Gwen just stared down at her own hands. Then Joe smiled, and turned it to face her.

"Not a scratch."

Gwen looked up, for a second her eyes didn't focus on the screen, they went beyond it, to Joe. His soft brown eyes, open and clear. Just like the screen, there wasn't a mark on it. She nodded and smiled back.

"Joe -- I'm sorry. I really am."

Joe stood up and looked back at the class room window, then threw the phone down on the gravel as hard as he could. It smashed. They all heard it, the cold shattering of something being destroyed. A sound that sends shivers down your back. Ruined, can never be fixed. Gwen froze and, before she could recover, Joe was gone.
The Rule of Three

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pls
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Re: Question about paragraphs.

Postby pls » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:25 am

Facebook page (Friend me!): http://www.facebook.com/TheHighSchoolNovels

CatiK
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Re: Question about paragraphs.

Postby CatiK » Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:52 am

Oh wow, thanks y'all. This helped me alot. And DrG2 they are in a market and she was wrapping up a pie for him. He's about to leave out on the Greyhound bus :)

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Question about paragraphs.

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:54 pm

Nothing wrong with that paragraphing at all.


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