How do you build a paragraph in a story?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  maxiuomc48 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #346881


    Hi everybody. 🙂

    I developed my writing style by reading and getting used to the way writing is normally presented. For example, I know how to write sentences because I have read many proper sentences and have become used to how they look and sound.

    Of course I went to high school and I think I was a good English student. But it was so long ago that I have forgotten many things.

    So I’ve been thinking about how to write a paragraph in a story.

    How do you craft or build your paragraphs written for your stories?

    Aside from dialogue, should a paragraph written for fiction follow the same structure and be built the same way as a paragraph written for nonfiction?

    How many topics should you have in a single paragraph written for a story? If you have too many topics in the paragraph, then the paragraph seems like it is rambling and too long, isn’t that right?

    Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance. 🙂

  • #655758


    I was always taught one topic per paragraph and only related sentences belong in that paragraph. If the topic changes or moves in another direction, new paragraph.

    This might be of help also:

  • #655759


    In fiction the size of a paragraph depends on the scene or part of the story you’re writing. Fiction can break a lot of rules, if they are even considered rules. A paragraph can be a single word. A paragraph could contain a single fragmented sentence. A paragraph could contain thirty or more sentences. Paragraphs are also put together based on the story. If there’s a lot of action happening in a particular scene or chapter, the entire scene could all be made up of short sentences, fragmented sentences, or again, single word sentences. The best way to understand paragraphs and the various art forms is to read. 🙂

  • #655760


    I agree absolutely with Terry. Read, read, read. And as you read, ask yourself what effect the author is creating. Then ask yourself: exactly how has s/he created that effect? This will do you more good than reading all the books on writing ever written.

    As someone who has done a ton of non-fiction writing, and who is now writing fiction, I can attest that writing non-fiction paragraphs and writing fiction paragraphs are two completely different animals. And they don’t cross over. Don’t write fiction paragraphs the way you were taught to write non-fiction paragraphs, or the result will be terrible.

    As best-selling author Steve Berry said in a class I took with him: “You have to get away from academic writing.” He did it (he used to be a lawyer). And I have been doing it (I used to be a Music Theorist). And let me tell you, it is damn hard.


  • #655761


    Thanks everybody. 🙂

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