Sunday, January 06, 2008

Eleventh Sunday Salon 17.42.Reading like a Writer - Chapter 4: Paragraphs

Slow reading (which Francine Prose says is good) of the chapter on paragraphs. Paragraphs, by convention, should start with a 'topical' sentence, she says...then she proceeds to show why they often don't. As in all other aspects of writing (and the Arts in general, perhaps) there are no rules, and those that are there are quite often profitably broken.

Paragraphs are a feature which are individual to each writer, she says. Then goes on to give examples which indicate slight change of view-point, emphasis, time-frame, end with an action, start with an action and have an action half way through. It's exciting stuff and totally at odds with the advice meted out in a journalism course I did recently - which advised, quite simply, that paragraphs should be of approximately equal length!


Blogger marlyat2 said...

How comical!

How long should they measure?

What a lot of trouble that will eliminate, once I find out.

Tue Jan 08, 04:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Yes, I thought that pretty funny too. As far as I remember they stipulated a certain number of sentences per paragraphs. If only I could remember what that numer was! I think the overriding idea - the all-important one - was that it should look well on the page.

Thu Jan 10, 01:32:00 pm  
Blogger TitaniaWrites said...

I also remember that advice about paras from journalism school... nice to know we are freer in fiction! Clare, on your recommendation, I've ordered the book. I also just received my review copy of Logorrhea (did I spell that right?) so am looking forward to reading that too.


Mon Jan 14, 08:12:00 am  

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