4 Comments

EDIT ME — Long-ass paragraphs

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If I’ve ever worked as your editor, you know I will ask you to break up long paragraphs. Here’s why (warning, graphic language):

 

A dark unease slithered into Paul’s stomach. Jack had men pretty often. The ladies liked to break out of their shells with threesomes sometimes. And Jack made it known he loved cock as much as pussy. Paul looked out the window at the lazing ranch. Steam rose from the plush lawn, dew burning off in the morning sun. He stopped the truck and put it in park. Jack was staring at him. For a long minute Paul met his gaze. Jack had let it be known on several occasions that Paul was his next conquest. But Paul would never let that happen. He wasn’t into guys. Especially one of his best friends.

 

Looks okay, right? Here’s how I wrote it:

A dark unease slithered into Paul’s stomach. Jack had men pretty often. The ladies liked to break out of their shells with threesomes sometimes. And Jack made it known he loved cock as much as pussy.

Paul looked out the window at the lazing ranch. Steam rose off plush lawn, dew burning off in the morning sun. He stopped the truck and put it in park.

Jack was staring at him.

For a long minute Paul met his gaze. Jack had let it be known on several occasions that Paul was his next conquest.

But Paul would never let that happen. He wasn’t into guys. Especially one of his best friends.

 

See that beautiful, crisp white space? White space invites the reader to move to the next passage. It makes the page easier on the eyes. Also, there is evidence that if presented with a paragraph more than 6 sentences long, the reader might skim it. Do we want readers skimming?

 

With that said, you can break up paragraphs too much. If every single paragraph is shortened such as I’ve done it above, the reader also gets bored. Vary things, mix it up. Short and choppy followed by a longer passage. But I still stick to my no more than 6 sentences rule.

 

Oh, and it’s my 40th birthday. So I’m giving YOU presents! Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of either Hard Ridin‘ or Lip Lock!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Em~

 

 

 

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4 comments on “EDIT ME — Long-ass paragraphs

  1. Happy Birthday! Many happy returns!

    I agree, doing editing and as a reader, I find myself skimming the long sentences, then wind myself back to read it thoroughly. Short sentences have their place, but then when there are too many strung along, I find myself thinking oh boy… rewrite!

  2. Happy Birthday!! Have a great day and a wonderful year ahead. Enjoy your day!

    I agree, long paragraphs only serve to distract me and then I start skipping sentences. I’m a fan of White space. 🙂

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    6 sentences is a very good rule. I am guilty of skimming.

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