I am having trouble knowing when to end a paragraph and start a new one. Some of my writing has a bunch of baby paragraphs. Do you have any tips?
Yes I do! There is no set “rule” about paragraph size in general that says which is better–short or long–but you should decide what effect you want your paragraph style to have on the story. For example: short paragraphs lead to a sense of urgency and keep the pace of a story moving along quickly. Long paragraphs tend to feel more introspective and focused–these can slow the story, but they give the reader insights and tell us that what is inside the paragraph is important to know. Aside from style, there are, however, some very important musts with changing paragraphs:
When a new person speaks, you must start a new paragraph.
If the scene is focusing on a new person or idea, you should start a new paragraph. Think of this like a camera panning. Watch a scene in any movie or TV show: the camera will focus on one person as they speak and then will pan to another. Perhaps the camera pans to the horizon, to a storefront, etc. Every time the camera moves, we focus on something new. This is how paragraphs work in a story; they should be your camera. If your are describing one person, keep the paragraph the same; if you move on to describe the street they are standing on or the the sky above them, change paragraphs because your “camera” has moved.
But also be creative with paragraphs. Play with style, experiment. Then read your story out loud and start to get a feel for how different changes shape your story. Paragraph breaks can be your mini-cliff hangers. For example compare:
The door opened, and the figure that walked through made my blood run cold. My mother had arrived.
The door opened, and the figure that walked through made my blood run cold.
My mother had arrived.
While it is a subtle difference, it does matter, and over the long run (of a novel, for example) it makes a huge impact. As I was so often taught in my writing classes, the white space in a story (that is the blank spaces between paragraphs) often says just as much as the words. When we are forced to take a breath, a break between paragraphs, we are forced to wonder and are more eager to keep reading and find those answers.
Thominho, going vacation together (normal life au).#3 Photo No explanation needed lol. Im trying to make it into some short comics.. In this story, they’re kind of social media celebrity or smth? lmao so they record everything in their trip and post them to their social media accounts. #1|#2
I’ll be over in 30, is that okay? I glanced at my phone. It was a text from y/c. A smile formed on my face, just seeing his name made me swoon. I frowned and typed out a reply
Not feeling too good, sorry b :(
In a few seconds I got a response. Aw, feel better, I’ll see you in school on Monday. A smile formed on my face as I locked my phone and groaned in pain. Ever since y/c and I had become a thing, which turned into a relationship, we’d hung out every Friday, on the exception of the fridays when I had my period, for which I would use the ‘not feeling too good’ excuse. I figured, what’s the point in spending time with y/c if I’m going to be in pain the whole time. Every Friday we either stayed in, or went out and did something fun. So far we’d gone to the movies, mini golfing, cliff jumping, gone to the aquarium, and gone to the county carnival. Other than those days, we stayed home and watching movies, played just dance, you get the idea. I laid across the couch in the basement and turned on the TV, taking a sip of my hot chocolate. I opened up Netflix, and decided to finally start watching Lost. I sighed loudly and clicked on my phone to stare at the lock screen. My head was buried in the crook of y/c’s neck and he was laughing when he took the selfie. It was my favorite picture of us, I always felt at home when I looked at it. I groaned in pain as the cramps worsened. I’d taken Advil and was waiting for it to kick in soon. I kept a heating pad over my stomach and tried to watch Lost, but if I turned, it would fall off. Right as I figured out a solution, my mom shouted down the stairs. “Y/N! You have a visitor” just as she finished her sentence, I heard someone come running down the stairs. Since the couch wasn’t facing the stairs, I couldn’t see who it was. So I just sat there, waiting for whoever it was to show themselves. I felt something sink into the couch next to me, and then someone cover my eyes.
“Guess who” a husky voice said. I could recognize y/c’s touch and voice anywhere. Y/C kissed my ear softly a few times and stopped once I finally said his name. “That would be right” I was allowed to see again, and y/c jumped over the couch, landing next to me.
“What are you doing here?” I asked. I’d told him he was sick, I highly doubt he would want to get sick also. “Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but you always, always cancel on me around this time of the month. At first I though like maybe you were up to something, but then my mom made me realize, that you’re sitting in Satan’s waterfall, right now.” y/c cringed.
“Well, she’s not wrong” I laughed and laid down, putting my head in y/c’s lap. “Okay, well, I got you something, maybe it’ll help, I don’t know, I’m a doctor via WebMD” I giggled and sat up. The weight from earlier happened to be a basket. Inside it were all comfort items. Popcorn, chocolate, chick flicks, and last but not least, one of his sweatshirts. I smiled and put on the sweatshirt immediately. It was my favorite, and it smelt just like him at all times. He went to the DVD player and put on 27 dresses, one of my all time favorites, that y/c was yet to watch. Once he came back to the couch, we spread out a nearby blanket over us, and I snuggled into y/c. Y/C kissed the side of my head and played the movie. Halfway through the movie I grabbed a hershey kiss and unwrapped it. Right as I was about to pop it into my mouth, y/c ate it out of my hand.
“Hey!” I shouted, hitting him lightly. He laughed and kissed me. Every kiss with y/c was sensational, and would always leave me tingling. I smiled as we pulled away. “You are the best, I mean it. This is all amazing,and perfect” I sighed. My forehead rested slightly against y/c’s neck.
“I would dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench for the girl I love” he froze.
“The girl you what?” I raised an eyebrow. His thigh tightened underneath me.
“Nothing, I said for my girl” y/c tried to cover up.
“No, you said you love me” I teased, poking his nose. He chuckled and shook his head slightly, as if I didn’t hear him.
“Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I do love you. I love how you eat, how you sleep, how you walk, I love you. I’m insanely in love with you” y/c’s heart pounded.