Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Pithy Paragraphs

I love to read, and reread, and the books I’ve accumulated on my bookcase I’ve read over and over again. When I’m looking for something to read, but have nothing new that seems to interest me, I reread a book I have on hand, one I chose to suit my mood.

Sometimes, I’m feeling sad, and let a sad story partner my mood, hoping when the book is done, with a happy ending of course, my mood will be brighter.

When I was painting more, I always enjoyed a story about artists, no matter the medium. It never fails to get me back in a creative frame of mind.

I recently picked up a couple of books by a favourite author, and struggled to get to the end. I couldn’t understand this. I have a number of books on my shelf by this author, and yet here I was reading some of her newer work and I was pushing myself to complete it.

Then I picked up a James Patterson novel and read it start to finish, as I have other of his books, and suddenly realized one of the differences between these two writers. Paragraph length.

James Patterson writes with short paragraphs and very short chapters. I find this easier to read, and as I’ve had some visual issues, I like that I can always find my place, and can track across the lines with ease. 

I looked at the other author’s book and noticed the paragraphs were long, often only two to a page, and I would lose my way, often skipping to the end of the paragraph.

When I write, I write as I like to read. With short paragraphs, and I try for uniform chapter length, though as the action increases at the end of a murder story, my chapters get shorter.

I found the following writing tip on Pinterest, specifically Brian’s Writing Tip # 12, titled “Make More Paragraphs” and I realized why my reading choices had changed...eye-crossing, unbroken text.

This is just one of a number of writing tips written by Brian Wasko, founder of

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