Stupid-Simple Advice for Writing Paragraphs

Paragraphing is an important and overlooked tool for writers. Just like writing dialog. Just like titles, hooks, and story arc. Here’s a little advice on how to write paragraphs.

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Written by:
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Paragraphing is such an underrated writing skill. In an increasingly dystopian world, where attention spans are shrinking like Doritos bags in a microwave, nobody has patience for the big wordy chunkers of yore (*shakes fist at millennials*). Not only will readers, scrollers, swipers, and buyers ignore your Dickensian, page-long catalogs, but you might run afoul of your talented friends in graphic design and web development—hell, some disgruntled c-level might show up at your cubicle with a pitchfork. As to the antidote for bad paragraphing, the easy answer is to pull out your double-bit wood axe and chop chop chop. Easy there, lumberjack. Much better to do one or both of two things. First, read good books by authors who know how to write dialog. Yes, dialog. The pacing and spacing and flow and show of good dialog doesn’t happen by accident, and the skill required to pull it off is similar to the skill required to improve your paragraphing (maybe it’s the same thing, but I digress). Second, read your writing out loud. Whaddya know, more dialog. Er, monolog. Anyway, do these two things and I do solemnly promise that proper paragraphing will probably and predictably become an instinct so ingrained so deep-seated so positively polished that you’ll spot the fix for long paragraphs like this one from a mile away.

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