Unexpected, stupid-simple tips for writing a paragraph, brought to you by Copy Martin, LLC.
In an increasingly dystopian world, where attention spans are shrinking like Doritos bags in a microwave, we can all use some tips for writing a paragraph. Because 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, too.
Hell, some disgruntled c-level might show up at your cubicle with a pitchfork.
To avoid that terrible fate, here’s a few ideas:
Aim for 2-3 concise sentences
Start by pulling out your double-bit axe and chop chop chopping away. As you begin a new paragraph, try to keep it to 2-3 concise sentences. It’s not as easy as it seems, and though there are exceptions to this guideline, it’s a good one to aim for.
Position the paragraph
Think about what precedes a paragraph and what comes afterward. Ideally, the first and last parts of a paragraph are flowing to and from the parts around them.
Study great dailog
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).
Read your writing aloud
Whaddya know, more dialog. Er, monolog. Anyway, I find that reading paragraphs aloud is one of the most effective ways to be clear, concise, and organized.
Do these two four 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 be able to spot the fix for long paragraphs from a mile away.