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Monday, 20 July 2009

The Power Of The Paragraph

Paragraphs can lift a story. I am put off by long columns, endless passages, stretched out over whole pages.

Breaks are good. They add to the sense of the plot, the development of the main characters and the structure of the piece.

When I see a poem, I lose interest if it is one seamless swatch of words. I enjoy the cut-up effect of stanzas. It is the same with stories. Sometimes the gaps are a clean scissor-chop, ready for a flash-back or a progression or a change of scene/mood. Other times, they feel ragged, bringing in sudden storms and violent twists in the action.

When I check the appearance of a story or poem, I find that playing with paragraphs and stanzas can improve, even clarify, the piece.


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