Tag Archive - Paragraphs

Writing Mechanics: To Paragraph or Not to Paragraph

Today editor Christy Distler continues our look at Fatal Flaw #12: Flawed Writing Mechanics. We’ve looked at how novels are structured like mini novels, and explored sentence structure. Now we’ll take a look at paragraphs to see just what problems they pose to the fiction writer.

Earlier this month, Rachel talked about scene structure, describing how to write scenes as “mini novels.” Today I want to talk about another type of structure in fiction: paragraph structure. We’ve already looked at why white space is important, but to use white space well, we need to understand when to start and end a paragraph.

Here are some basic guidelines for paragraphing (in fiction):

  • Begin a new paragraph anytime the speaker changes. By starting a new paragraph, the reader will automatically know a different character is talking.


“Good morning, Joe,” John said from the next cubicle over.

“Hey, John.” Joe sat down at his desk. Continue Reading…