Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more


To continue on along the same line of the last entry, the second problem pointed out to me has been paragraph length. And that's the one that's confounded me the most, actually, because, as I think about it, I don't ever recall anything about paragraph length being covered in any of my English classes. 

This particular individual that hassled me had two things to complain about primarily: my sentence length being too short, which I went over last time, and my paragraph length being roughly half of the "normal".  She states the average should be 6 sentences per paragraph, and my overall average for the active projects (excluding Skewed, because again how dialogue-heavy it is) is 3.5 sentences per paragraph. The longest out of these is the "celebration" document, the story The Green House.

Now obviously, these rules about writing aren't meant to be strict, they are guidelines. And as such, things are going to be different from thing to thing. I've read some people's instructions to stay around that length, and I've read some people's instructions to write short paragraphs, depending on the particular style of writing. But, as I've read through these writing style guides and looked back over my work, I've come to notice that you almost could combine every two paragraphs into one.

The paragraphs are meant to be one set of ideas, one structure to hold everything together talking about a point before moving on to another one. Somehow, though, my style seems to split that, into half-paragraphs. I write a 3 sentence paragraph on some point, then the next paragraph I write a 3 sentence paragraph still on that same point, but looking at it in another way or something. Essentially, I am finding my writing is in a sort of "point/counterpoint" format. The two 3-sentence paragraphs are on the same particular topic, but because one is sort of a counterpoint, it looks better to me visually to separate it into a second paragraph. Essentially making the paragraphs into "half-paragraphs". 

Obviously not all of it is going to look like that, and dialogue breaks things up quite a bit as well. But as I review all my work over the years, that seems to be overall the way I have written for a very long time. I don't know when it started, because I don't have any of the stuff I wrote in Jr. High or Elementary School anymore, and I don't know why it started, but thats the way I write. Should I change it? Maybe. Maybe not. That's hard to say, really. Yes, I am going to have some criticisms about it from time to time, but aside from now I have never once had anyone particularly comment on that. But it is something that makes my writing mine, my own style of writing that makes it distinct from others. If, say, a publisher were to say I should adjust it for a work to be published, then I would in that case, but since people aren't complaining about it in general I don't see a reason to. After all, its the content that matters, not the structure, isn't it?

By some strange irony, the second highest document is the storyline for a roguelike I'm working on right now, which I was trying to deliberately write short to make the story segments simple to read. After all, you don't play a roguelike for the gripping storyline, you play it for the randomness. And this blog is written with an altogether different style, the style of online news, which treats paragraphs rather differently, so not going to do any sort of counts for this blog overall. And because, as evidenced last time with the post's word count, I totally can't show my point using my explanation as a demonstration, as this blog post's average to the end of this line is 5.0.

Date posted: 19 April, 2010
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