August 3rd, 2005

Due South

(no subject)

Yes, a single sentence--a short, simple and to the point sentence isolated from its longer, more complicated relatives--can be quite effective in fiction if you're trying to emphasize something. Or even if you're simply trying to mimic speech patterns, pinning down the oral tradition with its pauses for audience reaction. Of course, I say this knowing that most people who use them (that I'm complaining about, at least) aren't aware of any of these points.

Having said that, it is NOT effective if every fucking "paragraph" in your story is only a sentence long.

No, it is not effective at all. In fact, it is the very opposite of effective. It is a downright annoyance, causing me to skim through your work and, more likely than not, hit the backbutton without realizing the point or plot of your story. Single lines should be there only be present among sets of multi-sentnced paragraphs, to draw the eyes to the point. It is, above all, important to remember the entire definitely of a paragraph. It does not equal the same thing as a sentence, sentence fragment, non-sentence fragment, etc., etc.

Is this 'new style' driving anyone else crazy? I mean, I realize that computer screens are different than print formats if only because of the length of the line. More words fit on a line on a computer screen than in a book. I'm the first to beg for a blank space between paragraphs; my poor eyes can't take anything else. But mostly white space on the screen? BORING.


NB: An obvious exception to this is long passages that are filled with conversations. Another exception is an extremely short story (read: drabble) written by an author that knows what s/he is doing and is experimenting and/or deciding that this format is what works best for this particular piece.