So here I am – after a time – back on my journey through Stunk and White’s Elements of Style and my attempt at applying every single rule to my manuscript.
Today covers rules 13, 14 and 15, and can I just say how nice it was of S&W to group these rules together thus allowing me to alliterate them into a catchy title. Thanks.
Anyway, on with the post.
Rule 13. Make the paragraph the unit of composition.
This rule basically tells us that writers should use the paragraph as a means of communicating intent to the reader. A paragraph can be used introduce a new topic as well as defining separate dialogue and punctuating prose. S&W make a good point on paragraph length saying in general, remember that paragraphing calls for a good eye as well as a logical mind. Enormous blocks of print look formidable to readers, who are often reluctant to tackle them. (True) But remember, too, that firing off many short paragraphs in quick succession can be distracting. Continue reading
For all my friends out there who write sci-fi, Chuck Sambuchino has just released a list of literary agents who are actively seeking sci-fi novels.
They are all US-based agents, but I won’t let stop me.
I hope you find this as useful as I did.
Yet another great post from Writers in the Storm. Thanks guys.
See the full list here
Just read this really handy post on Carly Watters blog of an agent’s view of first pages and how to improve them:
I’ve read thousands of “page ones.” Very often I don’t read page two.
Sometimes all I read is that first page and I make judgements based on what I see there. As an agent and a reader my practice is that if I’m not connecting with the material I move on–and quickly.
I wish I had time to give writers (and their books) more of a chance but I can tell a lot by one page: sense of dialogue, setting, pace, character, voice, and writing talent–yes, usually all from one page. Five at the most.
So how are you supposed to get us past one page?
It’s a brilliant post, so I just had to reblog.
Thanks Carly for the original.