Monday, May 4, 2009

Long Paragraphs Are Quite A Commitment!

I've been rather boring on my blog, no new excerpts or anything interesting to say. So it seems anyway, so I'm making it my mission to blog about something other than my nearing release date at least once a week.

But what am I going to say that hasn't been said?

Frankly, I don't know. So I'm just going to pick out something that happens in my day to day struggle to be the next big author.

Today, I'm going to talk about critiquing and more specifically, a huge trend I can't stand.

I'm on often. It gives me good insight into my own writing. Seeing the mistakes other people make has actually made me a better writer.

I highly recommend that site, btw.

The best thing to do is to swap reads with someone. You post your book, the whole thing or just chapters (as long as it is over 10k), and then you read other books and "shelve" the ones you like. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as reciprocation is often expected. If a reader shelves your book, they don't get on your shelf, they can get a little nasty. Likewise, if you comment on their book and don't place it on your shelf because you didn't like it, chances are they won't give your book a shot at all.

This is the rare case, luckily, or I wouldn't bother with it.

It's fun, though, to read and help others perfect their craft. But only if they listen.

I critiqued two books recently that had the same problem. Looooong paragraphs. One even had run-on sentences in their looooong paragraphs.

I was trying to explain why this was a bad thing and it wasn't penetrating. ("well I think your paragraphs are too short")

I can't speak for everyone, I made that crystal clear, but in my experience...when you tend to go on and on with description in HUGE paragraphs, you lose the readers interest...they start skimming and once that happens, they miss chunks of your book.

A long paragraph always makes me sigh. In my head I literally think about how much bullshit I could probably skip past to get to the "good stuff". It is too much of a commitment to me. A big pet peeve, but I was told I was the minority so I politely backed away with an "I'm sure you're right" response.

I'm curious if I'm alone on my little island of short paragraphs. I don't mind a long one once in a while (still talking about paragraphs here) but too many and pages and pages of them usually have me tossing the book aside and reaching for a more succinct novel. I like description, I just don't like to be visually overfed.

Some readers are devoted to the written word, reading each one in the order it was printed and analyzing every sentence.

Me? I like fun, excitement, awesome dialog, hot sex, and god-damn short paragraphs!

All my best, Lovelies!
Talk at you again soon,

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