Paragraphs Can Be Fun

by Pat Marcello on February 1, 2011

Right, you’re thinking.  Paragraph construction has plagued writers for probably… ever. So, what makes them fun?

Well, writing them for one. I mean, how hard is it to come up with a paragraph, unless you’re constructing it for your third-grade teacher? That was some tough writing, kids.

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But think about it. You’re an adult now. Writing should be as easy and as much fun for you as simply talking to your best friend.

So, don’t sit there struggling over paragraphs. Just write as you would have a conversation with someone you really have fun hanging out with. I always picture my mother (who’s long gone, so it’s rather cool to talk to her in such a way) or my husband. I’m close to them and feel comfortable and writing should feel comfortable.

Believe it or not, before I started writing, you couldn’t pay me to do it. LOL Now, I’m paid quite nicely, thank you. But then, it was a total struggle for me. I didn’t understand that not everything I wrote had to be exact and perfect, according to the style guides. I could wing it and get away with it.

That is, until I started writing professionally. You definitely have to pay attention to the Chicago Manual of Style if you’re writing books or for magazines, or to the AP Stylebook if you’re writing for newspapers. But by the time I got to them, it was easy to fall into good habits because I’d already overcome my fear of making a mistake.

So, that’s it. If you’re writing for the Web, you definitely want to have fun with it. Pretend you’re talking to your perfect customer or to a friend and it will be much easier for you.

And when you’re agonizing over where to start new paragraphs,  just remember that each paragraph starts a new topic. So, in the last paragraph, I’m telling you to have fun with writing for the Web and in this paragraph, I’m talking about writing paragraphs.

But remember a paragraph doesn’t have to be the standard three-sentence construction, either. A paragraph can be one word, if that’s how you’d like readers to understand what you’re writing. You’re writing for them, not for English teachers. Just be sure that you have decent grammar, punctuation, and good spelling and that’s probably all you need.

One thing to remember, however, is that more “white space” (which means where nothing is written) makes reading look easier. If you see big chunks of text, break those down into smaller units. Otherwise, have fun and be interesting. Then, you’re sure to have them coming back for more.

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