Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

The Paragraph Problem (1 Viewer)

Tomkat

Senior Member
Hello, I need some words of advice.

I have a problem with separating paragraphs.
Please consider the example scene below:

“Go away." He says dispassionately. The creature sniffs his boot, then the yellow phlegm.
“Yeah, I made that.” The four-legged canine troll whines and the two-legged humanoid rubbish bin sighs.
“Listen, I got nothing, ok? Just some chips, do you eat chips? Here, choke on it.” Joe tosses a handful of them on the floor. It all disappears in no time.
The creature sits back with his tongue whipping out and expectant eyes. "Greedy, aren’t you?” Joe puts away the chips as he’s not inclined to share more of them. “Are you not scared? I'm a big bad man. I'm going to, you know, abandon you on the highway or something." But the gremlin is not impressed. "Do you know we had a sandwich called 'hot dog'? Where do you think it got the name?" Nothing, this scrawny layer of flesh wrapped around a broken bony frame is unmoved. Deaf or tough? Maybe it can be tricked. He checks out its head, how much brain can contain? “Want to play fetch?” Joe stands up and collects a small metal rod. He weights it and swings it to get the beast’s attention. The plan is simple, it has worked with the stranger earlier on, it will work with the gremlin too: toss the wanted object in one direction, run in the other.


Two characters, only one speaker.
If it was a monologue I would likely make it one whole paragraph. But in here the other character, in this case a dog, or animal, interacts and acts in between the dialogue lines.
Leaving aside grammar/typos and the action of the scene itself, what would you with this?
One paragraph, as it is one scene?
Period, new line each time the subject of the sentence changes?

Thank you so much!
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Hello, I need some words of advice.

I have a problem with separating paragraphs.
Please consider the example scene below ... Two characters, only one speaker.
If it was a monologue I would likely make it one whole paragraph. But in here the other character, in this case a dog, or animal, interacts and acts in between the dialogue lines.
Leaving aside grammar/typos and the action of the scene itself, what would you with this?
One paragraph, as it is one scene?
Period, new line each time the subject of the sentence changes?

Thank you so much!

Maybe try the following - just mix it all up a bit to make it work:

“Go away," he says dispassionately as the creature sniffs his boot, then the yellow phlegm. “Yeah, I made that.”
The four-legged canine troll whines and the two-legged humanoid rubbish bin sighs.
“Listen, I got nothing, ok? Just some chips, do you eat chips? Here, choke on it.” Joe tosses a handful of them on the floor. It all disappears in no time.
The creature sits back with his tongue whipping out and expectant eyes.
"Greedy, aren’t you?” Joe puts away the chips as he’s not inclined to share more of them. “Are you not scared? I'm a big bad man. I'm going to, you know, abandon you on the highway or something." But the gremlin is not impressed. Joe continues. "Do you know we had a sandwich called 'hot dog'? Where do you think it got the name?"
Nothing, this scrawny layer of flesh wrapped around a broken bony frame is unmoved. Deaf or tough? Maybe it can be tricked. He checks out its head, how much brain can contain?
“Want to play fetch?” Joe stands up and collects a small metal rod. He weights it and swings it to get the beast’s attention. The plan is simple, it has worked with the stranger earlier on, it will work with the gremlin too: toss the wanted object in one direction, run in the other.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
PLEASE pay $1200 to @MatchuprinceNigeria.co.uk asap, thank u. [for editing services, obvs...I really should explain myself, not a hijacking]

“Go away." He says dispassionately.

The creature sniffs his boot, then the yellow phlegm.

“Yeah, I made that.”

The four-legged canine troll whines and the two-legged humanoid rubbish bin sighs.

“Listen, I got nothing, ok? Just some chips, do you eat chips? Here, choke on it.”

Joe tosses a handful of them on the floor. It all disappears in no time.

The creature sits back with his tongue whipping out and expectant eyes.

"Greedy, aren’t you?”

Joe puts away the chips as he’s not inclined to share more of them.

“Are you not scared? I'm a big bad man. I'm going to, you know, abandon you on the highway or something."

But the gremlin is not impressed.

"Do you know we had a sandwich called 'hot dog'? Where do you think it got the name?"

Nothing, this scrawny layer of flesh wrapped around a broken bony frame is unmoved. Deaf or tough? Maybe it can be tricked. He checks out its head, how much brain can contain?

“Want to play fetch?”

Joe stands up and collects a small metal rod. He weights it and swings it to get the beast’s attention. The plan is simple, it has worked with the stranger earlier on, it will work with the gremlin too: toss the wanted object in one direction, run in the other.
 
Last edited:

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
Generally, a separate paragraph is needed when the action or dialogue is from a different character or thing. So, as Matchu did, the person speaking and the creature's action are separate paragraphs. Obviously, rules can be broken, but if done so, it must be specific and clearly defined to avoid confusion.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
Hello, I need some words of advice.

I have a problem with separating paragraphs.
Please consider the example scene below:

“Go away." He says dispassionately. The creature sniffs his boot, then the yellow phlegm.
“Yeah, I made that.” The four-legged canine troll whines and the two-legged humanoid rubbish bin sighs.
“Listen, I got nothing, ok? Just some chips, do you eat chips? Here, choke on it.” Joe tosses a handful of them on the floor. It all disappears in no time.
The creature sits back with his tongue whipping out and expectant eyes. "Greedy, aren’t you?” Joe puts away the chips as he’s not inclined to share more of them. “Are you not scared? I'm a big bad man. I'm going to, you know, abandon you on the highway or something." But the gremlin is not impressed. "Do you know we had a sandwich called 'hot dog'? Where do you think it got the name?" Nothing, this scrawny layer of flesh wrapped around a broken bony frame is unmoved. Deaf or tough? Maybe it can be tricked. He checks out its head, how much brain can contain? “Want to play fetch?” Joe stands up and collects a small metal rod. He weights it and swings it to get the beast’s attention. The plan is simple, it has worked with the stranger earlier on, it will work with the gremlin too: toss the wanted object in one direction, run in the other.


Two characters, only one speaker.
If it was a monologue I would likely make it one whole paragraph. But in here the other character, in this case a dog, or animal, interacts and acts in between the dialogue lines.
Leaving aside grammar/typos and the action of the scene itself, what would you with this?
One paragraph, as it is one scene?
Period, new line each time the subject of the sentence changes?

Thank you so much!

Simplify it.

"Go away!" His tone was impassive as he watched the creature sniff the phlegm on his boot. "Yeah, I made that."
Whining, the dog looked at him with pitiful eyes.
"Listen, I got nothing...okay? Just some chips." Pulling the bag from his pocket, he dumped a few of the corn chips on the floor. "Here, choke on it."
Joe had berely finished dumping the food when it was already gone. Sitting back on its haunches, the dog let its tongue loll to one side as he clearly hoped there was more.
"Greedy, aren't ya?" A grimace crossed the man's face as he rolled up the edge of the bag before pocking the chips. Uninterested in sharing any more of his snack, he looked back down at the creature. "So you're not scared of me? I'm a big guy, could be a bad man for all you know. Hell, I could be the kinda guy who abandones you on the side of the highway."
It's expression never changed as the creature looked up at him hopefully.
 
Top