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The Paragraph

Lesson 10 from: FAST CLASS: Writing Your Story

Joyce Maynard

The Paragraph

Lesson 10 from: FAST CLASS: Writing Your Story

Joyce Maynard

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Lesson Info

10. The Paragraph

Lesson Info

The Paragraph

now I've already said how I believe in economy of words and really think hard before you add another word to your piece of writing. But an indentation is free. It costs you nothing. And it it shouldn't be random and arbitrary. It's not one of those things where you've written six sentences. It's about time. You in Dent indent means something. And what it means is you're moving forward in your story. Um, old bad fuddy duddy English teachers used to talk about the topic sentence of the paragraph and they'd say things like, You know, first, say what your paragraph is going to be about, then say it. Then say what you've just said. Forget all that those English teachers air dead now, and I'm not missing them. But But the paragraph is a realtor tool. The indentation is a real tool that tells me that the story is progressing. I always think I'm gonna act this one out. I always think of a story that I tell her an essay that I write as a road trip and because I started out my life and was for m...

any years living on the East Coast, and now I live in California. I picture starting out in Maine on this road trip and ending up in California, and I will actually say toe a student of mine or just to myself writing. Okay, now I'm in Maine now. I'm in about Vermont, and now I'm in New York, and now I'm in Ohio and now I'm probably right around the Rocky Mountains. That's kind of like the conflict, you know, tension, part of my story. And then my landing place is California. Every one of those indents is like a stop on your road trip. Look at that. Does that inspire you to read this paragraph? No. We need a little help here. Especially now, especially in these days when our attention spans have all been diminished by the Internet and so much else going on in the world. We need to break it down. And incidentally, something that will help you a lot in your own writing is a little test name. Give names to your paragraphs. I don't mean that. Ultimately, for your reader, you show your reader these names, but name them for yourself. And if you're doing a good job with your storytelling, if you've created a nice road trip with a steady forward motion. Just reading the list of the names will sound like a story. And maybe you get. Maybe you stay for about three paragraphs on one in one state where you kind of linger there a lot of diners with good pie there or whatever, but but still, we will feel there are distinct subjects for each of those paragraphs.

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Ratings and Reviews

Robert Ellis
 

A wonderful introduction to writing memoir. Practical, moving, and wise. Joyce is an inspiration. I will definitely take the full course. Highly recommend.

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