Paragraph Length

#1
I love this place now that I've found it and whilst I'm new to Royal Road, I am not new to publishing. I don't know what books people have been reading away from their computers, but paragraph length seems to be the complaint about my writing thus far and I'm finding it a little frustrating. I have never before read a book that has paragraphs as short as I've seen here, nor has anyone before I arrived here commented upon the length of my own. Is this a matter of reading on the web being different from a book? Input would be gratefully received.

Collection in question is Summonitores Libro.

Re: Paragraph Length

#2
Your paragraphs are definitely too long. A good rule of thumb is to keep them to no more than four lines on a computer screen unless it's absolutely essential. Break them up with some shorter ones too, so it's not just a block of equally sized sections.

For instance, this final section from november 1991 part 2 (currently a single paragraph); I'd break it up like so:

Quote:My father had always stressed to me, typically when commenting on my school work, that if something sounds or looks important, it probably is. His instruction, bolstered by twenty years of experience in the police, wading through undulant swamp in search of gold, was to write everything down. In the absence of pen and paper, repeat it over and over again until you can recite everything you have seen or heard, backwards.

I could feel his influence, and just for a moment, his hands on my shoulders. It felt like pressure to speak up. I needed to better understand what I was doing at Victoria House.

My gaze left the violence of the weather and my eyes browsed the hall for Mrs Tapscott. She was standing beside the bearded man, who was wearing a coat, as if he were ready to leave the safety of the building. I heard him say, 'I'll be back soon' before he left.

I had questions in my mind, but wasn't sure how I could ask them to get satisfying answers, I wasn't exactly a talker.

I ran through the observations I had made.

One. Excluding the bearded man, there were only 4 members of staff that I had counted during introductions. This seemed oddly light for 160 residents and it didn't seem at all surprising that a resident had gone missing.

Two. Mrs Tapscott seemed very familiar with everything that went on and seemed to know the bearded man quite well, this needed an explanation.

Three. Purple shirt man was still sitting, arms folded, in the same chair and two hours had passed. Despite his calm, this seemed cruel.

Four. The information booklet I was reading said that people with Down Syndrome can easily become frustrated, I would be out of my mind sat in the same chair for that length of time, how could he be so calm?

Five. Where were all of the other residents? Of the 160, I had only see a handful come into the hall and I had seen none of those working on flowerbeds when I arrived, return.

I was going to make my way over to Mrs Tapscott when I heard a tap at the window. It was Mr Column. Maybe these questions wouldn't need answering after all.

This is certainly not the only possible way to do it, but it reads much much easier than a solid block.

Re: Paragraph Length

#3
John Wrote: I love this place now that I've found it and whilst I'm new to Royal Road, I am not new to publishing. I don't know what books people have been reading away from their computers, but paragraph length seems to be the complaint about my writing thus far and I'm finding it a little frustrating. I have never before read a book that has paragraphs as short as I've seen here, nor has anyone before I arrived here commented upon the length of my own. Is this a matter of reading on the web being different from a book? Input would be gratefully received.

Collection in question is Summonitores Libro.
I try to keep mine at about 6 lines. However, I won’t go over 11. In all actuality, just splitting your paragraphs in half the length will be good enough. It can be stressful looking at a screen and just seeing a block of words, it is not the same as looking at paperback. So, try not to go over 11 lines.

Re: Paragraph Length

#4
Tbh sometimes I just scan my eye down the page and whenever I see a big chunk of text I choose a suitable point and press the big ol' enter button.

When you write, you write on A4, but lots of readers on RR (it seems) use their phones so a long paragraph on A4 is going to be HUMUNGOUS on a phone screen. And when a reader sees a wall of text, they're more likely to just give up. I think this applies to trad pub, though perhaps not as much, because books are obviously published on book-sized paper so paragraphs that seem long actually... aren't as long as you think? That's just my theory though.

Re: Paragraph Length

#5
When it comes to web novel, etc always leave plenty of blank space.  

The usual style rules hold on RR. A paragraph per character, maintain normal paragraph spacing and indents, etc. But this is publishing on the web

People read on their phones while on the bus, eating lunch, etc. 

Among a buffet of choice, a story with block paragraphs is less appealing to read. On a phone it is a pain to read block paragraphs. 

Sometimes story concept trumps style issues. But style issues certain one like this are an easy fix. It is a common error and easy enough to fix.

Re: Paragraph Length

#6
Stories here tend to keep to very short paragraphs, but that's partially because they lean heavily into the conventions of wish-fulfillment isekai and litRPG which tend towards loud exclamations and simplified, dramatic scenes rather than detailed description or complexity. Paragraphs that are relatively short can appear long here.

I'm not personally concerned about the paragraphing much, since it generally doesn't affect the content of the story. However, if you find it concerning, then recall that a lot of the short paragraphs here are kept short for cosmetic effect, but in normal writing would probably be merged together into one larger paragraph.  You can probably shorten your paragraphs, but if you feel like a choppy style wouldn't match your story's atmosphere, then you can leave your paragraphs as long as necessary.