Information shown in the analysis side-bar
The number of words in each paragraph is shown along with a graphical representation of its length. This allows you to quickly find longer paragraphs, look for slow paced areas, and identify patterns in your writing.
Why should you care about paragraph length?
Paragraphs consist of one or more sentences dealing with a particular point or idea. Paragraphs exist to organize your thoughts on the page and provide structure and clarity for the reader.
Traditional rules regarding paragraphs do not apply to fiction including:
- Each paragraph should contain between three and five sentences
- Paragraphs should contain a topic sentence followed by supporting or detail sentences
These may serve you well for a high school English paper, but strict adherence to them will cripple the pace of your novel.
Paragraphs should efficiently move the reader from one idea to the next without losing the pace and momentum of the story. If your story calls for action and excitement, your paragraphs should be short and snappy. If you are in the middle of backstory or description, they may be longer and more detailed.
Flip to any page in a book and you instantly get a feel for the readability and momentum of the story based on the amount of whitespace caused by paragraph breaks.
The bottom line
Effective management of paragraphs lengths is key to holding the interest of your reader. Do the lengths of your paragraphs accurately portray the momentum you are trying to achieve?