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Block-v-Indented Paragraphs

May 11th, 2021

There are two paragraphing styles that you need to be aware of – block and indented – and many new writers wonder about which they should use.

Block paragraphing has a blank line separating the last line of the previous paragraph and the first line of the new paragraph. Each paragraph is a block of text on the page, with white space all around it. The first line of each paragraph is left-justified which means it is not indented. This blog uses block paragraphs!

Indented paragraphing does not have a blank line between each paragraph. Instead, you start the first line of each paragraph about five or six spaces from the left hand margin of your page. 

When writing non-fiction articles, or books, both paragraphing methods work just as well. But, when writing fiction, indented paragraphing works better. This is because if you write dialogue, using block paragraphing can spread out the text a little too much on the page, as each new piece of spoken dialogue has an extra blank line separating it from the one above.

And finally: once you’ve chosen which style you wish to use, be consistent!

I’m currently starting to update our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course. It’s a job that we try to do regularly but it’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge… Whilst doing this I was checking the module on Genre Fiction and got side-tracked into looking at war novels. I’ve never considered that I’m a particular fan of this genre, but I looked at The 30 Greatest War Novels Of All Time and The Best War Novels of All Time and was reminded just how many wonderful books have war as their theme, from War and Peace to The Kite Runner. Have a look and I’m sure you’ll agree. It might even tempt you to try some you’ve not already read.

Our 2021 Poetry Competition is now accepting entries – the closing date isn’t until 31 July; so you’ve still plenty of time. Prizes are: £300, £200 and £100 and, as usual, all winners receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Your poem/s can be up to 40 lines long and on any theme.

If you’re not a poet but interested in other types of writing competition, have a look at Globe Soup. They’ve currently got a short story competition running. The closing date is 15th June, there is a 5000-word limit and the entry fee is £8-£12 (depending on when you enter).  And, if you take part in one of their competitions that involves a fee you can join their Love-To-Write Facebook Group and be involved in their free mini writing contests with feedback and cash prizes.

Hugs are apparently back on the agenda from next week; so I’ll leave you now with an anticipatory virtual hug!





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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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