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The Three Sentances Rule
This rule is so simple, but it really makes a fanfic more readible.

Whenever you start a new paragraph, try and make it three sentances in length before going on - this become difficult in a choppy dialogue scene but can really add to the emotions of story.

I've tried to pass this advice on in the past, only to have people complain that it's an unfair rule; but since I've tried to adopt it, the number of reviews I've recieved has risen and I feel a lot better about the works I submit.

PL
hmm, yes, a three-sentence limit per paragraph _will_ make a fic less daunting to read. the first thing a person does when faced with reading material is to scan the page and note how text-heavy it is--how big the areas of black are compared to the white spaces. reading chunks and chunks of text brings back unpleasant memories of ploughing through schoolbooks, i suppose. a three-sentence limit increases the white spaces, eases the mind and makes a fic more friendly to the eyes, so a reader becomes more willing to spend time and effort over your fic.

i checked out your fanfic "shattered soul" to see the three-sentence rule in action. nice fic, by the way, although i found it hard to understand because (ahaha) i haven't seen ff 9 and so have no idea what the story and who the characters are. (^__^;) i guess you didn't mean RIGIDLY following the three-sentence rule, because i saw some paragraphs with four or five, but the sentences are pretty concise. you work it well. a bit hemingway-ish, ne?

still, i've read excellent fics--and not just fanfics--that feature long paragraphs, sometimes pages-long. by then, it's assumed that a reader is already so caught up in the flow of the story that the fields of black don't matter. i guess it all comes down to style. the three-sentence rule works well for you because it's part of your unique writing style. i myself tend to ramble...well, i guess that part's obvious, judging from this reply, huh?
nod thank you very much.

The Three sentance rule does make things a lot easier to comprehend, it stops people from writing too little rather then the other way around.

I don't mind rambling so much, it's people who don't write enough that get to me, it just seems too lazy.

PL
I'd caution away from trying to stick to that rule without fail, though--there really are no "hard and fast" rules of writing, and you have to pick what suits the mood of your piece. In general, medium-size paragraphs are easy on the eyes, and keep a story flowing smoothly, but just like in anything, too much of a good thing gets pretty boring after a while. If all your paragraphs are medium-sized, the fic will feel dull and bland.

That said, though, I've read some fics made up primarily of one- and two-sentence paragraphs, and they can be quite a chore to read. The reason is that a short paragraph has impact. It draws the eye, and says, "Hey, look at me, I'm important!" But if every paragraph is shouting that, your reader will get lost--they won't know what they're suppposed to be paying attention to.
nods it's not a strict rule. It just helped me when I wasn't writing enough and I cherish it more then anything else that I've learnt.

The three sentence rule is a good rule. However it does vary depending on what's happening in the story. I generally write a paragraph that has about five sentences or so when I'm discriping. I despise reading fics that have increditably long paragraphs because I end up losing my place in reading it, and I end up re-reading several times before I move on.
I agree, sometimes people waffle too much and it grows annoying.
Indeed. You would think some authors would know that a paragraph that takes up the entire page is too large.
Yeah ... that is pretty lame.

nods

PL
I don't agree. I find that sometimes short paragraphs get the idea across very well. If the whole piece is full of them, then it can get hard to read, but well-placed one-liners can speed the pace of a 'fic.