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Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead.

Why Not image Copyright 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

Why Not image Copyright 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

“Why Not? Day 3 Write a Paragraph. Go Ahead,” by Joan Y. Edwards

This is Day 3 of the Why Not? series.

Wow! See you’ve got a bunch of sentences written now. You need to place sentences in logical order in a paragraph. In some cases, a paragraph may be only one sentence. Group your sentences about one topic together in one paragraph. The UNC Writing Center calls the topic the “controlling” idea. Paragraphs may be indented or have a line between them.

When you’re typing or using a computer to write your work, use double-spacing to leave room for you to review it and make notes for changes. Using one inch margins and double-spacing will put it in the right format for sharing with a critique group or critique partner. This is also the correct format to submit work to a publisher or agent.

Put one space between sentences. One space after a period, exclamation point, or question mark. They changed the rules from two spaces to one space as far back as 1989 and in 2010 The Chicago Manual of Style of the University of Chicago Press stated that one space be used between sentences. 

All of what you put in a paragraph depends upon the point you want to make with your words. You have one sentence that explains the main idea you’re trying to get across to the reader. The other sentences in the paragraph are all related to and may lead up to proving the main idea or topic sentence.

There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

I think J.R.R. Tolkien’s words would make a great topic sentence for a paragraph. So would all the other quotes from novels listed by Piotr Kowalczyk. Here’s a paragraph I wrote with Tokien’s sentence first (The topic sentence or main sentence) and a sentence rewording that sentence at the end.

There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. Children share their lunches. People help the homeless. Men and women adopt children. Teachers teach because they care, not because of the money.Many companies give you much more value than the money you pay them. Communities band together when there is a crisis and help each other. I believe our world is good and is definitely worth saving.

Fill your paragraphs with sentences to: explain, defend, persuade, elaborate, describe, show, tell, list ideas on the topic under discussion. Writing is formal or informal:

  1. Note
  2. List
  3. Letter
  4. Article
  5. Essay
  6. Poem
  7. Thesis
  8. Science Project
  9. Dissertation
  10. Review
  11. Advertisement
  12. Critique
  13. Conversation
  14. Explanation
  15. Proof

You can publish writing in: blogs, bulletins, newsletters, magazines, chapbooks, books, skits, plays, and screenplays.

Paragraphs may have dialogue.

If a paragraph has dialogue. The main thing I’ve learned is that you use the word “said” and not uttered, moaned, sobbed, etc. When you use fancy, off the wall words for said, it takes the reader out of the story. You don’t want to take the reader out of the story.

Jane said, “Oh dear. Sally fell in the mud puddle.”
“Oh dear. Sally fell in the mud puddle,” said Jane.
“Oh dear,” said Jane. “Sally fell in the mud puddle.”

Writer’s Digest – Famous Writing Quotes: Inspirational Author Quotes on Writing

If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
David Brin, Best-Selling Author

You’ve got all these things in your life – family, friends, and good productive work (even if it’s not for pay) so go ahead and write. You’ve got what it takes. I believe in you. God believes in you. Believe in you. Go ahead write.

Thanks for reading my blog. I’d love to hear from you. Click on comment below and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards


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Why Not Series

  1. Why Not? Day 1 Write. Go ahead.
  2. Why Not? Day 2 Write a Sentence. Go ahead.


  1. April Klazema. “Paragraph Writing Examples: How to be a Great Writer:”
  2. IELTSBuddy. “Good Paragraph Writing:” http://www.ieltsbuddy.com/paragraph-writing.html
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “Accept Yourself As You Are:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/accept-yourself-as-you-are/
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “Put One Space between Sentences:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/put-one-space-between-sentences/
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “Put Quotation Marks after Periods, Commas, and Question Marks in America:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/put-quotation-marks-after-periods-commas-and-question-marks-in-america/
  6. Marisol Dahl. The Write Life.com. The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2016: https://thewritelife.com/100-best-websites-writers-2016/
  7. Owl.English.Purdue.Edu. “On Paragraphs:” https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/606/01/
  8. Piotr Kowalczyk | Ebook Friendly. “50 Most Inspirational Quotes from Books:”
  9. Richard Lederer. “Let’s Face It – English Is a Crazy Language” by Richard Lederer
  10. Writers and Artists.uk. “Websites for Writers:” https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/advice/108/a-writers-toolkit/essential-information/websites-for-writers
  11. Writer’s Digest. “Famous Writing Quotes: Inspirational Author Quotes on Writing:”
  12. Writing Center.UNC.Edu. “Paragraphs:” http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/paragraphs/

6 Responses

  1. I’m glad I replaced my inner critic with an encourager voice–you! Happy writing, writer friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. I’m so glad that you replaced your inner critic with an encouraging voice. I’m honored that I am one who encourages you.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up


  2. A good follow up from the sentence blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Carol,
    Thanks for writing. I’m glad you believe this post was a good follow up from the sentence blog! Have I got you guessing what comes next?

    Believe in You
    Never Give Up


  4. Another great blog…and the paragraph becomes a chapter becomes a book.

    But one thing about writing dialogue where I DISAGREE with the NEW THINKING is the use of said, said, said. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING takes me out of a story quicker than seeing he said, she said, they said over and over again.

    I really noticed it big time when listening to a Book-On-CD from one of the most well-known mystery/detective writers of our time. Every piece of dialogue ended with said, said, said! I almost turned the CD off. I couldn’t stand it and couldn’t believe his editor didn’t correct it.

    Then, much to my surprise, I learned, at a workshop at the fall SCBWI conference, that the word said was the preferred word.

    I just don’t get it. When you read a story aloud, as we should all be doing to see if our sentences make sense, the constant used of said, said, said, is just plain annoying.

    So I’m going to write my story the way it makes sense to me and let an editor tell me to change it. If all the other parts of the story are done well, the non-use of said, said, said, shouldn’t prevent it from being picked up.

    And that’s just my two cents on the matter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint on using “said” as a tag for punctuation. It’s definitely a great idea to follow your gut feeling when writing. An editor will give you guidance and together you can decide what’s best for your book.

      Never Give Up
      Believe in you and your ideas


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