The Tyranny of the One-Sentence Paragraph
I’ve been observing a trend for a while now and I want to explain why I find it hard to deal with.
No Film School’s recent posts are a good example.
So are far too many blog entries.
(Amusingly, considering the subject of the last link, it’s also common on Medium.)
Here’s another one. And another.
(One more, just for fun.)
It seems to have been ‘inspired’ by the format of many prominent news publications, who have their own reasons for following it.
You may have noticed me aping the style in this entry.
I’m talking about starting a new paragraph after every sentence. Or two, if you’re feeling generous.
Please don’t do this.
It doesn’t aid readability.
It doesn’t make your writing more professional.
It doesn’t look better.
Good writing has a rhythm. Paragraph breaks are a fundamental tool in creating it.
I love ’em.
I love using single-sentence paragraphs for emphasis.
When you start a new paragraph, you pause.
You start a new thought.
It can make what came before or what comes next stand out.
But if everything stands out, nothing stands out.
It’s like making your entire article bold, italic, and underlined.
Or putting speed bumps every six feet on every road.
It just exhausts your reader.
Help them out.
Don’t write like this.