Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Do You Use The White Pages...er, Spaces?
The use of white space is a lesser known structural writing device that is too often overlooked. We read all the time in writing craft books about plot, structure, characterization, and hooking the reader, but it is a rare occurrence to read about white space.
White space is something we need in our manuscripts. When we have pages and pages of narrative, we bore the reader. We need shorter paragraphs to help the reader process the story and keep them interested. It gives their eyes a break and keeps them jumping to the next paragraph.
You might think about having a "one sentence paragraph". This one sentence gives more of an impact when standing alone in the midst of white space.
A good way to keep more white space in your story is to use dialogue within the narrative. This not only gives more white space, but increases the action and allows you to show who the character is, rather than tell about the character in the narrative. Plus, dialogue keeps the reader reading!
And that is what we writers want, right? That's why we write...to have people read our stories. So let the white space rule over your manuscripts and may the eyes of your readers soak in your beautiful prose.
Do you actively incorporate white space in your manuscripts? Or do you prefer more descriptive narratives?