how do I know when to start a new paragraph?
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I tend to start a new paragraph when the theme changes, but generally when you have used around 8-10 sentences.
Also, if you are writing dialogue, make sure to start a new paragraph every time the speaker changes.
A paragraph should be a series of sentences communicating one cohesive thought or train of logic. Make it as long or as short as you need, but don't overburden it by sticking more stuff in a paragraph than it can hold. If it doesn't fit into the main arc of the paragraph, either put it in a new one or reorganize the paragraph so that it fits in better.
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do you start a new paragraph before the whole sentence or just when the dailogue starts? what if its only one person speaking? do you start a new paragraph if they say something in a paragraph that is not in dailogue-just one sentence is?
Change of Setting: the action in the story happens in another place.

Change of time: the story moves on to another time that day or the next day.

Change of person: a new character is introduced, they may say something or just be described.

Change of event something new happens in the plot.

When someone speaks
after you've started the new paragraph with the new speaker -- does the narration (not speech) that follows also take a new paragraph?

"Fanciful," said James. James this and that...


"Fanciful," said James.

James this and that...

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Use a new paragraph when you have a change in ideas, places, persons, speaker or time.

"Meanwhile, at home...."

"Earlier that day...."

"In contrast to Bill, Sally...."

"Another idea is...."

I hope this helps.
I need help with exactly the same thing!!! I know that narration can carry on if the same person speaks again later in the same paragraph, but what happens if they don't speak?! Is a new paragraph started it does the narration continue?


Also if a person is narrating and they haven't yet spoken in that particular paragraph/section of the text, when they do speak does this need a new line or can it carry on within the narration with speechmarks?
Generally, I would recommend starting a new paragraph for any new speech, unless it's something like

She carefully buttered her toast and stirred her tea before she spoke to him, her voice as falsely sweet as the pink packet she had just added to her Earl Grey. "Did you have any plans to actually tell him about your trip to Paris, or were you just going to let me wake up and find you and your passport missing?"
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