Breathing Room

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Here’s an interesting piece about white space.

In my day job, I write words for other people. When writing email or web copy, I go paragraph crazy. One sentence paragraph are very common. My English teachers would kill me, but the text is just so much easier to read that way.

And since people skim the beginnings of paragraphs online, one sentence paragraphs are a neat little trick to (hopefully) get them to read more of what I’m saying.

Paper/screen. Ads/literature. Obviously, different media and different messages require different white space. So don’t worry, Julia isn’t a few hundred pages of single sentence paragraphs.

White space is also very, very practical when editing on paper. The leader of one of my writing groups and all of  my creative writing professors insisted that we double space our work so people could easily line-edit.

Those same teachers were also particular about us keeping at least an inch margin so there would be plenty of space for comments.

Ah, margins. I always think they’re a waste of space…until I have a duh-why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before-I-printed-out-over-100-pages moment. Turns out that when you staple your manuscript together, you need to make sure that your words don’t slip into the binding. A little fact that I seem to forget every time I print to edit. So when I adjust the margins in order to save paper, I shoot myself in the foot.

Hopefully there’s a whole forest out there that is rustling happily in the breeze while I play “guess the word that ends in -ing.”

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3 thoughts on “Breathing Room

  1. bethfinke

    Seems to me we could all use a bit more white space in other aspects of life, too. This written from a woman spending a few days in the lovely silence of Door County, Wisconsin!

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