http://bergsland.org/blog: THE SKILLED WORKMAN
Designing your paragraphs
We need to talk a bit about setting up your paragraphs. Againmost of this knowledge is assumed by software manuals and
publishing Websites. Somehow they seem to believe that
your little psyche will be stifled if any opinion on normalcyis mentioned—or some such idiocy like that.
It’s not magic or luck when you produce reading mate-
rials that are enjoyable to read. It is the result of setting your
copy up (formatting it) in a manner that the reader instantly
recognizes and comfortably understands.
The goal is to lead the reader through your writing
effortlessly. The reader must be completely unaware of thisguidance. It needs to feel natural, comfortable, and obviousas the content is received.
As I go through this little presentation, I will be simplysharing what I use. My hope is that you can look at my usage
and convert it into something that works for you. I will
attempt to give you the arguments that have convinced meto do things in this manner. But, there is no right or wrong
once you are inside the relatively wide parameters of normal.
The need for comfort
Our basic problem is that we have too much to read.Subconsciously we are continually looking for ways to elim-
inate content in order to keep our reading requirements
within a tolerable range. We might miss a lot of good content
this way—but that is the way it is.In our modern culture, huge numbers of people havedifficulty reading. It goes far beyond that, of course. I know
young men and women who avoid reading entirely [as much
as possible]—even though they are considered fully literate.
The result is that we need to go out of our way to
make our books accessible to poor readers. Reading is hardto avoid as a Christian—focused as we are on scripture. But
many Christians do. We have a large and growing portionof our lower middle class who get all of their information
from social media, TV, movies, and videos.