When starting my new novel last fall, though, I opted to write single-spaced with no paragraph indents. Sure, it’s a very formal business-letter look. But each page appeared wildly different than my recently completed novel, which was (as usual) double-spaced with indents. The change in format helped me avoid falling back into the old story and allowed me to draft a completely new world.
Today’s challenge: Take a chapter of your novel, or a short story, and make it look different. Change the font, or the spacing, or the program you’re working in. If you write by hand, try typing some paragraphs, or if you’re a computer addict like me, rewrite some in longhand.
Look at your work on the page–don’t read it, but examine its new form. Pay attention to the way it flows, the length of your paragraphs and sentences. What jumps out? Then go ahead and read the piece. Does the pacing seem the same? Different? How does it sound? What do you want to change?