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THE LEFT-HAND LINE TECHNIQUE



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THE LEFT-HAND LINE TECHNIQUE: One of the reasons it works to limit the length of paragraphs is that the reader's eye is trained to jump over to the left side of the page, to the start of a sentence. It's very inviting, the eye wants to go there, because the brain thinks it's going to get some new information. Well, one way to make use of this is to have all the action lines start on the left, no matter how long each one might be. For example:

Billy races across the roof. The edge looms in front of him –

He leaps across the chasm, to the building beyond. Falls short. Clutches for a handhold –

Slips, and plummets to his death.


I believe this is the technique used by Shane Black in the first LETHAL WEAPON. It can be a dramatic, gutsy, effective choice.



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