Today Lorelle (if you blog you should be reading ‘Lorelle on WordPress’) had a post giving excellent advice on paragraph length.
To distill the post to it’s essence:
Most people find the shorter length paragraphs easier to read on the web.
In traditional writing, paragraphs could go on for pages without breaking, as could run-on sentences, taking the reader on a journey across many words and pages, turning the page as the eye scans the story, gobbling up every word.
Few writers on the web can get away with that form on their sites.
In Colorado, I found a newspaper with an editorial policy that every sentence must be a paragraph.
All the news was reported in one sentence per paragraph.
Not a single paragraph featured more than one sentence.
It was painful to read.
I felt choppy, distracting, and quite uncomfortable.
You are probably feeling that way after reading the above example sentences, one per paragraph.
While I agree with the conclusion that we should write short paragraphs I disagree that traditional writing tends to have longer sentences and paragraphs.