I have a character speaking twice in one paragraph with no one speaking in between. However, I'm not sure whether it should stay together in one paragraph or be split into two. I feel like the gap between him speaking the first time and the second may be too long.

Yvon looked up at her weakly, “you need to run Avana, you killed the overseers. Your scream, it did something to them.” Avana knelt over one of the overseers, looking for signs of life. As Yvon had said, they were dead. Having had her eyes shut, Avana had no idea what had happened during those seconds when she was screaming. Blood was still trickling out of the unfortunate overseers’ ears. She turned to one side and retched, her meagre food rations splattering on the floor. After she had finished heaving, Yvon continued, “They won’t let you get away with killing several of their own. You have to go Avana.”

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  • You might consider posting the questions on Writers.SE, where similar questions are asked already. E.g. this one. On ELU Writing advice is off-topic. – Helmar Aug 17 '16 at 19:13
  • @Helmar I saw similar questions on Writers.SE that were told they were off-topic because it was more suited to ELU, I guess there is some overlap between the two SE – Gladiator Kittens Aug 17 '16 at 19:14

It is a matter of readability. Having just read that passage, it flows just fine for someone who has had 8 years of Latin, many years of English/Lit classes, 4 years of Spanish, and 2 years of Russian.

A more advanced reading level will have no problem with long sentences, or long paragraphs. But write for your intended audience, and if the avg reading level is lower, use shorter sentences and smaller paragraphs.

The middle sentences are necessary as they are giving the reader information that is not otherwise forthcoming, so they are there for the reader's benefit and putting a new paragraph is not required.

You still could though. It might convey that the story is moving in a new/different direction right after that.

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  • Thanks for the opinion. When I first started writing I didn't really know when to paragraph at all, and even now I struggle from time to time – Gladiator Kittens Aug 17 '16 at 19:15
  • Some renowned authors are renowned for never-ending paragraphs, and some for one-sentence wonders. It's your own style... let the words flow out as you think them. Your readers will read independent of your writing style and adapt it as they see fit-- you can't control them. But if you want to target a specific type or level of reader... go back after you are all done, then break down long paragraphs or consolidate short ones as you see fit. – user191580 Aug 17 '16 at 20:03

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