To write a body paragraph that effectively communicates your point and increases the impact of your writing, there are several things you need to do. First, you must introduce the main idea of the paragraph. Then, you should provide evidence or examples with supporting sentences. Finally, you should explain how the evidence supports your point. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.
Examples in this blog are all from Stephen King’s novel Misery.
Start with a strong topic sentence
– Your topic sentence could be a quote, an anecdote, or a rhetorical question. It should be something that will catch the reader’s attention and spark their interest in the topic. In addition, it should introduce your paragraph’s main point and give readers an idea of what they will find in the rest of the paragraph.
The topic sentence from Misery:
“After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, successful author Paul Sheldon finds himself at the mercy of the rescuer – his number one fan, Annie Wilkes, who has volunteered to nurse him back to health. But it soon becomes clear that Annie is not just his caregiver; she’s also psychotic.”
Set the scene and describe the action that’s taking place
– Provide vivid details about the setting, characters, and conflict. This will help your reader become immersed in the story and provide context for the following events.
The setting in Misery and the action taking place
The setting in Misery is a small Colorado mountain town. With no way out or help available due to an unpredictable blizzard raging outside, providing obstruction for any passersby who may try saving him in time. It looks like it’ll be up to Paul if he ever wishes for freedom from this captor.
“Annie Wilkes dragged Paul out into the hall, deposited him on one side of the threshold like an old rug somebody was getting rid of, and then shut herself inside. As she put her shoulder to the door, he heard her laugh – a long laugh that seemed almost insane with glee.”
Introduce the protagonist, and provide some background information
– Explain any conflicts or struggles that your protagonist is dealing with – this could be an internal struggle, a relationship problem, or an external obstacle. Describe some of their defining relationships with other characters. Make sure that any information you include is relevant to your main argument.
– Also, explain why the stakes are so high for the protagonist and how the outcome of this conflict will affect them significantly. This will help your reader understand why the story is essential and help build up suspense as they continue reading.
The protagonist in Misery:
Paul Sheldon, the protagonist in Misery, is a widely acclaimed novelist. His characters often undergo extreme physical and psychological hardships reflecting his own life experiences. Paul was born in New York City to impoverished parents and has endured numerous mental and emotional struggles.
When Paul wakes up from his accident, he finds himself a captive in a small, rural farmhouse that is the home of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes. Annie wants him to write another book featuring her favorite character from one of his novels.
Describe the antagonist and their motives
– Explain why your antagonist opposes the protagonist and reveal how their motivations drive the story forward. This will help your reader understand why this conflict is essential and how it ties into the plot. Additionally, emphasizing the antagonist’s personal goals can add an extra layer of complexity to your story.
The antagonist in Misery:
As the story progresses, the topic sentences shift in tone as Annie continues manipulating Paul into believing they are friends while also trying to keep him under her control.
When she discovers that he killed off Misery Chastain (the female protagonist of the bestselling series written by Paul), whom Annie had grown very fond of, she completely loses control, demanding that Paul rewrite her story so Misery can come back from the dead… literally!
Reveal the stakes – what’s at risk if the protagonist fails?
– Make sure to explain why the stakes are so high for the protagonist and how the outcome of this conflict will affect them in a significant way. This will help your reader understand why the story is essential and help build up suspense as they continue reading.
In Misery, if Paul fails, the consequences could be dire:
If he doesn’t write a novel that meets Annie Wilkes’s expectations, he risks being severely punished or even killed.
Annie: “All right now, let me read you this little speech I done made up for you.”
Paul: “No thanks, I don’t think so.”
Annie: (ignoring him) “I am sorry for what I done said before about killin’ your friend and all that… But remember this, Paulie-boy, God giveth life, but only He taketh it away… You understand?”
Paul: “Yes… Yes, maybe I do.”
The story’s climax – what happens when all is said and done?
– Explain how the protagonist overcame all obstacles and defeated the antagonist. This should be an exciting moment for your reader, so make sure you build up the tension leading to it.
– Finally, explain what happens afterward in a satisfying conclusion that wraps up the story.
The Climax in Misery:
If he can’t physically overpower Annie or escape, Paul realizes he’ll have to use his wits and cunning to save himself. He begins subtly bargaining with Annie – offering small rewards for greater freedom or swaying her opinion on discussion topics.
During one heated moment of conflict between them in which she threatens him with an axe, Paul manages to turn the situation around by appealing directly to her sense of morality; he talks about how killing someone is against what she believes and provides a sort-of justification as why it would be wrong for her to do so.
This resolution ultimately saves him as it convinces her not only not to hurt him but also to start allowing more freedom around the cabin, like letting him go outside where there’s potential help nearby.
Here is the concluding sentence in Misery:
“Misery Chastain was dead and gone forever.” This sentence occurs at the novel’s end after Annie Wilkes has been taken away for her crimes against Paul Sheldon.
– Show how the protagonist has changed and grown in their newfound understanding of the world and their newfound appreciation for life. Let your readers know that even though times can be tough, hope still exists, and victory can be achieved with courage and strength.
End with optimism to leave your readers uplifted after experiencing this epic adventure. This is the perfect way to leave them feeling satisfied after your story.
Thank you for taking the time to read my ideas! I hope they helped to make your story even more exciting! Good luck with your writing! May you find success and joy in all that you create.
If you’re working on your first novel and are looking for more help with your writing, please check out my other articles on writing at https://ullahakanson.com/blog/
All the best,