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How can you tell which way to write a Lewis structure is the most balanced? For example, some are written with the atoms bonded vertically to the central atom, while others are written with the atoms bonded horizontally to the central atom.
It doesn't really matter how you draw lewis structures (in the sense that it doesn't matter if a certain atom is attached horizontally or vertically to the central atom). Lewis structures are mainly just meant to show which atoms are bonded to which, the number of bonds between two atoms, the number of lone pairs, and formal charge. After you draw Lewis structures, you can use VSEPR to determine how the atoms are arranged geometrically.
Generally, what matters more is that your lewis structure is stable. Typically, the structure with the most formal charges on the atoms closest to zero is the more stable Lewis structure.
It doesn't matter if an atom is bonded vertically or horizontally to the central atom per say, but those could be the different resonance structures for the same molecule. The structure that is most stable is the one with formal charges closest to zero and the negative formal charges being on the more electronegative atoms.
You would use formal charges to determine which way to write a Lewis structure that is most stable. However, Lewis structures are 2-D and only portray which atoms are bonded together rather than in which position (such as horizontally or vertically). In order to determine it's molecular shape, you would use the VSEPR model.
When drawing Lewis structure you should focus on the formal charges that make the molecule the most stable. Since Lewis structures are two-dimensional models the placement of atoms around the central atom isn't the most important aspect when drawing them.
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