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Indicating scene breaks


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#1 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:49 AM

Okay, this is actually a manuscript formatting question, not a query question, but I couldn't figure out where else to put this.

I know when formatting a manuscript, you use "#" to denote paragraph break. Now, if you have a break within the chapter where it switches to a different POV and storyline, do you still use the "#" or is there a different way to format this to show this isn't just a regular paragraph break and we're jumping into an entirely different character?



#2 AshemDragon

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 12:57 PM

Some quick Googling tells me that you indicate a blank line by just putting a # in the middle of that blank line. My understanding is that # doesn't mean any specific purpose for having a blank line, it just indicates that there IS a blank line, and that a blank line is the standard way of indicating any kind of scene break: change of time, of place, of POV, etc.

So I'd say as long as this mid-chapter change is something that you'd indicate with a blank line, just use the #.



#3 NCruz

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 08:51 PM

I don't think there's a standardized way for chapter/scene breaks.

 

For chapter breaks, people typically add a page break. Each chapter starts on a new page. For scene breaks, I've seen people use "#" and "# # #" centered on a blank line. Doesn't matter if the perspective is shifting or not. I've seen people use "#" and then the PoV's name in italics underneath, or use new chapters for each perspective shift.

 

It's up to you. So long as it isn't confusing or inconsistent, you're in the clear.



#4 LucidDreamer

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:14 AM

I've been told (by my editors) to use *** centered in the middle of the page, with an extra "space" above and below.

When publishers have the mss formatted, they will have the formatter change the *** to whatever scene break indicator (I mean a design element, like a fancier divider) they want. Sometimes, in a digital copy, it remains as a *** though. 



#5 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:48 AM

I've been told (by my editors) to use *** centered in the middle of the page, with an extra "space" above and below.

When publishers have the mss formatted, they will have the formatter change the *** to whatever scene break indicator (I mean a design element, like a fancier divider) they want. Sometimes, in a digital copy, it remains as a *** though. 

 

Thanks everyone :) See, this is where I become cross-eyed. So should I put the "#" when I want to indicate just an extra space, and then the "* * *" when I want to indicate that yes, I do want some sort of visual thing here to show we're changing into a new storyline? Or should I just use "#" the entire way through for consistency? AHHHHH.



#6 NCruz

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:02 PM

I would stick to one for scene breaks, regardless if you want to insert a visual thing or just have a blank space. You can talk about it later with an agent/editor.

 

Keep it simple. Stick to *** or ### or #. At the querying stage, I don't think it matters much unless it's wildly inconsistent or has obvious significant meaning.



#7 mwsinclair

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:50 PM

Yes, this isn't even the cart being put before the horse; it's a small part of the cart.



#8 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:04 PM

Yeah, I figured as much. As I was writing the story, I seperated POV's with the three stars, and then when I went to format everything properly, I started overthinking what I was supposed to do. Classic.



#9 mwsinclair

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 02:50 PM

we all do that at times.






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