re: How Do I Format the Line Spacing to Indicate a Mid-Scene Break?

in Formatting/Punctuation/Grammar by

Dear Editor…

The question I have relates to formatting. I can’t seem to find the standard for what I’m trying to do in my manuscript and would appreciate any suggestions you have on this. Here goes: I know how to format a scene break. But I have a few scenes where I play with line spacing within the scene. Basically, the effect I want is a blank line between paragraphs. How do I indicate (within a scene) that the line space is intentional? Then, would I indent the first paragraph after each line space or place it flush left like the first paragraph after a scene break?

Thanks,
Space Case

Dear Space Case…

This is more an issue of clarity than of rules. To make your intention totally clear, use the old favorite  ### to indicate all of your standard scene breaks. Where you want a special mid-scene line break, just leave the extra line space. I recommend not indenting the first sentence of the paragraph following that line space; I think this flush-left presentation will emphasize that the extra space is intentional. Lastly, just before the very first chapter in the manuscript, type this in italics surrounded by brackets: [In this manuscript, instances of extra line spacing between paragraphs are intentional to indicate mid-scene breaks.] That should make things plenty clear to an editor or agent reviewing the manuscript.

Happy Writing!
The Editor

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