Archive for the ‘Formatting/Punctuation/Grammar’ Category

re: The Best Way to Signal a Scene Break?

posted 8/22/16

Dear Editor…

A manuscript formatting question for you: Is there a standard way to indicate a space between scenes so that readers know the space is intentional? I’ve seen * and # used. Is one better than the other?

Thanks,
CC

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re: How Do I Deal with Accents in Dialogue?

posted 4/26/16

Dear Editor….

I’d love to get your opinion on how to show accents. I have a lot of French and Spanish speakers in my realistic Young Adult story and I’m struggling with how to show that on the page. I felt good about playing with an accent in a short scene, but this book’s characters are all European except for the protagonist and her family, so it’s becoming a pain to sort out how to represent their nationalities in dialogue.

Sincerely,
Hearing Things

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re: Do I Indent the First Paragraph of a New Scene?

posted 3/8/16

 Dear Editor…

After a scene break, should I start the first paragraph of the new scene flush left, or should I indent it just like any new paragraph?

Sincerely,
Oddly Obsessed with this Detail

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re: The Missing Comma in “Yes sir” Bugs Me

posted 5/26/15

Dear Editor…

I have noticed in many books that are supposed to be “edited professionally” that writers aren’t putting commas in these instances: “Yes sir,” she said. And “I told you not to do that Anne,” John said. Shouldn’t there be a comma before “sir” and “Anne”? Why are so many people ignoring this basic 101 punctuation rule? Or am I wrong? I see it most from indie or smaller publishers. The funny thing is, the rest of those manuscripts are fine – no typos, other mistakes – except for that one rule, as if it’s been misused so much that some freelance editors have started to believe that’s the correct way.

Sincerely,
Wondering

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re: Why Does My Action “Read Slow”?

posted 3/9/15

Dear Editor…

The feedback on my mystery manuscript was that it has lots of action but “reads slow.” The reader gave one bit of elaboration: “Some of the paragraphs ‘feel’ long even though they aren’t.” I’m not sure what to do with that. Suggestions?

Sincerely,
Confused

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re: Are Footnoted Illustration Notes the New Vogue?

posted 12/3/14

Dear Editor…

I know illustration notes should only be used when absolutely necessary in picture book manuscripts, but I do have a few manuscripts that need them. I’ve recently seen them noted as footnotes rather than italicized text between brackets. What do you think of this?

Sincerely,
Wendy

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re: Does Paragraph Length Matter?

posted 10/9/14

Dear Editor…

Do paragraphs have to be the same size?

Sincerely,
Adele

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re: Is Kindle Singles Right for My Middle Grade Mystery?

posted 8/11/14

Dear Editor…

What do you think about selling a middle grade mystery on Kindle Singles? I’m not sure how one finds buyers after putting it on there. Also would an agent consider looking at it if it was on Kindle Singles?

Thanks,
M.G. Mystery Writer

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

posted 7/13/14

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

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re: Do I Capitalize “God” in Dialogue and Internal Thoughts?

posted 4/14/14

Dear Editor…

When using the word God in a dialogue sentence or thought, like Oh my G** or G**d***it, must I capitalize it? In my faith I’m taught not to use the Lord’s name in vain, but using curse words is true to my character. I’ve seen it both ways and I feel better when I leave it lower case because it could mean any god not my God.

Thanks,
L.

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