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Thread: Breaking up scenes

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  1. #1
    Thick skin:Check. Published book:? Forlorn Radiance's Avatar
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    Breaking up scenes

    I don't know if there is a formal "right way" to do this, but I figure I'd ask better minds. In a lot of the books I read, if the scene changes, but the POV stays the same, they use a line break:

    person doing something

    *line break*
    person does something else 20 minutes later

    If the scene and the POV changes, they use an astrix/border:

    person does something

    ***

    another person does something else

    My question is this: what if the change of scene is a flashback from years past? Does that count as a simple line break, or is that enough of a gap in the story to use a border? Ie:

    Something happens to someone

    line break OR ***

    flashback

    line break OR ***

    Continue with previous scene.


    Sorry if this sounds or looks a little awkward for a post, but I've been up for 96 hrs, gotta love my job.
    Last edited by Forlorn Radiance; 04-30-2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: forum didnt recognize my line breaks, so i inserted *line break* instead.
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  2. #2
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    No idea what you mean by a border.

    A line break -usually indicated by a single centred # - simply alerts the reader to an impending change.

    Whether that be a change of POV or scene or location or timespan or whatever is entirely up to you. Start a fresh chapter if you prefer - the choice is yours alone.
    Last edited by Bufty; 04-30-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: spelling
    Everything yields to treatment.

  3. #3
    Thick skin:Check. Published book:? Forlorn Radiance's Avatar
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    By line break, I'm referring to a skipped line separating the two blocks of space without any characters in between.
    The 1st Book of the Eden Series: Awakening 53,691/100,000 words

  4. #4
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    What are you on about?

    Open any novel and flip through until you see two paragraphs separated by a wider space than normal - that is called a line break and may either be a completely blank space or contain a centred # or a * or any other symbol depending upon what means the particular publisher chooses to use to indicate a line break.

    The paragraph after the line break will also not be indented.

    Any help?



    Quote Originally Posted by Forlorn Radiance View Post
    By line break, I'm referring to a skipped line separating the two blocks of space without any characters in between.
    Last edited by Bufty; 04-30-2012 at 11:13 PM.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  5. #5
    Thick skin:Check. Published book:? Forlorn Radiance's Avatar
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    Maybe I've been reading too much of one author (Tad Williams) as of late. I've also seen it done a few other places where they split text with both blank lines or with *** depending on what is being separated. Perhaps I am confusing a select few author's preference as common place.
    The 1st Book of the Eden Series: Awakening 53,691/100,000 words

  6. #6
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    The symbol used, if, any - whatever it is - to indicate a line break doesn't indicate anything other than that a change of something happens.

    Choose what you want to indicate a line-break - say a single centred # - and be consistent.

    What is written after the line break should allow the reader to realise why the line break was used - be it a passage of time or change of location or POV or whatever.

    Problem solved?
    Everything yields to treatment.

  7. #7
    Thick skin:Check. Published book:? Forlorn Radiance's Avatar
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    Si, muchos gracias!
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  8. #8
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    It absolutely doesn't matter what you do, until it comes time to format the manuscript for submission. Then you need to indicate any scene break with a single hash mark, centered.

    When it comes time to print the book, the publisher will have its own preferred house style for how such breaks are handled.

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