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Old 04-30-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
Forlorn Radiance
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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.
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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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Old 04-30-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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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.
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Last edited by Bufty; 04-30-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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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.
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Last edited by Bufty; 04-30-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:37 PM   #7
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Si, muchos gracias!
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:51 AM   #8
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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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