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Adagio
03-11-2007, 06:48 AM
Hello!
I inserted a couple of e-mails in my WIP. Do I have to use italics or place the text between quotation marks? Or extra indentations? Or bold letters? Have you any idea about special rules? Hm, my question is not about grammar, is more about style, or formatting. Not sure it's the right board.

This is how I typed:

To: many recipients
From: observatory@ ...

Dear Stargazers ... etc.

In the above example, I want both To and From to appear, it's important. Later, when the e-mails are exchanged between the main characters, I don't use To and From, the text is self-explanatory.

Now, this question brings another: I also want to reproduce the text of an ad printed on a cardboard pinned above the door. Italics? Bold? Text placed at the center of the page? This is what I did: typed it in bold letters and centered. Perhaps at this stage of my writing is not that important, but still I want to have it right.

Thank you,
Adagio

Puma
03-11-2007, 06:51 AM
Hi Adagio - In my opinion you did it correctly both times. I also have e-mails in one of my novels and I used Italics and set them up with the To, From, etc. I've also used an ad in one of my works and centered and boxed it (but I didn't make it bold). Puma

Adagio
03-11-2007, 07:07 AM
Thank you, Puma. When you think that the e-mail I quoted, with the Stargazers, is the beginning of the first chapter, it has to be done right.

I want post a question about this type of beginning in Writing Your Novel board. Curious to know if it is a major No-No.

Thanks again,

Adagio

P.S. Forgot to ask: you mentioned you boxed it. That means ...? Sorry, I'm still fumbling with this sort of things.

Puma
03-11-2007, 05:51 PM
Hi Adagio - One of the novels I'm marketing is set up with introductory e-mails to almost every chapter. One of my betas said he'd never seen one done that way and that it was very effective. I haven't had any negative comments about it. (Now all I have to do is find someone to take it.)

Boxing - means to draw a box around the ad so it is set off from the rest of the page. In most word processing programs there are tools to make a text box with an edge of various thicknesses you can then type in (don't be surprised if it first shows up as green - you have to find the tool for fill and use no fill). I apologize if you already knew about that but I wasn't sure from your post.

Sometimes I'm a little cautious about saying too much about ideas I've had on how to do things. It sounds like right now the concept of using an e-mail as a tool is sort of novel, but if everyone starts doing it, you lose that edge. Puma

Adagio
03-11-2007, 10:17 PM
I haven't read a novel done this way either. While writing my first chapter, it occurred to me that an e-mail typed by the she-main character sets the location, provides upfront info on who she is and what she does. I thought it's cool!

No need to apologize. I had no idea how to "box," never did this, so your explanation comes handy. Much appreciated. I'll have to check and see if my Word has this tool. It should. It's Word2000.

I better finish revising that darn novel before the style looses its novelty! Actually, there is this Brit author, mytery/crime novelist Minette Walters. In some of her novels, she begins almost each chapter in journalistic style, with clips from newpapers related to specific events, part of the plot, like showing media reaction to the ongoing investigation.

Thank you again, Puma. Your reply makes me feel more confident. Only God knows I need every bit of confidence at this moment, to make me feel like I'm swimming not sinking. I pray that you market your novel successfully. From your prologue submitted some time ago, I concluded you are a very talented writer.

Adagio

benbradley
03-11-2007, 11:10 PM
This isn't a comment about writing form, and I don't know if you want to go into this much detail about it, but it's bad email (I know technically it may still be e-mail, but I personally drop the dash) form to send out a mail to several people with their emails in the To: field. The proper way to send a message to a "mailing list" is like this:
To: observatory@...
From: observatory@...
BCC: alice@..., bob@..., Jane@...

This keeps all the recipient email addresses private, which is a Good Thing (the BCC: line is NOT sent along with the rest of the headers).

Adagio
03-12-2007, 01:35 AM
Ben, thank you for your comments. Hm. It makes me think long and hard. Truth is that I fashioned my e-mail to the e-mails I myself receive from the observatory (I work on a campus and I am on the mailing list of the observatory, which is on the roof of the building housing the Astronomy and Astrophysics dept.). The dept. schedules in advance sky observing sessions, part of the Outreach Program and sends invitations to those who subscribed. If the weather is not appropriate for sky observing, clouds, haze, rain, then those in charge of the event/session (usually one or two doctoral students in astronomy) send cancellation e-mails to those from the mailing list, which is the content of my e-mail in my novel. Of course, the names from the list are irrelevant to the novel, that's why I wrote "many recipients."

I am not rejecting your suggestion, I'm just trying to see how to make it look right. In my novel, the main-character is one of those doctoral students, and she sends out such an e-mail to the stargazers from her mailing list.

Good point. More complications for me, the author, but I feel good that the issue is up for discussion. The setting (observatory) is a real life setting, not fictional.

Adagio scratches her head. :Shrug:

Another issue: if I write: Laura@...edu.com (the name of the character) it comes as a real e-mail (in blue and highlighted as it shows in this post) and this is not what I want. I need to play around, and make it fictional. Oh boy ... it ain't easy, huh?

Thanks,
Adagio

benbradley
03-12-2007, 11:09 PM
Ben, thank you for your comments. Hm. It makes me think long and hard. Truth is that I fashioned my e-mail to the e-mails I myself receive from the observatory (I work on a campus and I am on the mailing list of the observatory, which is on the roof of the building housing the Astronomy and Astrophysics dept.). The dept. schedules in advance sky observing sessions, part of the Outreach Program and sends invitations to those who subscribed. If the weather is not appropriate for sky observing, clouds, haze, rain, then those in charge of the event/session (usually one or two doctoral students in astronomy) send cancellation e-mails to those from the mailing list, which is the content of my e-mail in my novel. Of course, the names from the list are irrelevant to the novel, that's why I wrote "many recipients."

I am not rejecting your suggestion, I'm just trying to see how to make it look right. In my novel, the main-character is one of those doctoral students, and she sends out such an e-mail to the stargazers from her mailing list.
But since you would show this from the sender's perspective, it would show the To:, From:, and BCC: fields, and might end up educating some readers about the "proper" way to do things.I know that's not the purpose of a work of fiction, OTOH those who already know about this would be pleasantly surprised: "Wow, the author got it right, I'm impressed."

But with the details filled in, I can also see it from a different perspective. Presumably, college students all know each others' emails anyway (I don't KNOW this - when I was in college we used 300 baud dialup, and very few people who used the mainframe were even aware there was a "mail" system on it), and it would be less important to hide the email addresses.

Good point. More complications for me, the author, but I feel good that the issue is up for discussion. The setting (observatory) is a real life setting, not fictional.

Adagio scratches her head. :Shrug:

Another issue: if I write: Laura@...edu.com (the name of the character) it comes as a real e-mail (in blue and highlighted as it shows in this post) and this is not what I want. I need to play around, and make it fictional. Oh boy ... it ain't easy, huh?

Thanks,
Adagio

I just typed ben@test.com in Microsoft Word and it indeed turned it into a link. There's gotta be a way to have it not do that. Such software is very often TOO helpful. Stop me before I rant about suceptibility to viruses...

FWIW, I tried it in WordPad (what I often use), and it didn't make it a (blue underlined) link.