In one chapter I have written of my fiction book, I used the ✻ symbol to divide text. Because, in the chapter, I have to differentiate past vs present (in the specific chapter it switches from flashbacks to present and back about 4 times).

However, in my other chapters, I will not be using this symbol, as flashbacks do not recur in my story very often.

Will readers think it is weird that I use ✻ around 4-5 times in one chapter, and then I don't use it again/very often later in my book?

I want to maintain consistency, but most of the time, I can create a new paragraph or chapter instead of using ✻ as a text divider - but in one chapter I feel that is needed that I use ✻ to clarify when it switches from past or present.

What would be the recommended strategy to go about doing this?

Remember: In my other chapters, I do not switch off from past to present, it is unique to one chapter only.

1 Answer 1


If you will be submitting your work to a traditional publisher, that firm's house style will control such formatting, and you shouldn't worry about this. If you plan to self-publish, you will control such things, but even then it should not be a major concern, because most readers will not carefully notice such things

Flashbacks should be clearly indicated in the text without needing any special formatting. Suppose the book were to be read aloud, would a listener recognize the flashback and the move forward from when the flashback ends? If not you have a problem. If so, you may use a test divider, but its importance is limited.

One option would be to use asterisks for text divisions larger and more important than a paragraph, but not quite at the chapter level. This might correspond with flashbacks, but also with major changes of POV or setting, which may occur in the rest of the work.

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