Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [formatting]

Questions about text appearance: styling, placement, fonts, indents, bullets.

9
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there any established rules for splitting books into parts, chapters, sections etc?

I am working with an author, whose approach is to write her text, approximately divided by indicators where she wants the breaks to be, with the idea that later she and I would improve the breaks and ...
7
votes
2answers
196 views

Page count conversion from single to double-space for submissions

When an agent/publisher limits manuscript submissions to your first 50 pages, and goes on to say it should be double-spaced as an attachment, does that mean your first 50 pages from your single-spaced ...
1
vote
4answers
427 views

Is there something “wrong” with my writing? How do I improve it? [closed]

So I usually use stackexchange as a last resort, but I'm completely stumped. If this question is inappropriate here, I will gladly delete it. None of my teachers say that anything is wrong with my ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Modern Markup for lengthy novel suited for self-publishing

I wrote a lengthy novel using a program I wrote. This produces a suitable LaTeX source I can use to generate a nice-looking PDF. Markup, beside customary division in Part/Chapter/Scene, is used to ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

About sound effects

I'm writing a script that shows a speaker interacting with their audience. The speaker finishes speaking and the audience reacts. I wrote it like this. Loud CHEERS from the audience. I'm wondering ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Can I include diagrams in essays for complex topics?

I know that it breaks the general format of essays and that you should generally not include diagrams in essays. I just find it hard to keep clarity for parts that can be misunderstood, if interpreted ...
4
votes
3answers
151 views

Scientific Reports - Significant Figures

I'm currently writing a report where I have a table stating certain parameter values and their errors. Obviously I want the report to look nice, but since the errors of certain parameters vary by ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Correct punctuation for showing a character's confusion

I'm trying to show that the narration (third person limited) is being interrupted by the character's thought process, and I'm not sure what punctuation is best for this situation. So far, I've tried ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

Why do most style guides miss out the 'degrees' when reporting temperature?

In the UK, the Guardian style guide and the BBC style guide say to report temperatures as "25C" or "90F", with no degree symbol. The NYT style guide says to "Avoid the degree symbol and the ...
3
votes
1answer
20 views

Including letters and other documents in a memoir

Writing my memoirs. I would like an opinion on how best to include 4 pages of letters/fax/emails. How about a 20-page composition? as addendum/exhibit? Too long to include in manuscript? Thanks for ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Ellipses in the middle of a paragraph?

Words words words. ...Words words words words. Would having an ellipses right after a period like this be correct? If not, how would I incorporate them in? Would it be more like this?: Words words ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

How to script two scenes happening simultaneously?

I am writing a movie where a character has an interview with a news reporter. The scenes segues into a character profile of the interviewee that features a voice over from the interviewer. How would I ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

How to write out words for wordplay

Our church had to stay baroque and afloat not b-roke and awash. baroque and broke wordplay here: not sure how to write out bahroke meaning broke
2
votes
1answer
54 views

News shot in screenwriting

I'm writing a screenplay that incorporates various news shots. I plan to use various news shots as expositions. My story takes place in the future, and I want various news shots that display the top ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Indicating multiple different modes of speech (fantasy language or telepathy)

All the viewpoint characters in my story are orcs and speak Orcish as their native tongue, but some are bilingual: they use English to talk to humans. Additionally, the main character has a magic ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is it good formatting to bookend quotations with a comma when they occur in the middle of narration?

Consider the sample sentence below from a novel. As he stared at it, Emma announced “Its blackberry cake! It’s the best cake you’ll ever taste. Honest!” And with that, she stuffed in another big ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

How do I mix linear and non-linear “choices” in an interactive novel?

In my interactive novel, I'm trying to keep the word count between choice prompts fairly short and consistent, but that means sometimes breaking up longer text into a few sections…. I've been using ...
1
vote
4answers
109 views

Is it a bad idea to use footnotes to describe new technologies in a science-fiction novel?

I am wondering if we can use footnotes to describe technologies used in a science-fiction novel instead of describing it by switching from an omniscient POV, that describes everything in a poetic way, ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Distinguishing between unreliable frame narrator and narrator of framed story

I'm writing a work which is bookended by a frame story with an unreliable narrator. How do I prevent confusion for the reader when the frame narrator interjects? In the framed story, the characters ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

End-of-line hyphenation - how should it be used?

End-of-line hyphenation is the process of breaking words between lines to create more consistency across a text block. (source) A long word is broken across a line-break by means of a hyphen. It helps ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Quick punctuation request on a sentence containing a list with a colon per listed item

This is being used within a blog article, however, I want to primp it up for use in a more public and professional platform. My intrigue pertains to grammar and punctuation of the listed items in the ...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

Where best to insert images using Scrivener for ebook/kindle etc

My father wrote a book in Word and I have edited/formatted it so it looks clean in PDF, but now I know that was a bad idea because when we put the book on Kindle all the formatting was lost and the ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

How may a book and movie be one?

How could a movie be paired to coincide with a book and come out at the same time? I would like to know if a book and a movie can be written to complement each other? Many times I hear how a book or ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Spell out numbers before times, days, months?

The general rule I follow is to spell out numbers < 10. Also when use numbers before measurement I don't spell out. For example: I bought nine apples We need 5 mL acid for this reaction How ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

What's the correct way to write 3 x 10^6 (three million)?

I am reviewing some research reports and found myself diving into the black hole of technical writing style. My question is what is the best way to write numbers in millions? I am not writing a ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What are good guidelines and practices for word emphasis? [closed]

I struggle on what to highlight, and when to use quote marks. I also exaggerate specific words. Example: Please Sign-out and Click "Delete my sign-in info" before logging back in. Please provide ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Show outline or table of content using presets in Scrivener?

Google Docs has this neat feature, where an outline is generated based on the text you've set to a specific style, such as title or heading: Word has a similar feature. Is there a way to generate an ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Formatting for a visual medium: Screenplay or transcripts?

I have a specific way of writing when it comes to describing things in a visual medium, like video games, movies, or shows. I'm not a prose writer; I always wanted to write for visual media, not ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I start a new paragraph after a dialogue if the action is being taken by a new person?

I am currently editing an original work of fiction, and one of the things I'm having the most trouble with is dialogue and paragraphs after certain character's actions. I know it sounds a little ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Formating of table explanation in email to colleagues

Regularly I find myself writing emails to my colleagues which include some form of "column explanation". Which is the best way to format a HTML email for readability? Example: I send out a link to an ...
4
votes
4answers
232 views

Are paragraph spaces used for emphasis?

I am writing a story and I have these 3 sentences that elaborate on the ending of a first page. This way the reader will continue to read my story. My question is, am I allowed to place paragraph ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Punctuating dialogue that is interrupted by thoughts/internal monologue rather than action?

So I've got a bit: Alta blinked. She pushed on, smiling, “—the argument. When the argument succeeds, which I still don’t fully deem, even after that—it looks to me like you’ve still got to do all ...
3
votes
1answer
235 views

Standard Margins for 6x9 Size Book

I'm editing/formatting a book for a client and I've run into a bit of a technical issue--I've never formatted a book for print before and I can't seem to find the answer to the following question: ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Writing a Non Fiction: Need to Format a Continuous Side Bar

I am writing a novel with two stories simulatenously running alongside each other. That is, on each page there is a main story, taking the body of the page, and there is a 'side story' which runs ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

How many pixels' margin to the right should my 5"-wide image be on a 300dpi KDP paperback to be centered?

How many pixels' margin to the right should a 5"-wide image be on a 300dpi cover, for a 6"x9" KDP paperback, to have the front cover centered on Amazon.com and print books? I calculated based on a 6"-...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

How to stylize notes/book-passages being read inside my story?

In course of joining a friend of mine during her NaNoWriMo escapades, I tried myself at actually writing a story set in a world I'm building. I've found there are certain rules when writing a novel. ...
3
votes
6answers
260 views

Everything I write ends up being a rhyming poem, or lyrics maybe

I have been writing for awhile and decided to write a memoir, except I can’t seem to write anything but poetry. However, I don’t know for sure if poetry is the proper term. My work uses cuss words, &...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Formatting a dream inside a flashback

I'm writing a first-person POV in which my MC has flashbacks/memories of previous lives. As these happen several times throughout the novel, I use italics for these scenes to help the reader ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

equation referencing in parentheses

My PhD examiners have asked me to refer to equations using Eq. (6) rather than Eq. 6. This seems simple enough, but often I have sentences of the form: "This is a fact related to an equation you ...
5
votes
5answers
781 views

Writing a song as the hook

I am at the free-writing stages of writing my high fantasy novel. I am looking at or experimenting with different methods for hooking the reader and driving their attention towards the rest of my ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

How to get alternating page headers in Scrivener? [duplicate]

Can anyone please help me with a small issue that I am facing right now with the headers in my Scrivener project. I am trying to add alternate headers to my project - Every even page to have the name ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

Can I include a short biography of the person to whom my book is dedicated?

I am writing a non-fiction, somewhat historic book and I want to dedicate it to a person who did pioneer work on Education in Science in Brazil. She has passed away recently and was professionally ...
4
votes
3answers
112 views

How to write an online screen name in dialogue?

Might be a bit nitpicky - but I really want to get the formatting correct - especially because this is one of the first lines in the script. The screen name is: ArgyleMan29 Like this? JACK: Online I’...
9
votes
3answers
689 views

Should I use a series of shots for this scene?

Should I use a series of shots for this? (context- Joe previously raged in his room - knocking things over) INT. JOE’S ROOM Joe stands up the nightstand. Plugs in the lamp. Takes the alarm clock, ...
9
votes
2answers
94 views

Is there a definition for formatting plain text documents like they are on TLDP.org?

Is there a formal specification for authoring plain text documents like they (mostly) are on http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/text/? If so, what is it called? Where is it documented? I'm looking for a ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the name of the technique where quotation marks are not closed but reopened to indicate a break in speech

The wizard slid the application over to the goblin. "I'm afraid, Mister Barnes, we cannot accept your letter of resignation at present. You are simply too ugly to qualify for an exit scheme, and ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

How many book pages would 891 words be?

I'm writing something and the font is Alegreya in 13 font size. So far I have 891 words and 4 pages. How many pages would that be in a book?
3
votes
0answers
51 views

How to link two sentences properly? [closed]

I have two sentences: In general, the better the equipment, the higher quality of production you will end up with. We choose our equipment very carefully. To link them together, I have to use the ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Do writers copy other writers?

Good artists copy; great artists steal. This famous Picasso quote often reminds me that the best artworks are rather a mix of many other artworks instead of something completely new. Walt Disney ...
3
votes
4answers
124 views

Trying to figure out the correct type punctuation for dialogues

I'm currently writing a story which so far is going well, but I reached a point in the story where I don't know how to proceed. When a character is talking, I write their dialogue just like this: "...