Questions tagged [formatting]

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

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What is the format for referring to un-named characters?

I have read some scripts recently which features a scene that refers to a group of background characters without naming them, but to distinguish between them uses "descriptive names" instead....
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Mixing indirect and direct speech in fiction

I often find myself wanting to include bits of dialogue in narratives where I am summarizing a detailed conversation. For example, I am inclined to write silly things like this: Bill and Ted talked ...
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Format when repeating one word from another character's dialogue

I'm trying to find the formatting convention for quoting another character's dialogue when repeating just one word. An example would be: 'You were the only person I could think of,' said Mike. 'The ...
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Is it acceptable to put 'music' into a book?

I am writing a story about an ancient race of creatures whose culture revolves around music. Each being in the society will have a unique tune or musical motive that represents them (i.e., character X'...
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Can there be text in a section that isn't in a subsection?

Are there any recommendations against having text in a section when it's followed by subsections but that itself isn't in a subsection? For example, compare Case A: CHAPTER 1: Title of chapter 1 ...
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How do I put "tomato" in dialog when stressing the alternate pronouciation?

I want to have a character say "potato tomato" as a joke, stressing the tomahto pronunciation. How should I write this? "Potato tomahto." ?
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Referring to an earlier defined phrase so that it's not taken literally

Say I define a phrase like 'pen' or '10 miles'. Then when I refer to these defined phrases inline in the text, how should I refer to them to let the reader know that I am referring to the defined ...
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When do you break a paragraph when transitioning from dialogue back to prose?

Dialogue can get messy, jumping from character to character with beats and prose mixed in here and there. How do you handle all the paragraph breaks? Obviously anytime a new character speaks you have ...
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1 answer
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How do you indicate that two or more characters are speaking at the same time in a comic?

How do you indicate that two or more characters are speaking at the same time in a comic? It would be easy if they said the same thing, then you would just have them share a text bubble, but what if ...
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What are some formatting choices in comics that may make it more difficult to convert it into a webcomics format?

Comics are using American comic print formatting, but webcomics are a new formatting style intended for mobile use, it's intended to be read up and down and makes it easier for mobile user to read by ...
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What's the most standard comic books formats for e-book publishers and comics publishers?

What's the most standard comic books formats for e-book publishers and comics publishers? I am thinking because there are a lot of mobile devices and printing machines, there must be some standards ...
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What are the most widely comic books formats?

What are the most widely comic books formats? Let's say you want to publish online comics across multiple platforms such as Amazon and modern digital platforms. What standards should you use if you ...
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What comic book format should you use to make it easier to turn into a web comic?

What comic book format should you use to make it easier to turn into a web comic? I am thinking 3x3 or 1x3 are the best format and most flexible; otherwise, turning them into webcomics might be ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why do I have so many words per page? I have all the correct novel formatting and am still getting almost 350 words per page!

I'm averaging 340 words per page. The industry standard is 250. I'm using the correct formatting for a novel manuscript - 12 point Times New Roman, 1" margins, double spaced, 8.5 x 11 page, left ...
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5 votes
2 answers
84 views

Should I write numbers using words, or the actual numbers?

I'm stuck trying to figure out if I should put numbers or words. Which one looks better? After it took me 4 hours and 24 minutes After it took me four hours and twenty-four minutes
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2 answers
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How to format quick flash cuts of photos in a screenplay?

I am writing a script where there are quick flash cuts, where the current present action is then 'captured' in a still photo which is representing a 'highlight' on an Instagram post/story shown for ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Giving credit when quoting

I know that, when a work, person or thing is directly quoted, word for word, the author has to be cited, for example: "It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela or &...
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2 answers
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How to format dialogue about a playing video?

So let's say I have characters A and B who are chatting about a video that Character A recorded of themselves. In between their chatting, the dialogue of the video can also be heard, for example: &...
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How does one put text messages in a novel?

I want to add sections within my novel where multiple characters are sending text messages to each other, but don't how to format it or if there's a certain way of doing it. For example, would I do it ...
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3 votes
3 answers
121 views

How does one go about describing subtle movements in characters actions?

I'm struggling with figuring out a way to describe subtle movements in a scene that wouldn't normally be picked up on if not shown. For example: A character is being put in a prison cell and another ...
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5 votes
2 answers
112 views

How do I change the person a character addresses in a screenplay?

I was formatting my screenplay, and I wondered how to specify that the speaker changes who they are addressing. I figured it would simply be stated in a parenthetical:                 DUIRE What? I'm ...
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Scrivener, footnotes are missing/misformated when compiling to PDF (Windows 3; V3.0)

I'm creating a novel in Scrivener 3.0 that makes heavy use of footnotes. In recent compile tests on a chapter, I'm finding that on one page the footnotes are being displayed laid on top of the text at ...
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1 answer
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Starting a sentence one word before a new line [closed]

I am curious if starting a new sentence right before a new line, in this case leaving only one word before the new line, is correct. I am having trouble explaining even what this situation is, but I ...
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1 answer
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How do you indicate that an action is done after a character says something in a script?

How do you indicate that an action is done after a character says something in a script? The action is right after the scene heading, but what happens when an action is done after a character says ...
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How do you indicate two people or three people or more saying the same thing simultaneously in a movie script?

How do you indicate two people or three people or more saying the same thing simultaneously in a movie script? There's a place where you put the character name before a dialogue, but what happens when ...
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How do you describe a narrator in a movie script?

How do you describe a narrator in a movie script? Do you describe his voice? Do you use a scene heading? Do you put the character name of the narrator or not? I am confused as to how to do this, and ...
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How do you describe a scene in a trailer made of several scenes?

How do you describe a scene in a trailer made of several scenes? Let's say you have a trailer and in a short span of 10 seconds you see 6 different scenes rapidly, how would you describe that in a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How do you add a sung part of a movie trailer?

How do you add a sung part of a movie script? When the song is unknown and the lyrics are unknown, how do we mention there's a song playing in a movie script? This image gives you a basic idea of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How do I write a synopsis for a scientific article? publication?

I want to submit an article under the "Analysis" of a journal. Their website says that authors are required to submit a synopsis first. I know that synopsis is like a summary of article, but ...
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1 vote
1 answer
105 views

Action between dialogue

I've noticed I've been putting lots of action between someone's dialogue and have many inconsistencies and wanted to know if there was a difference between different ways of punctuating it or if it ...
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1 answer
163 views

Is there a standard way to introduce an emoticon in a novel?

Is there a standard way to introduce an emoticon in a novel? Let's say that the main character discuss with someone over text message, is it ok to use emoticons? If so how do you introduce it? Here's ...
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Can section headings be questions for APA format?

I would want my first heading to be "What is Lyme disease '.' '?'" , Im not sure if it would be considered a question or a sentence . I want this paragraph to inform the reader what the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
49 views

Citation throughout my book rather than at the end as a bibliography

My book is a health/ wellness/ diet book/ metabolic issues etc. Throughout my book which I am 3/4 of the way through I have added in the website links after a piece of evidence. I have used 95% of my ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to format those little blurbs at the start of chapters?

At the start of each chapter in Dune there are quotes from Maudib and Fremen or Bene Gesserit sayings. There are similar epistolary entries at the start of Mist born. What is the proper term for them ...
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0 votes
3 answers
63 views

Dialogues inside a descriptive part

I am wondering if there are rules on how to format dialogues. Sometimes, you see a dialogue inside a descriptive part and sometimes they have their own lines, but sometimes it's not clear if you ...
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0 votes
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How do you introduce a song or a sung part right after a dialogue?

So I was thinking this would look really odd. Do you have to use the same format as you introduce a spoken part, or can you do this? And what might be the alternatives to this? I am asking, because ...
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0 votes
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Is there an encyclopedic book with all the various formatting styles found in novel since the beginning of history?

Is there an encyclopedic book with all the various formatting styles found in novel since the beginning of history? I would like to read one to see what are all the different formatting options you ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it possible to do a blend of ancient epic poems and modern novels?

Is it possible to do a blend of ancient epic poems and modern novels? I was thinking of considering writing a short novel, which is a mix of ancient epic poems such as Iliad and a modern novel like ...
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1 vote
0 answers
52 views

How do you format a song when it's part of a larger spoken piece?

I'm editing a children's book which includes songs. I usually format the songs as a block quote in a slightly smaller type size and centred on the longest line. However, I've just come to a song that ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
37 views

How do I do inline indentation from another book with open office?

I'm wanting to do something like the following, but am unsure how to do it: As we become attached in the spirit two people developing a shared conscience (Deuteronomy 31:6) of what they may or may ...
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1 answer
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In Microsoft Word outlines, is it possible to set an outline level for topic sentences?

Can topic sentences be outlined in MS word after the full text has been written? I would like to use Word's outline feature to revise a paper. I need to work on the first sentences of the paragraphs....
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0 votes
2 answers
83 views

Is it acceptable for a published short story to serve later as the prologue of a novel?

If I was to publish an original short story to get feedback for a concept and characters, would publishers find it distasteful if I then wanted to include the same text later as the prologue part of a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
76 views

What is the preferred way of writing small numbers in academic writing?

I need to represent small numbers in multiple tables. I am wondering which is the preferred way: 1.235e-3, or 1.235x10^-3? The issue is that the latter requires more width than the former. Hence, most ...
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1 vote
2 answers
57 views

Italicizing for emphasis

I've noticed that I have had a lot of dialogue between characters with words that need to be said with a noticeable amount of emphasis, and in order to get that emphasis I have had to italicize lots ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
102 views

How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound?

"I wanna be - pants the president." How do you format a dialogue when it is interrupted by an action verb or sound? I don't think this is the proper way. I am looking for a better ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Comma after adverb

Should you include a comma after an adverb, just before the adverb or not include a comma at all in this example. The adverb in question being 'prematurely'. 1 On Tuesday, the EU’s attempt to reach a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

An alternative to quotation marks to improve readability in a sentence?

In general, you should use quotation marks for the titles of shorter pieces of work. But what if I'm listing several file names off a computer? I went to his folder labeled “School Stuff.” I opened ...
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1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Should a password/username be written in quotes or italics?

In a creative writing context, how should computer passwords/usernames appear? I opened Todd’s laptop and typed in his password: Battle_Ship76. I went to the settings and changed his password: ...
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do you insert lyrics into a novel?

She suddenly began singing "Cruella De Vil Cruella De Vil If she doesn't scare you No evil thing will To see her is to take a sudden chill Cruella, Cruella She's like a spider waiting for the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
74 views

Formatting new line options with actions and dialogue in fiction

I am getting confused about whether rules determine new paragraph positions or if it's sometimes arbitrary. Some choices seem clear cut, but in the sentence: 'I regarded...' it reads fine to me in ...
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