Questions tagged [formatting]

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

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1answer
17 views

Where should a “list of poems” be placed in a book of prose?

I am working with an author to typeset their prose. It is a sizable book with a dozen of chapters in which characters sing songs and read verses from various media. The author wants a list of all ...
4
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2answers
34 views

Subfigures in a figure, how to label?

So if I later refer to figure 2 (i) or figure 2 (ii) would it be better for the figure to be labelled as is Figure 2: Figure (i) shows cycle C? or Figure 2: (i) shows cycle C or Figure 2: ...
4
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1answer
107 views

What does nk means in line spacing?

I see in some journals that mention the line spacing in MS Word in terms of "nk". What does that mean and how can I set that in the Word? For example in this link, it states: 2 nk spaces should ...
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3answers
78 views

Using a prominent phrase from the title of a film in the body of an article, essay or paper, without referencing the title

I'll start with a clear example. You are writing an essay about the film The Wizard of Oz. Following the rules of titles, you put the film title in italics whenever you use it. But then you use the ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Awkward language translation

So I’m currently writing a book that takes place in Finland, though I am American and speak English. My main character’s name can be used as a play on words, and people use it to mock him throughout ...
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1answer
83 views

Unit of measurement and formatting

Often I see mm stuck with the number like this: 9mm semi auto pistol. However, in most situations we see "10 km", so are there specific rules in certain situations? Because it seems for gun the unit ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Telephone Conversations [duplicate]

The Situation: I am writing a short story. My POV character is listening to another person having a telephone conversation. The POV character only hears the one person speaking and not the responses. ...
3
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2answers
68 views

Switching languages within dialogue [duplicate]

I'm writing a story which requires frequent switching between languages, sometimes in the same sentence. I thought about writing the foreign language in italics, but the problem is that I already use ...
2
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0answers
41 views

Italicising Fictional Company names throughout [duplicate]

If I have created a fictional theatre with it’s own name, and italicise the name with it’s first appearance in the story, do I need to keep it in italics whenever it’s mentioned after that? Eg: We ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Specific MLA Question on In-Text Citation

How do I format an in-text citation in MLA format when the sentence ends as a parenthesis? For example: Stuart Appleby won three races in his career (but lost all others) (Fredricks 23). It looks ...
22
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6answers
4k views

Using font to highlight a god's speech in dialogue

At one point in my story, the characters are addressed by a god. In the ensuing dialogue, this god has a more archaic way of speaking, but even so, I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to visually ...
5
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1answer
46 views

Where should question marks be put in fragmented lines of poems?

For example, in the lines: Say what good really is a life, When so thoroughly deprived of joy Is my restless mind, Hurting constantly, in a dreadful strife? When it needs so many lies, ...
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1answer
54 views

Formatting a conversation

In a novel, how would one best represent a recorded conversation between two people played back to a larger audience? The normal rules apply regarding quotation marks and beginning a new paragraph ...
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5answers
1k views

How to display a duet in lyrics?

I wonder if someone can tell me whether there is a convention when laying out a lyric to show different parts (or even a chorus). In my novel, there are a number of poems and lyrics. They are set in ...
3
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1answer
126 views

How to introduce a character properly

I'm working on a screenplay and I know the basics of formatting, however I still don't get why the first time a character speaks some line, it has to be written as He or Man instead of his actual ...
2
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2answers
100 views

Multiple lines of dialogue and action from a single character

I am in the middle of writing a scene between two characters, a cello player, Lisa and her friend from college, Jack. Lisa has recently lost her sight, and Jack is trying to encourage her back into ...
6
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1answer
106 views

Is there a good resource on all different formatting and writing styles throughout history?

I noticed writers in the past used a different format, in terms of punctuation, indentation, quotations, spacing, and paragraph length, and the format can be different from author to author and from ...
9
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2answers
805 views

How would you write the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room?

How would you write do the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room? I am seriously wondering about the format. Should it look like regular dialogues, what about emoticons like OWO and ;) ...
6
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2answers
231 views

How should I present a resort brochure in my general fiction?

In my story the protagonist goes to live in a health resort. The receptionist presents her with a brochure of activities. At the moment I have written like this in a word document; After patiently ...
3
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1answer
117 views

Are there stylistic overlaps between novels and comic books? [closed]

I am going to quote from a novel that in my opinion shows many stylistic overlaps of novels and comic books: The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. I am holding that novel in my hand now. The use of a lot of ...
2
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3answers
92 views

Can we dialoguify sounds?

Can we dialoguify sounds? By dialoguifying I mean turning something that shouldn't be put in quote when that something correspond to sounds into a dialogue by putting it between quotes and treating it ...
6
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1answer
471 views

How to plan the font size in a fiction?

I have planned my book to be around 250 pages. Because that is my target audience. In my country I can sell the book of that length for around 250-300 rupees. (*Its just my plan, I don't know yet how ...
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0answers
56 views

How to plan length of a chapter? [duplicate]

I have planned my book to be around 250 pages. Because that is my target audience. In my country I can sell the book of that length for around 250-300 rupees. (*Its just my plan, I don't know yet how ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

What are the indentation rules for the paragraph introducing a bulleted list?

I'm writing a formal document for my company where it'll be shared and used by a number of teams. Unfortunately, we don't have any official standard style guide to follow, so I've attempted to be as ...
7
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2answers
118 views

Breaking dialogue with actions from another character

This can get... confusing, which is why I tend to avoid it, but sometimes, I really want it there. “What?!” [said Character B.] I laughed, giving her a minute to process my words. “You’re getting ...
3
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2answers
81 views

How do you transcribe a dialogue when abbreviations are used?

How do you transcribe a dialogue when abbreviations are used? For example, when people uses acronyms like FBI or abbreviations like a.m., do we just write them as we write them when they're in a ...
6
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1answer
71 views

In the Windows version of Scrivener for Screenplay formatting, how do format for action/dialogue/shot?

There is a way to automatically change the indices to respect whether it is a line of dialogue or a description of the setting, but I can't find a way to bring the menu up consistently when hitting "...
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2answers
360 views

How to convert dialogue in to paragraph?

This is my first time writing a novel. In my novel, there is a part of the married life of my protagonist who is a woman. I don't have any experience of married life so I have taken inspiration from a ...
4
votes
4answers
135 views

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events?

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events? I was thinking to use: Nine pm. Sunday, in Los Angeles, CA, USA. but I don't think it looks good, so I ...
3
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2answers
77 views

When writing an error prompt, how do we tell the user the error happens in a specific tab?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_(interface) I have made a medical record application that allows someone to record data about someone, but the application also allows us to add the data of a ...
2
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1answer
31 views

Using indents and line breaks together

I am sorry if has been asked before. I was wondering if that both Indent and Line Break in the same text are allowed (I've seen it used in some old texts and I am wondering if it still an acceptable ...
9
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6answers
3k 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
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2answers
416 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 ...
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4answers
458 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
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2answers
175 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
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2answers
100 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 ...
3
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4answers
561 views

How to format quick flashes in a screenplay?

Question : In my screenplay, the main character occasionally suffers quick flashes, like visions. I have been unable to assert if I am formatting these correctly. Please also note the single and ...
2
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2answers
65 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
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3answers
159 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
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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
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2answers
171 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
41 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
129 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
710 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
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1answer
76 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
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1answer
56 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 ...
18
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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
55 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
78 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
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4answers
123 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, ...