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What is the name for a text subdivision that is shorter than a chapter, but longer than a paragraph? They are always untitled (unlike chapters, which are at the very least called "Chapter 1", "2" etc), and denoted with either three asterisks, a longer blank space between paragraphs, or some other fancy marks.

(specifically, I'm not asking about name for the break itself, but for the section of text delimited by such breaks.)

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1  
I think that would be a scene. In most works I read it came when the place or characters changed, thus signaling a change in scene and in time. –  Mussri Oct 26 '12 at 8:33
    
@Mussri: Submit that as an answer. –  SF. Oct 26 '12 at 8:38
    
I found this question on English.SE. I'm not sure if this makes it a duplicate or... –  Mussri Oct 26 '12 at 11:16
    
@Mussri: Not really (though the answer includes an answer to my question). See the parenthesized sentence at the end of my question. –  SF. Oct 26 '12 at 11:35
    
@Mussri - That question does answer this, but I think this question covers a little more ground than that. In any case, I don't think duplicates on different sites are necessarily a problem. –  Neil Fein Oct 26 '12 at 14:48

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

A question was asked on English.SE about what the marks themselves are called.

The only answer there states that most marks that separate logical chunks of text, signaling a change in focus/time/characters (or whatever the main point of the writing is) are called 'section/scene separators'.

So I logically assume that bits of text they separate would be 'sections' or, more appropriately in fiction writing, 'scenes.'

As for my real-world experience, I've seen such marks (including a double paragraph break in more recent fiction publications) used to signal change in scenes (and therefore, time) with the connotation of 'this isn't as big a change as between chapters.'

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In typesetting, this is sometimes called a 'dinkus' -- see here: http://www.thenewsmanual.net/Resources/glossary.html#D

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In general, you would call this a section. For fiction, a scene (or maybe a sequence if the portion of text covers multiple scenes),

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All of these are names for the group of paragraphs before the symbol in question. –  Neil Fein Sep 28 at 14:19

It's also a sort of ellipsis signifying a break in narrative time.

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Hiya! I'm afraid this doesn't answer the question - the original poster asked what the section is called; what you're doing is describing its purpose, which is already understood. –  Standback Sep 28 at 9:39

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