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

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5
votes
5answers
130 views

How to handle a pidgin language?

Question: In reference to this question about how to show a foreign language in a manuscript, I am wondering: What is the best way to handle a pidgin language in a manuscript? In a wider sense: How ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Writing an apology letter [closed]

Can anyone please help me with writing a letter of apology to my friend? Next week it's his birthday ceremony, He invited me to his party, but I can't attend it. Can anyone please direct me to how I ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

What structure should I use for each article in a technical travel guide?

I am writing a technical guide for travelling and I'd like advice on what kind of structure I should use for each article. I have the articles written, but when I wrote them I didn't use a particular ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Writing the role of the actor in a movie/play

When writing a script / screen play would you write it as 'Vin Diesel says:...' or as the character i.e. 'John Smith says:...'
2
votes
5answers
127 views

How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?

Many of us probably encountered it before on a social media like Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section of a major website. You've decided what you want to say, but you want to stress a ...
5
votes
7answers
765 views

How to format common words that are made “special”?

In my novel, there's something that the characters refer to as "darkness". It symbolizes the bad thoughts of depressed/suicidal people. A short silence. I imagined Joel nodding his head in the ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

Writing a programming book: how to present directory structures

What is good/preferred way of presenting directory trees in programming books? My main criteria are following: It should be readable and intuitive It shouldn't take too much page space It ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Has leading changed over the last 15 years?

When I was in primary school, I was told to use 1.0-line leading for papers; in secondary school, this jumped to 2.0 lines; in early tertiary school (i.e. college/university), I was told to use 1.5 ...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

Appropriate leading for blogs?

Is there a leading (i.e., line spacing) commonly considered appropriate for most types of blogs? I'm referring, specifically, to "regular" blog posts, i.e. not asides, snippets, galleries, etc.¹ For ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Mixing dialogue and action in the same paragraph?

I know you can add dialogue to the same paragraph as an action to show who's talking, but what happens when a character is making a speech and it's broken up by actions (hand movements, looking at ...
9
votes
6answers
990 views

When should a chapter end?

When writing a novel, when should I end a chapter? Note that I'm not talking about chapter word-count (that topic was discussed here). I'm interested to know when should I end my chapters ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Is the word Nazi italicized? [MLA]

Recently my writing tutor told me any word in a foreign language should be italicized. I was unsure if MLA was important to answer this question; just in case, I've included it in the title. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

In a screenplay, how do you show people talking over each other?

When writing a script where you have two (or more) people talking at the same time, how is that formatted? Side-by-side columns? Some other vertical grouping? Notes? Does it vary? Examples would be ...
6
votes
5answers
30k views

What is the proper way to write time in a manuscript?

I haven't been able to find an answer to this question for a while now. What is the proper way to write time in a manuscript? I'm referring mostly to A.M. and P.M. Should it be written in caps? With ...
2
votes
3answers
83 views

Formatting to show system errors in fiction?

Okay, here's the thing. I'll keep it simple. I use double quotes for general dialogues. Single quotes for flashback dialogues and italicized letters for monologues and emphasis words only. The doubt ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Manuscript format: Straight or curly quotation marks?

I'm writing (or at least trying to write) a novel, and using standard manuscript format: 12-point Courier, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, etc. I'm using Google Docs, which automatically converts ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

How to format multiple inner voices, differentiating the text from dialogue? and omnipresent inner voice

For the occasional use of inner voice, Italics are usually recommended. However I have a protagonist who is speaking with himself all the time, and Italics use quickly becomes tiring and ...
3
votes
4answers
462 views

“Empty-space” vs “three-dot” scene break

What's the difference between the two? I've seen both in the same book. For example in the Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: Space breaks: He’s clever, I realize. First he makes you grateful. Right. ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Hollywood script vs Bollywood script

I was comparing between the formats of scripts from both Hollywood and Bollywood. Following is the first page of the script of Pulp Fiction. And following is the first page of a Bollywood film, Jab ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

What is the correct formatting for actions taken before dialogue?

What would be the correct way to format the following exchange in narrative prose? Is it: Alice sits on the bench, silent. Eventually, I speak. "What are we going to do?" After a long pause, she ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

From Markdown to .odt and vice-versa: a possible distraction-free writing workflow?

I'm writing a master thesis (Sociology) and I'm really penalized by distractions. I would happily shift to a markdown full-screen environment but I wrote an half of the thesis in .odt via LibreOffice, ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Very simple markup language for writing fiction

I'm using a plain text editor (Vim) to write a fiction piece (chapter book), and I'm wondering what markup languages others use for such a task? I'm looking for something exceedingly simple, it does ...
3
votes
3answers
716 views

How to convey newlines in tweeted poetry, if at all?

Suppose I've written a haiku as 3 consecutive lines with standard punctuation as if it was normal free text, which means I don't use special punctuation at the end of a line just because it's the end ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

footnotes in non-paginated media

How should footnotes be attached to a text that doesn't form pages? Say, a lengthy text, over 10,000 words as a single webpage but with formatting limited to static text; I have no options to make ...
14
votes
8answers
23k views

Should I indent the first line of the first paragraph in a chapter?

I was reading a thesis report of a friend and I noticed that he didn't indent the first line of the first paragraph in each chapter. I don't remember noticing it anywhere before until I saw it there ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Should I write “also known as” in full or as an acronym (aka)?

Example: It was located in the East Coast National Scenic Area, also known as China's Last Unspoiled Land. Is that how it should be written? Should I put it in quotes? Lowercase?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When should I use punctuation with bullets?

When writing bulleted items, what are the rules for placing periods? Presumably bulleted items that aren't sentences wouldn't require punctuation: Orange Apple Banana But how about sentence ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Should I drop the quotation marks in a chapter that consists mostly on a character telling a story?

The structure looks like this: Chapter 10 (...) And so Cath began telling me her tale. Which turned out to be grimmer than I'd expected. Chapter 11 "I've been suffering from ...
0
votes
2answers
933 views

How do I choose the most appropriate font for a professional document?

I've written many documents at school, but there is one thing I'm always struggling with: Font types. I never know which font to choose for which occasion. At the moment I'm writing a document that ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there any research about the efficacy of illustration and example placement in procedure writing?

In writing procedural documentation, I have the choice of writing the complete step-by-step instructions with references to an appendix of illustrations, For instance: 1. Do task 1 (see Fig. 1) 2. ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Time of Day Notes for Internal Scenes

In a script or screenplay, is it necessary (or correct at all) to include time-of-day tags for internal scenes in which exterior lighting does not feature at all (for example, in a maintenance duct or ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Rapid Cross-Scene Cuts in Screenplay/Script

In a screenplay I'm writing, I want to use a rapid cut-together sequence of reaction shots from characters in several different locations already established earlier in the script. Is it still ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

When should one use a section sign (§)?

When I asked this on English.SE, the question was closed; it was suggested that I ask on Writers.SE instead. To be clear, I mean the section sign § (utf-8: 0xC2 0xA7), which is available via \S in ...
13
votes
3answers
384 views

Best e-book formatting process?

The question I would like to ask is this: does anyone else have their own process (or one borrowed from elsewhere) that they use for formatting and then creating their e-books? Are you using other ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Right font style and size for a master thesis

I'm writing a master thesis for my master in economics. Given that the thesis is not expected to be too much formal (the master itslef is very practical and little theoretical) I want to use good ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

What referencing style is this?

I was reading a book and I'm curious about the referencing style that is used. When you go to the reference page it is sorted by chapters and then it lists then the references for each particular ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

When to use normal caps and small caps in fiction?

Sometimes I don't know which one to use. For instance, what kind should I use when referring to the stamping on a t-shirt? Mark wore a t-shirt that said, SAVE WATER, DRINK BEER.
3
votes
4answers
460 views

Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?

I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A—gold tooth? I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A ... gold tooth? Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?

Should I write: I haven't met Sophia after our 'friendly' meeting. or I haven't met Sophia after our "friendly" meeting. The sight reminded me of a part of the Genesis that Mom used ...
3
votes
2answers
277 views

How to format Facebook chat in a novel?

When I write a chat dialogue in a novel, how should I format it? Since it is not direct speech, it obviously needs no quotation marks, but should I use italics, repeat the names, or how else is chat ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Scrivener capitalization issues

I have a Scrivener formatting question. Using Scrivener (on Mac), I'm trying to put a poem into a page of a novel. Scrivener keeps capitalizing the first word of the next line even though the previous ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Precedence: P.S or Address?

In an e-mail similar to this, where is it correct to add a post script? Before or after the signature? Dear Professor X, I am John Smith.... ​Sincerely yours, ​ John Smith ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a standard for dealing with lyrics in dialogue and narration in creative writing?

I'm peer-reviewing/editing a paper for a final in my English course and in it, the author has a character singing a song (of the author's creation). The character is singing in dialogue, like so: ...
4
votes
2answers
608 views

Do you bold punctuation directly after bold text?

Do you bold punctuation directly after bold, linked or italic text?
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Why do page headers seldom include chapter/section numbers?

In many of my course books, the header of each page includes a page number, and the name of the current chapter and section. Only in a few of the books the headers include the chapter and section ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What's the difference between “MUSIC” and “MUZAK?” [closed]

I've seen both mentioned in screenplays I've read, but as far as using them, what separates them? Please. I need to know how to write this right.
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the “three-asterisk-break” section called?

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" ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

How to capitalize the first line of a paragraph using styles in OpenOffice?

I am formatting a document as a novel using OpenOffice Writer. I have a paragraph style for the main body, and another style derived from it that is the first paragraph in a chapter. I've set up this ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How to format a novel synopsis

Is it standard practice to format a synopsis in the same manner as a manuscript (double line spacing, indented first line, 12 point, aligned left, times new roman size 12) when submitting to an ...