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10

em dashes are usually used to denote an interruption or sudden change — whether in dialogue, thought or narrative — ellipses are for pauses, again in all respects. 'I just don't see why— 'I don't care what you think,' Johan barked, turning from me before I could protest. 'She was just...' His face turned pale as his memory returned to that ...


7

Germany Typographic rules (e.g. Forssman/de Jong, Detailtypographie), the most prominent, quasi-official orthographic authority (Duden), and Wikipedia all say: A punctuation mark following emphasized text (in italics, boldface, small caps, caps, letter spacing, etc.) is also emphasized. Exceptions are quotation marks and brackets, especially if only ...


7

Why do films need master copies? Because playing a movie, or even copying it, involves the film (i.e. the physical celluloid strip) to be dragged through a machine, and this handling causes abrasion, scratches, and with time destroys the film. So instead of copying the original film a thousand times for all the cinemas out there and in this process ...


6

Those (and dialogue) are all quotations. The first might be quoting Sophia or an unnamed sarcastic commentator or someone else. The second quotes Genesis. The third quotes the character's anthropomorphized common sense. All quotations. So punctuate them like other quotations.


5

I use italics, I find it is the clearest way to define thought as different to speech, and denoting actual thought as a form of dialogue can help draw distinctions between actual thought and narrative. In third person narrative it is common to write from the perspective of the character in question, and colour the tone of your writing with the way they ...


4

I might use an M-dash for the whale example, because it's startling. For the gold watch, that's more of a thoughtful pause, so it would take an ellipsis. Also related on this site: Using dashes in writing dialogue and How not to overuse ellipsis?


4

A postscriptum was added to a handwritten letter to avoid having to copy all of it only to add in an afterthought. When you write digitally and have the option to easily rewrite any part of your letter before you email it, a postscriptum is completely out of place. An email, especially to a person of consequence to your carreer, should be a carefully ...


4

Your academic department may have posted guidelines for this. For example, the Rutgers Graduate school has posted an Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide, complete with sample pages. They suggest an easy-to-read font in 10-12 point type, but other schools may have different requirements. Many schools may require that you use an existing style ...


4

I believe you need a nonbreaking hyphen. It'll keep the characters before and after it from breaking across lines. From Butterick's Practical Typography: Your word proces­sor as­sumes that any hy­phen marks a safe place to flow the text onto a new line or page. Sim­i­lar to the non­break­ing space, the non­break­ing hy­phen looks iden­ti­cal to a ...


3

"Muzak" is also called elevator music. It is characterized by soft, usually slowed, instrumental versions of songs that are typically played in department stores, as hold music, or (per the name) in elevators. They are meant to be soothing and unobtrusive background sounds to avoid what could be uncomfortable silence. It is so named because the company most ...


3

It depends on what exactly you're doing. For print the usual convention is to indent the first line of each paragraph, except for the first paragraph in a given section, with no blank line between paragraphs. This is primarily because adding in those blank lines would increase the number of pages used, and therefore make things more expensive to produce; ...


2

In the books I read (mostly SF & F and YA) the thoughts are given in direct speech but not marked up. Here are the first six books I randomly pulled from my book shelf: Robert Charles Wilson, Bios "Even so. It's different, isn't it, when the landscape is alive under you?"Alive, Zoe thought. Yes, that was the difference. Kim Stanley Robinson, The ...


2

Common typefaces include Minion, Adobe Garamond, Caslon, and Palatino. The typeface can depend on what type of book (fiction? nonfiction? kids' picture book?), and what type of text (body, chapter title, title, subhead, etc. etc.). A calligraphy-style typeface might be acceptable for a title or heading, but it'd most likely be hard to read with body text. ...


2

According to Chicago, poetry or verse (which lyrics are), of more than two lines should be in block quotes. A blockquote is indented either left or right and can be further set off by being a smaller or different font. As to whether it should be italics, Chicago doesn't require it. That would seem to be a stylistic choice and, as long it is done ...


2

I found this at the Online Writing Lab concerning quoting poetry (emphasis added): If the quotation is three lines or longer, set it off like a block quotation (see above). Some writers prefer to set off two-line verse quotations for emphasis. Quote the poem line by line as it appears on the original page. Do not use quotation marks, and indent one inch ...


2

Unless you already have a completed manuscript, you are putting the cart before the horse. If you intend to use an agent, you'll need to see what that agent requires, which is usually a query--outline, sample chapter, synopsis, and so on. Most agents (and publishers) no longer need or want the manuscript in paper format. Each has differing requirements ...


2

This is a matter of style and totally up to you. In most cases (period, comma) people will not see the difference. For exclamation marks and question marks it is more obvious. For me it looks better when these marks are italicized: Do you really want to eat this? On the other hand, I would never make them bold or include them into the link formatting. ...


2

You have several different options here, depending on what effect you're trying to achieve. Chat room dialogue is a little tough to work with, because it's pure dialogue, with no emotion or action or simple visibility. Oftentimes, it's enough to say something like, "Roy chatted with Samantha. 'OMG my mom's addicted to FOX news like you wouldn't ...


2

Why should the format of movie scripts from different movie making traditions be the same?!? Here is a typical Italian two column movie script: http://www.cinetecadibologna.it/imageserver/lightboxenlarge/files/biblioteca/sceneggiature/donati/photogallery/la%20grande%20caccia.jpg


2

Small caps can become a temporary convention for something distinct but similar to normal communication. In the same way that ALL CAPS has become symbolic of shouting, other character formatting can be used to imply meaning. In many alternative fiction works, italics is used consistently to symbolize non-verbal telepathic communication. In these cases, ...


2

All caps is for shouting. Small caps could be used as a stylistic device at the beginning of a chapter to look nice, but beyond that I'm struggling to think of where they'd be appropriate. Maybe to quote a poster? For the T-shirt example, if the text on the shirt itself is not in all caps, I'd italicize it (or put it in quotes).


2

First, ask yourself if all the illustrations are necessary (i.e. are these screen captures illustrating a screen with one button on them?). The reader is going to be very annoyed having to flip back and forth between the procedure and the diagram. I don't have any links to show you for that, but I've done actual testing with users and the overwhelming ...


2

Different fonts have been created for different purposes, and you should select a font depending on that purpose. Helvetica and Times, for example, are common fonts that have been created to be easily readable in print. Arial and Verdana, on the other hand, were created specifically to be easily readable on a screen. Both Arial and Verdana look ugly in ...


2

It doesn't matter if your book is 95% one person speaking. If your character is speaking aloud, and especially if you have a second person who interrupts even once a chapter, you must have punctuation indicating that someone is speaking. Also, I very strongly recommend that you don't just present your story as a wall of 95% one person speaking aloud. If ...


2

You should keep the quotation marks. If you believe that they will be distracting or disorientating to the reader, then don't take my word for it, try it yourself with an example: Look at the famous 'Heart of Darkness' by Conrad (the copyright has expired, so it is in the public domain and free to read). It consists almost exclusively of somebody on a boat ...


1

Contrary to what the other answers claim, capitals do not need to mean shouting, but can quite simply mean that what is quoted was written in capital letters. Example: Despite this and other examples, I still stand by my comment that says to avoid all caps. The example would not have changed its meaning if it had read: In one location, Schiavone ...


1

I'd use ellipses for pauses, dashes are usually used for interruption. "I found this - " "That doesn't matter, look what I found!" As opposed to: "She... She's dead."


1

Adding to the answers by Lauren Ipsum and CLockeWork. I'll just look at the second example: Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was — a whale! Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was ... a whale! It seems to me that the dash as a sign of a sudden change works well in the ...


1

Go to Preferences > Corrections, and uncheck this: Sentences will no longer automatically capitalize the first letter.


1

If you know which chapter/section number you need - you know it from table of contents. And that means you know the page number and know which way to go. OTOH, if you remember "Stochastic methods, Limitations" was roughly 2/3 into the book, you can flip pages quickly, skimming the headers, and find required section easily. I'd find it really surprising to ...



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