View Full Version : A couple of formatting questions


John2011
02-17-2012, 05:39 AM
If we make the first paragraph of a chapter with no indent, then the rest with an indent.

But a bit further on in the same chapter there is a scene break. Should the scene break start with or without an indent for the first paragraph?

Also how do you cope when you use a large cap to start a chapter, but say the next chapter starts with a quote e.g. "My gosh that was close." he said.

Do you include the quote AND the first letter in the large start character?

I am sure you experienced book makers have an answer for these problems.

Peace,
John P.

Jellby
02-17-2012, 06:15 AM
Regarding the indent, I've seen different conventions. Note that in other languages (French, Spanish) all paragraphs are indented, even the first of the chapter.

For the large cap there's also different styles. It's not rare to just drop the initial quote, but I'd prefer including the quote somehow, either in the same style as the large cap or in the normal text style, which to choose is an aesthetic matter.

dwig
02-17-2012, 10:14 AM
If we make the first paragraph of a chapter with no indent, then the rest with an indent.

But a bit further on in the same chapter there is a scene break. Should the scene break start with or without an indent for the first paragraph?...

It's is a matter of preferred style rather than any "rule of typography".

Personally, I prefer that all paragraphs distinguish themselves with some difference in the placement or style of the first character(s), regardless of where they are in the flow of the text.

I prefer no indent only when there is some font styling applied (e.g. large initial cap, drop cap, caps and small caps for the first few words, ...). This means that unless such styling is used for the first paragraph after a scene break, which is something I avoid, the new scene should begin with an indented paragraph.

As to the issue with the leading quote, it must be retained and made to look good along with the first regular character. Also, the styling of all chapters should be the same. Before you decide to use a particular styling for the beginning of a chapter you should review all chapters to make sure your chosen styling will work for all. If you keep the enlarged first character styling I would lean toward having the quote mark and the first regular character both enlarged.

HarryT
02-18-2012, 05:38 AM
If we make the first paragraph of a chapter with no indent, then the rest with an indent.

But a bit further on in the same chapter there is a scene break. Should the scene break start with or without an indent for the first paragraph?


It's normal for the first paragraph after a scene break not to have an indent.

John2011
02-19-2012, 05:35 AM
Thank you Jellby, dwig and HarryT for your reply's.

Your answers have confirmed what I thought was the way for doing things. But I wasn't sure, so the best thing to do in that situations is to ask.

It is very helpful to have you guys here answering our questions. It is most appreciated.

Peace,

John P.