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Old 01-24-2020, 03:52 PM   #1
Sting8
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How to handle formatting of foreshadow scenes

My book is broken down into chapters by DAY. I have several short one-paragraph scenes of foreshadowing - either at the beginning of a chapter or at the end - that I separate out for the reader by using "* * *"

But some test readers have suggested that these scenes should be completely outside of any chapter and stand on their own as they have nothing to do with the Day chapter they might be in, which is correct.

But I didn't do this because of what I envion as a technical thing for some devices - don't some devices may allow the user to scroll continuously? Meaning there is no such thing as outside of any chapter - moving a scene outside of a chapter would merely show it then at the end of the previous chapter.

So, I'm kind of stumped... the only thing I can think of would be to put them onto their own page, centered VERTICALLY and maybe with "* * *" both top and bottom so they would be for sure good on non-scrolling devices and on the ones that can scroll, there would be plenty of blank space before and after - but I think that may create an equally weird situaion for those devices.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:52 PM   #2
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No real ereader scrolls. They are all page based. All the decent apps and PC preview/ereader programs I use do paging by default. Only a few allow scrolling.
Scrolling doesn't even work well on eink.

I use a Preamble Title style (centred and bold) in sans, and a Preamble text style with larger margins (normal, justified) in sans for text content after a chapter heading and that would work after

* * *
At chapter end.
I use a serif font for the body text.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:51 AM   #3
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Put them in separate files so they act as chapters on their own page, but untitled. Have a top margin of about 1/3 page, maybe 4 em (rather than vertically centring, which is very tricky, if possible at all).

If you want to list them in the TOC, you can call them "Interlude 1, 2, 3..." You don't need to put that visibly on the actual page though, can do it as hidden text so it is picked up if you generate the TOC from headings, e.g.:

<h1 style="height:0; margin:0" title="Interlude 2"/>
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting8 View Post
My book is broken down into chapters by DAY. I have several short one-paragraph scenes of foreshadowing - either at the beginning of a chapter or at the end - that I separate out for the reader by using "* * *"

But some test readers have suggested that these scenes should be completely outside of any chapter and stand on their own as they have nothing to do with the Day chapter they might be in, which is correct.

But I didn't do this because of what I envion as a technical thing for some devices - don't some devices may allow the user to scroll continuously? Meaning there is no such thing as outside of any chapter - moving a scene outside of a chapter would merely show it then at the end of the previous chapter.

So, I'm kind of stumped... the only thing I can think of would be to put them onto their own page, centered VERTICALLY and maybe with "* * *" both top and bottom so they would be for sure good on non-scrolling devices and on the ones that can scroll, there would be plenty of blank space before and after - but I think that may create an equally weird situaion for those devices.
What I've seen most commonly in books all over is for scenes involving dreams, visions, etc, is italics, plain and simple. That sets it apart from the normal narrative flow.

Unless your project will be digital only with no print edition ever, formatting solely for digital is counterindicated. What you do for digital will have to be undone for print (still a big part of most genres) and audio.

Commonality is one of the biggest reasons most commercial digital books remain print replicas and ignore fancy graphics, fonts, and animation. These and more are all doable but ignored because what people buy is narrative (both fiction and nonfiction) not formatting. In fact, one of the more prized attributes of ebooks is the ability to override publisher formatting on everything this side of pdf. So unless you're doing a digital only project where formatting is intrinsic and essential to *you*, don't bother going fancy. Readers can figure out different narrative streams. Don't underestimate them.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:20 AM   #5
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I've seen things like this be formatted in a sans-serif font. But don't embed one. Just let the default sans-serif be used.

Code:
font-family: sans-serif;
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