1. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    A question about formatting.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Diablo Robotico, Jun 13, 2011.

    I'm not sure where to ask this, but in my novel, there is a point where a character receives a letter and I have written out the entire letter. My question is what kind of formatting should the letter have in my manuscript? I'm guessing there should be some indenting involved, but I was looking for something specific. I tried googling it, but I didn't find anything.
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just read a book with a lot of letters between characters so I checked there and it was indented about 0,5 cm on the left (nothing on the right) and written with one size smaller letters and no italics. (althought I think I have read other books with letters in italics) the book by the way was "Norwegian wood"/Haruki Murakami. I don't know if that formatting is standard, it is just the last example I have read.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    letters and such are inserted in a ms as a 'block indent'...

    to do that, simply double the standard .5" indent on the left and indent the same amount on the right...
     
  4. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Most of the time I read letters and such in books they are indented left and right as Mammamaia says, and also in a different font, usually Italicised. I don't know that there's any rule about it, it just seems common practice.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    Thanks, everyone.

    I have seen some letters italicized, but I thought that was probably a style that was added by the publisher, not in the manuscript.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Italicizing the block quote is incorrect. Don't use italics like a sloppy home owner uses duct tape. Italics have specific uses. They aren't there for the purpose of marking arbitrary passages as somehow different from the surrounding text.

    Just because youi see in published (and typeset!) books does not mean it is proper use, especially in manuscript.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agreed!... mss are not the same as printed books... don't confuse the two...
     
  8. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Italics is mostly used for dream sequences. And maybe it would not be needed at all if the writer can execute the dream sequence well by having the reader to already know that the book is a dream sequence. :confused:
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Reggie, it is still incorrect.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good writers don't have to resort to fancy fontery for their fiction readers to know when a character is dreaming, or thinking... leave that up to the publisher and keep your ms in plain font throughout, using italics only to emphasize a word [if really necessary] and for foreign words...
     
  11. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I am glad that I don't write novels anymore. I tend to think in terms of not using italics at all anyway. Not only that I don't write novels anymore, I find it more complicated to write compared to a movie script. But who knows? A novel isn't my stype of writing style anymore. I guess this explains why I don't have what it takes to follow a publisher's rules of writing a novel.
     

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