1. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30

    An Odd Formatting Question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Show, May 29, 2012.

    I kind of got a burst of inspiration today and churned out the draft of a short story. I like it. Problem is, it kind of raised an interesting issue with formatting that I am not totally sure the best way to resolve.

    Without getting into details, two characters are watching something on a television. Since it's a short film (and is a large and essential part of the plot), I basically detail the entire film, almost as if it's a short story within the short story. (If that's the right way to put it.) The issue's coming in that I am also detailing the two character's reactions to the film at a few places within the film. I am unsure how to really make this flow right. I considered putting either the reactions or the movie narration in a different kind of type (ie italics or something), but that seems like it wouldn't look right and I've heard such things advised against. I don't really want to make new scenes just for a brief reaction. And I don't want to cut out the reactions altogether because the film would definitely provoke reaction from one of the characters. Any ideas on how to format this so it looks right? Thanks. :)
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    do NOT use different font or type style!... submit it like that and you'd be branding yourself a clueless amateur...

    what you can do and what would work best, imo, is to insert the film scenes as block indents... that way, you can intersperse the film scenes with story scenes and not confuse your readers...
     
  3. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    Wasn't really planning on submitting it anywhere anytime soon. Was basically just an impulse write that I'll pass around to friends to see if it has any legs. :p Merely wanted it to look right to avoid confusion.

    But yes, thanks. That's kind of the effect I was going for. Indentations should work. :) Any idea on a good number of points to indent? Also, should I remove paragraph indents and perhaps make this single spacing? The block indent did help a little but I could still see a few areas where the transition may not be quite as apparent.
     
  4. Ali
    Offline

    Ali Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Windsor, UK
    How about making sure that the viewers' comment are all in thought or speech so that you can indent new paragraphs and use speech marks to differentiate that way,
    Alex
     
  5. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    I think I essentially did that. I just don't want the speech comments to run together with the movie scenes. Obviously, those paying attention will know who is who, but I'm a bit worried about the rough transition between scenes.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    block indents are generally 10 spaces on either side...

    everything in a ms must be double-spaced, no exceptions...

    what purpose would be served by removing indents?... you still need to separate action and dialog, so either format the film scenes the same as you do others, or arrange them more like an actual script, with dialog headed by characters' names...
     
  7. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    Well, as it was, I could see some momentary bleeds between movie and viewers, and I wanted to keep both distinct. 10 p. indents would help with that though. It does look a little better and should likely do. But I'll probably just pass it around to some people to see how the transitions flow.
     

Share This Page