1. Johnny_Westerner
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    Johnny_Westerner New Member

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    Handling Section Breaks in Standard Manuscript Format

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Johnny_Westerner, Jan 22, 2015.

    I have a novel that I need to convert to standard manuscript format, and have a couple of questions.

    Standard manuscript format specifies double-spacing with left-alignment and a one-inch margin all around. So far, so good. But what I want to know is how to handle chapter and scene-break headings. Should these be retained as they are (both chapter titles and scene-numbers are centred on the page in the piece's existing format) or should they be replaced with asterisk ellipses?

    My second question is whether chapters should begin on a new page. I've seen conflicting advice on this, and want to make sure I get it right.

    I'm afraid my RSA Word Processing qualifications never covered this topic - God, I was sold a pup. Sighs ...

    Any help greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are a few variations in "standard", these days, but as a general rule - yes, new page for each new chapter, but make sure you do it with a hard page break, not just a bunch of manually entered blank lines. (ie. in Word, hit CTRL-Enter at the same time).

    Scene breaks used to be centred ###, but lots of people have converted to centred * * * - just make sure Word doesn't auto-correct that to a dark line or whatever. I'm lazy and tend to leave my ### left-justified, but if you're sending the MS to a stickler, you probably want to centre. I don't know what an "asterisk ellipse" is...

    There could be regional variations on these, but these are what I use to submit to US markets and there's never been a complaint or a problem.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was under the impression that a single #, centered, was sufficient.
     
  4. Johnny_Westerner
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    Johnny_Westerner New Member

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    Okay, thanks for your replies. That's very helpful.
     

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