1. tonten

    tonten Active Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Likes Received:

    Lines Breaks When Submitting Sample Chapters

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by tonten, Feb 13, 2010.

    I read in another thread about line breaks when submitting sample chapters to an agent/publishers. From the posts, I read that when you have a line break in your work, you will use a # to indicate it.

    However, I just want to be clarified, what exactly are line breaks? Are they the three asterix/or spacing used to indicate the scene change or when a person reads a letter?

    If they are, would we insert two line breaks instead of one to indicate the scene change?

    Because right now, my manuscript is formatted as such that I use double breaks to indicate a scene change (instead of the three asterixs) and a single break when a person is reading a letter.

    Would I insert two # for the scene changes and a single # for the reading of the letters?
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A single # symbol, centered horizointally on an oterwise blank line, is the standard section break. A section break separates scenes within the same chapter, but a sectioin break need not be inserted every time there is a scene change.

    A section break is a stronger scene separator than a transition without a section break.

    For instance, a character is having a conversation in a bar. He gets up, pays his bill, and heads out to the parking lot. There, he encounters someone he owes money to, and an argument begins. You've had a scene change that probably doesn't need a section break.

    Now you start with the same scene in the bar. But this time, the next scene switches to the POV of someone else he was supposed to meet with an hour ago. That's a scene change far more likely to call for a section break.

    There is only one standard: a single centered # symbol. Your publisher may or may not care if you use ### or * or *** instead, but you should use # if you want to look like you know what you're doing. Whatever you choose, be consistent -- you either use a section break, or you don't. Don't try to create a set of subtly different section breaks. Choose one, and stick with it.
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    what cog said!

    if you're including a letter, it should be done as a block insert, indented at both sides... with a # break before and after...

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