1. lameri

    lameri New Member

    Mar 27, 2011
    Likes Received:
    SF Bay Area

    Prose pause

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Nov 18, 2011.

    I know this is a matter of style but would like to hear your preferences.

    How do you separate scenes in creative writing? What about jumps in time/space? Do you have categories (for example: one blank line for different scenes, two blank lines for jumps in time)? When I move slowly in time, I don't need many blank lines (assuming I use them to separate topics/scenes), but when I move fast, sometimes I have only one paragraph about a certain topic, so I end up using a lot of blank lines between paragraphs. I wonder if I should get rid of them, and reserve them for big shifts in the narrative.
  2. lostinwebspace

    lostinwebspace Active Member

    Mar 5, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Only two types of breaks: the chapter break and the scene break. The scene break is just one line that should be empty except for a centered pound sign (#) in manuscripts. I don't think there's any two-line breaks or three-line breaks.

    I'd use them only for majorish changes in time or space, or for changes in POV. It's up to your discretion what constitutes a "majorish change." But each writer has his or her own feel for when you need one of these breaks. Sometimes you have to look at it on a case-by-case basis, and others aren't necessarily the best judges of your story.

    For instance, a guy on his way to work could meet with an old girlfriend and have a discussion. You'd skip the rest of his trip and pick up again when he arrives at work. But I wouldn't use a "scene change" even if it's a jump in time ("ten minutes later") and space (he's on the bus and then, a paragraph later, he's at work) since it's part of the same flow, just with the boring chunk missing. But if the guy wakes up the next day, it's a break. That's my opinion.

    The only constant is, if you change POVs, use a break. I've read books that use no breaks, but I find those authors less trustworthy about letting me know what's going on when we're head-jumping.
  3. architectus

    architectus Banned

    Aug 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Just a single break. I use it when there is a large leap in time, change of POV, or something along those lines.
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Coquille, Oregon
    no, two or three-line breaks aren't acceptable... only a single line with a single # placed in the center, as noted above...

    chapter breaks have no symbol between them, the next chapter beginning 1/3 or 1/2 the way down the next page...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice