Craft, Editing, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Reading, Tips, Writing

If you hadn’t noticed …

It’s Monday, if you hadn’t noticed, and I should have had a post ready at my usual time (pre-dawn PST, if you hadn’t noticed.) Actually, I should have posted yesterday because I try to keep to an every-other-day schedule, if you hadn’t noticed. In either case, I failed, if … nah, I won’t say it again. So, you’re now reading another of my tip of the brain meanderings. This could get ugly.

Yeah, I wish ... for many reasons!

Despite the fact that I’ve started reading four different novels, I put them all aside to start reading my own. Initially, since I added a new first chapter and demoted the old one to second place, I planned to read just those, but then I thought, Why not? and printed out the whole book. I’m dismayed to see how many of those pretty pages have developed a case of strange red markings.

After almost five months away, I can read a bit more like a first-time reader. Enough to see a few sentences I thought were perfectly clear were not. Enough to spot a couple lapses in logical flow. Enough to see that I have an unseemly fondness for section breaks. Oh my.

I’ve always been unsure of my ability when it comes to section and chapter breaks, though I think I’m okay on paragraph breaks. (But now, of course, I’m wondering if I should recheck those too.) Whenever I doubt my formatting, I pull a dozen or so novels from my shelves to see how the pros do it. Do you do this too?

Sometimes I read a book that uses both double-drops and breaks denoted by some little squiggle. That confuses me. Are double drops and section breaks two different things? This is an example of something I don’t know the rule for … if there is one. What say ye?

In other news: You may have noticed that I sent out my last post in abbreviated form. I admit, yes, this was an experiment to see how many of you would click through to read the entire post. As it turned out, I saw only a marginal rise in blog hits. Plus, one reader emailed to ask me to please return to full feeds. So, I have … if you didn’t notice. 🙂

Okay, time’s up.

Your turn: I read all weekend, what did you do?

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27 thoughts on “If you hadn’t noticed …”

  1. As for my weekend, I slept in! I don’t sleep enough, so that’s a big deal. I also cut off about 14 inches of my hair and watched films with a friend and my husband.


  2. Linda, isn’t that the best feeling when you can get space from a project and read it freshly? I love that. And it feels so fleeting. Putting away a novel and STAYING away (just a peek?!) is so tough, but always worth the distance when it comes time to revise.


  3. I read Room this week-end — first book using the iPad (which I LOVE).

    I have a ton of breaks in my WIPs, which are, unfortunately, still WIPs. I always double space between paragraphs and if it is a ‘real’ break, I’ll stick in another space to indicate that you should blink before moving on. I used to use ** at those points, but it looks distracting to me.

    That’s the Rule According to Natasha For Her Own Internal Use and I would be more than willing (!!) to do it differently should Random House or Little, Brown or Someone decide to publish one of my masterpieces and prefer a different method of denoting breaks.


    1. We discussed this in my critique group today and I’ve settled on using *** to indicate a scene break. And, particular to my novel, I will transition into and out of flashbacks.

      I want to use standard formatting so when I submit my ms, at least it will look like I know what I’m doing. 😉


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