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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    CAPS or no caps?

    In my latest story my MC receives an e-mail that sets the story in motion.

    My intent is having those words stand apart from the narration and other dialogue so Iím considering using all capital letters.

    Any thoughts on the subject would be deeply appreciated.

    Musk

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    Reading all caps can be annoying, especially if it's a long email. If you want it to stand out, you can always use italics.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Rogue. Reading all caps is very difficult for me, and I nearly always skip over forum posts that have them. If you want it to stand out, you can indent the e-mail like you would a long quote in a research paper and/or use italics. I've seen both of these methods used in books, and they are very effective. If it's a really long e-mail (like several paragraphs or longer), though, you may want to consider not using italics, as that can also get annoying to read.
    "Don't try to control the reader, just help them along." -- my mom

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elven Candy View Post
    I agree with Rogue. Reading all caps is very difficult for me, and I nearly always skip over forum posts that have them. If you want it to stand out, you can indent the e-mail like you would a long quote in a research paper and/or use italics. I've seen both of these methods used in books, and they are very effective. If it's a really long e-mail (like several paragraphs or longer), though, you may want to consider not using italics, as that can also get annoying to read.
    I agree that block quotes are a good idea if it's a long email.

  5. #5
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    Caps are always a bad idea because it gives the impression of shouting. That email should read, for the reader, as it reads for the protagonist.

    Something else to think about: The reader is hoping to be entertained. And that reader, if you've done your work well, has an empathetic connection to the protagonist, and is in that character's viewpoint. If so, they will react to the missive as the protagonist does, and all is well. But if you haven't established that emotional link, for the words will have no emotional content till you give it some, and that risks knocking the reader out of the story because they're seeking to be entertained, not informed.

    So if you begin with the letter, think about either opening earlier, to place the reader into the protagonist's viewpoint, or have the protagonist mentally sum up the letter as it has meaning to him/her—the salient points as your character understands them instead of providing the text.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all your comments.

    Thw e-mail isn't long and is only referenced in the first page but is the reason my MC returns home unexpectedly.

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