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  1. #1
    Carla Birnberg
    Guest

    "***" in writing fiction

    Hi all,

    long time lurker havent posted in a while.

    I know this isnt the proper place for this but I also know how on the ball you all are here...and it is the most visited area.

    Here is my question (I do recall reading a thread on this but my search turned up nothing!):

    what does " *** " indicate?

    is there a hard and fast rule?

    lets say---for example---a character is eating breakfast with her brother and is excited about going to see a play and they are talking about all about it.

    May I then: ***

    and pick up after the play has concluded and still be in the same chapter?

    thanks so much.

    Yours in perplexnessment,
    Carla



  2. #2
    Andrew Spriggs
    Guest

    Re: "***" in writing fiction

    *** indicates an ellipsis in book time. However, with your example, why would you not describe the play itself? I usually use *** to indicate scene changes, (or character changes).

  3. #3
    Carla Birnberg
    Guest

    Re: "***" in writing fiction

    Hmmmmm, perhaps Id be using them incorrectly then (it's actually a movie marathon the young tween character is watching and I just wanted to indicate that time had passed/hour marathon was over).

    it's a sample chapter for an editor and Im on a tight word allotment or Id definitely add in a description.

    THANKS for responding Andrew.

  4. #4
    Jerry Hatchett
    Guest

    Re: "***" in writing fiction

    ... is used at the end of a piece of dialog and signifies a trailing off of the speech.

    -- signals interrupted speech.

    *** or variations thereof are often used as scene breaks to denote a jump in time, location, or both. Also note that it's not the correct way to do it. A single #, centered, on a line by itself, is the proper way to indicate a scene break in a manuscript.

    To be clear, it's highly unlikely that such an issue will have much of an impact on the reading of your work, but I'm of the belief that it's silly to create any strikes against yourself when it's so easy to do it right and show that you have a serious command of industry conventions.

    j

  5. #5
    Carla Birnberg
    Guest

    Re: "***" in writing fiction

    Thanks Jerry.

    To clarify, in my sample chapter it would look like:

    "thanks for the muffins mom."


    #


    "Emma? You've been asleep for an hour!"




    (I didnt know that was how you did it.)

  6. #6
    Carla Birnberg
    Guest

    Re: "***" in writing fiction

    that # was centered when I hit post

  7. #7
    Jerry Hatchett
    Guest

    Yup, that's it, Carla.

    Just be sure you center the break symbol.

    j

  8. #8
    Ann Crispin
    Guest

    Re: Yup, that's it, Carla.

    The three asterisks, centered, is an old fashioned way of indicating a scene break. It's not really incorrect...I still use it. Nobody ever fussed with me about doing it, probably because they realize I am just an old dinosaur who can't learn new tricks.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  9. #9
    Carla Birnberg
    Guest

    Re: Yup, that's it, Carla.

    thanks Ann.

    I shall deem myself a middle aged dinosaur who learns new tricks and then promptly forgets them.

    Your contribution here is invaluable...I always look forward to reading your posts.
    Carla

  10. #10
    JW
    Guest

    Re: Yup, that's it, Carla.

    no, the *** means that those two immediately started having sex. All of life and all of literature are in fact porno movies, it's just that most are very poorly written.

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