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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Gbug on May 13, 2020, 06:42 AM

Title: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Gbug on May 13, 2020, 06:42 AM
Hello!  I've written a PB in verse. When I type it out line by line for submission, does the first word of each line need to be capitalized, even if it's the middle of a sentence?  For example (and this is not my story, just something random). "Fluffy clouds up in the sky are racing past and floating by."

If I broke this into lines---

Fluffy clouds up in the sky
Are racing past and floating by.

In this example, for manuscript submission format, should "Are" be capitalized or not?  I've done an internet search for examples and have seen this both ways. I realize, at least for this example, this particular sentence could be one line. I never know with submitting verse, if it's better to put everything long single sentences or broken into parts. These are all rhyming sentences. If I turn my PB into single sentences, the rhyme would be completed in each sentence (like the example above). That probably has a name but I don't know what it is.

Thanks!!  I hope my question makes sense.
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Vijaya on May 13, 2020, 08:11 AM
Word capitalizes the first letter in every line as a default but you can turn that off.
I think some of this might depend on house style but I only capitalize the letter at the beginning of the sentence when writing verse.
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Gbug on May 13, 2020, 08:15 AM
Thanks Vijaya! 
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Brian Garrison on May 13, 2020, 08:25 AM
From my understanding, capitalizing each line of verse is much less common now than it used to be. When printing a PB, I think that capitalizing each line would make it confusing to someone learning to read. I use standard sentence capitalization for my rhyming MSs (no capital just for new line).
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 13, 2020, 06:17 PM
Capitalizing each line used to be proper for poetry, but it no longer is. Now it would be seen as old fashioned.

In terms of writing each line fully or breaking it, that's a choice. Make a dummy of your picture book and see how the lines fall on the pages. Line breaks are important to poetry, like page breaks with the picture book. They are a tool of the trade.
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Ev on May 13, 2020, 06:31 PM
I think it's poetic choice, Gbug.  If you have a good reason for capitalizing every line, I think it's okay.  I do agree with Brian about it being potentially confusing to beginner readers. On the other hand, many picture books are read to kids and aren't usually read by them.

My personal preference for formatting is to not capitalize the second line (i.e., the second half of the sentence), but to indent it.
Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Gbug on May 14, 2020, 08:23 AM
Is this something that would, in the end, ultimately be decided by an editor?

Title: Re: Formatting PB manuscript
Post by: Vijaya on May 14, 2020, 12:20 PM
Yes, though you can make a case for or against it :)