SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Format: New Line, Not New Sentence

Discussion started on

Not sure if I've posted this in the right place.

In a verse-style ms,
For each new line,
I capitalize the first letter of the first word.

One person pointed out that that's not how it's done anymore, but no one has.

These days,
only the first letter
of a new sentence
is capitalized.
This is what one person
said.

While I've seen this in some published books, I haven't read that it's the new rule for manuscripts.

What do you do? Do you have any resources that list this as the new method?

I just formatted
a new manuscript this way.
Some sentences are short.
Others are long.
It looks wonky.
It looks like I forgot to capitalize the second line.


 
#1 - August 12, 2016, 05:44 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region midatlantic
I do not capitalize the first word of the next line unless it is the beginning of the sentence. So I agree with what your one writing friend told you. I was told several years back that capitalizing the first word of every line was an old-fashioned practice. I don't have any specific resources to confirm, but I think I was told this either by an instructor in a class I took once or a paid, professional critique.

And, just as an added thought, it's always good to try to meet "current practices" in formatting, but it really comes down to the writing. If you write a fabulous, "I must have this" piece of writing, I don't think capitalizing/not capitalizing a word in a line would change an agent/editor's mind.

I look forward to hearing others' thoughts!
#2 - August 12, 2016, 06:07 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
I do it the wonky way.
#3 - August 12, 2016, 10:20 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

 :thankyou both.

Wonky way it is.

It won't look wonky, though, once I get used to it.
#4 - August 13, 2016, 07:26 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

I also don't capitalize the word the first word on the line, unless it's a new sentence. It does look funny at first.
#5 - August 14, 2016, 02:16 AM
Sarah Blake Johnson, MFA
http://sarahblakejohnson.blogspot.com/
Crossings (2017, Cedar Fort)

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
I think I may be the person who originally gave you this info. I got it from the poetry boards over at Absolute Write where many well-published poets hang out. It no longer looks weird to me, but be aware that Word automatically capitalizes the first word of a line. You'll have to double check before you submit.
#6 - August 15, 2016, 07:01 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

 :lol4 It was you, Debbie!

I hadn't remembered that gem until I began seriously formatting a ms for critique.  :goldstar to you for being the only one to mention it.

Check your PMs.

#7 - August 15, 2016, 07:57 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wisconsin
\be aware that Word automatically capitalizes the first word of a line. You'll have to double check before you submit.

You probably can turn off the automatic capitalization. In Office for Mac, the path is Preferences/AutoCorrect, uncheck "Capitalize first letter of sentences," Save.

The path in a Windows version of Word might vary but I'd be surprised if it's not there somewhere.
#8 - August 15, 2016, 09:35 AM

Thanks, Anne. I hadn't even thought to snoop around for that.

Windows becomes intuitive the first time you backspace to make the first letter a cap...but only lasts until you type a period.
#9 - August 15, 2016, 10:10 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.