Formatting

Hello,

I am self publishing my first book and I'm struggling with the formatting specifics. I just have a few questions:

1. What is the best font size and style for a 6x9 fiction book? I am currently using Times New Roman on size 12. 

2. My novel is written in sections, each section taking place in the POV of one of my main two characters. I would like a page in the middle separating the sections that has the name of the POV and the time it takes place (I read Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave  and The Infinite Sea and he changed characters and time periods without specifying, and at times it was difficult to know the POV and time period until half way through that section). I was just wondering if I should change how I'm doing that. At this point, I have that page starting on the next odd page after the previous section, and then the first chapter starting on the next odd page. I was given the advice to do this by a fellow indie author, but in my mind that just looks weird. 

3. How do you make chapters start in the middle of a page in MW? I was told to do this as well by a fellow indie author, and think it would make the interior appear much more professional. I'm not sure how to do this.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated. 

--L. Mitchell

Comments

  • Eric Van Lustbader changes characters pov in chapters like that as well. I think most people do use New Times 12. I prefer Garamond font myself.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I have just read a thick book and every chapter is named after the main character in that chapter. Every chapter has a 'title' page preceding it.

    I also use garamond, but at 12pnt.

  • 1.  Times 11, Times 12, even Times 10 would work, depending on how you want it to look. Many use Garamond 11 or 12 -- I believe that the template goes to Garamond 11 by default.

     

    2. Next odd page for an intermediary "Book 2" page, then text starting on next odd page, should work very well. You do need a certain amount of white space, to give the reader room to breathe. So I wouldn't change what you're doing.

     

    3. In Microsoft Word, on the page that is the first page of the chapter, simply press "return" until you've reached the appropriate spot. Most fiction books published in the US seem to have anywhere from 10% to 50% of the first page a of a chapter as blanks space. There are exceptions, and books published in England seem to start as near the top margin as is possible.

     

    If this is not one of the places where you're putting an intermediary page as a divider, you can insert a page break after the last line of the previous chaper -- this will keep your blank space from moving around as you edit prior passages -- and then press return until you have an eye-pleasing amount of blank space.

     

    Hope that helps.

  • What does "POV" mean?

  • potetjp wrote:
    What does "POV" mean?

    Point of view.

     

    In this style, one chapter may use first person pronouns to tell the story of one character, then another chapter or section may use first person pronouns to tell the story from another character's viewpoint.

     

    Sometimes the timeline shifts back and forth as well, so that one sees a single scene as two different witnesses describe it -- another way to achieve sliding perspective.

  • Thanks a lot Kevin and Skoob_Ym. I happen to be reading the French translation of a Turkish novel that uses this technique : Ohran Pamuk, Mon nom est rouge (My Name is Red), 1998, 2001. The narrator of chapter 10 is a tree: Je suis l'arbre (I am the Tree). It takes place among artists in charge of illuminating books.

  • potetjp wrote:
    Thanks a lot Kevin and Skoob_Ym. I happen to be reading the French translation of a Turkish novel that uses this technique : Ohran Pamuk, Mon nom est rouge (My Name is Red), 1998, 2001. The narrator of chapter 10 is a tree: Je suis l'arbre (I am the Tree). It takes place among artists in charge of illuminating books.

    My imagination runs wild at the thought of what a tree might have to say... Smiley Very Happy

  • I'm sure you'd enjoy it. This book is regarded as a masterpiece of moden literature.
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