• Richard Lutman

THE SHORT STORY: Use of Italics and White Space


As I discussed earlier anything that stops your story’s forward momentum needs to be examined. Italics and white space (double drops) if used incorrectly can easily stop the momentum.

Italics are generally used to emphasize a word or the interior thoughts of a character. The use of italics needs to be consistent. If you start out using italics for emphasis don’t suddenly change to interior thoughts. You do not want to confuse your reader.

White space is used to indicate a time shift has occurred within the story. Each shift must immediately state when and where the action is occurring in the new scene. Asterisks can also be used. I prefer the double drop.

For example: One month later when she suggested they move into his townhouse together; the decision had been easy.

“Do you know there are many Views of Toledo by El Greco, Ash?” she asked him three days after she had moved in as they sat on his balcony drinking coffee.

You must also change the default values as follows: In the PARAGRAPH toolbox change the default in spacing from 10pt to 0pt. This will eliminate the automatic white space between each paragraph. Also in Indentation under special change none to first line which will automatically indent each paragraph by 0.5.

#shortstory

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