Setting the scene for a dream

by Laurie

Question: The character in my manuscript is an older adult dreaming about her childhood. The dream takes place during the summer when she was sixteen. I would like to describe how she matured over the prior winter, setting the scene for when the male figure, who hasn't seen her since the end of the last summer, notices her maturity. It isn't the start of a new chapter, so should I double space three or four times to show a change of scene, then give the description before starting the dream in italics, or should I start the dream in italics and find a place to break from the dream, give the description unitalicized, then go back to the dream?

I also want to say how much I appreciate this web site. Thank you, Glen, for your help!

Answer: If you want to show a break in the middle of a chapter, simply do a carriage return at the end of one paragraph (which, in double-spacing means go down two lines), insert a "#" symbol in the centre of the line, and then do another carriage return before starting the next section. The "#" symbol indicates to the printer that the gap is intentional and not a mistake on your part which they would be inclined to "correct."

As for your second question, I can't answer that for you. You may just have to try it both ways and decide which one you find most effective.

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