Categories Writing articles
Scene breaks overkill
Scene breaks are a way of separating scenes in novels, to distinguish the end of one scene and the beginning of another. This is convenient for readers because it gives them a chance to pause, and maybe reflect on the last scene, before reading the next one.
They are also convenient for writers, because they also give them a chance to pause, and reflect what they have written so far, and what they should write next.
What kind of scene break should we use?
Some writers just leave a blank line between their scenes, and really, this should be enough to make it clear that it’s a scene break.
Others use asterisks, which of course look like this *, to separate them. You can just use a single one, like this *, or two, like this **, or three, like this ***.
Another idea is to use a line of dots.
But how many dots do you use?
Are you supposed to count them every time, to make sure that you have used the same number of dots on each line?
No, of course not, you would just copy and paste each line of dots.
Other writers use an image, instead.
But the problem with this is, it can be irritating, and distracting.
I discovered this when I used an image of a musket to separate the scenes in my novel ‘Rebel Liar.’
At first, it looked fine, but after I proof read the novel a few times the musket became irritating.
Let’s face it, everyone knows what a musket looks like, it isn’t necessary to display an image of one between every scene.
For some strange reason, asterisks aren’t irritating.
This might be because they are smaller than muskets so are less intrusive.
Or it might be because we are familiar with them, because they are part of our computer keyboards, so we are more willing to accept them.