How a scene break should be marked, if at all, in a manuscript submitted to a publisher or editor.
Do publishers and editors expect a # symbol at every scene break in a manuscript? Is that the standard in the U.S.?
How should I mark a scene break when I am writing in Scrivener.
When I decide to make a scene break when writing in Scrivener, should I enter a new line and enter a # symbol? Should I leave the new line blank? If I am supposed to enter a # symbol, should I center it on the new line in my text?
How the Scrivener compilation process handles the marking of a scene break.
When compiling, does Scrivener mark a scene break with a # symbol only where I have put a # symbol on a blank line? Or does the compilation process insert a # symbol only where I have inserted a new line and left it blank? I would like to stick to compilation defaults as much as possible.
[b][b][b]The screen breaks are inserted during the compilation process. Go through the Compiling section of the manual and you’ll see various options. I leave it at whatever the novel template defaults to, but for those who must twiddle there are a variety of options.
The crux: editors (I are one) don’t care a fig how you separate your scenes, so long as you do it clearly and consistently. Though we look at you with horror if you use lots of graphics and flying toasters and the like (yes, I’ve seen it)[/b].[/b][/b]
I’d second Ahab’s vote to just let the defaults handle it for you. The Standard Manuscript Format preset is a pretty safe bet. It assumes you’ll be either be organising your chapters as individual text files, or as folders containing individual scene text files. Either way will work out of the box—but if you prefer another way of organising go right ahead. The preset just makes assumptions—you can change them. If you use scene files in folders, you’ll get “#” breaks for free. Don’t even bother with it. If you get gruff about it, you can change it in one spot in the compile settings to whatever the picky editor/publisher wants. (See Separators compile option pane)
If you use chapter-length files, well then you are more literally typing in the structure of the book instead of leaving that to the software, so you’ll need to type in the hashmarks yourself—it’s more like a normal word processor the larger you make your files, as a rule of thumb.
To better see how this all fits together, try making a new blank test project. Just save it somewhere temporary like your desktop. All you are going to do is: select the Draft folder in the left outline, use the File/New Folder menu command. Call it “Meal Worms”. Now tap the Enter key to make a new file inside that folder. Call it whatever you want and type in a test line. Put in two or three more cards; move the original “Untitled” one in there as well to get it out of the way. Put test lines in them all.
Now use File/Compile and set your “Format As” preset to “Novel Standard Manuscript”. Compile for PDF and check out the file you made.
You should see a “CHAPTER ONE // Meal Worms” followed by your one-liner test files separated by ‘#’ marks. Then an End Of File pattern at the bottom. That’s it. The compiler worries about formatting—note it doesn’t even look like the editor in terms of font and all that—meanwhile you handle the words.
If you want to cheat, I’ve attached a sample project using the above described process, but I encourage you to make your own as well to get practice with the software. example_scenes.scriv.zip (31.1 KB)