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ABOUT "DYNAMIC FORMATTING" - 

Just so you know -

                      the extra blank spaces are supposed to be there. The unusual spacing is a part of what I have come to call Dynamic Formatting. In a nutshell, it is the use of visual elements to convey additional information within the printed word. I come by this honestly: my father was a high school art teacher and his help with my drawings in elementary school started my lifetime enjoyment of art. I even ended up with a degree in Art. (long story, laid out under the Author tab) Bottom line? I don’t claim to be an artist, but I do often see things in a different way.

 

As noted above, one of the primary manifestations of Dynamic Formatting are the addition of spaces to substitute for lapsing time, as in, the more spaces, the longer the pause in phrasing. I almost always do this within the context of dialogue, both in conversations and character’s internal thinking. To my eye, and internal ear, the spacing produces a rhythm as you read, a pacing that further describes the exchange and more completely presents the characters.

Dynamic Formatting also uses multiple fonts. Now I am not the first writer to do this. However, I first saw it done on a larger scale in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books with the use of a tombstone engraving font whenever his character Death spoke. When I immediately knew who had begun speaking in a surprise appearance by Death in one of Pratchett’s books, it occurred to me that this device could be used even more extensively to create similar and additional effects.

So     I have set the base font as Times New Roman, which includes all of Joshua’s speaking and thoughts (it is his story, after all), but Franklin Gothic Book is used for the dialogue of any minor character. For the other major characters, I have selected specific fonts with an eye to enhancing character presentation, while also maintaining readability (frilly cursive fonts are just a real pain to read). The alternating of fonts during conversations also eliminates much of the need for dialogue identification phrases, such as: he replied, she said, George answered, etc. Getting rid of such filler words speeds things up for the reader and creates a more natural flow in the verbal exchanges between characters.

Finally, there are times I have used spacing to create a dramatic effect. I have done this sparingly, so as to avoid taxing the reader. Perhaps you will feel I have failed in that effort. Or you may just be a traditionalist, like my son (“That’s what commas, ellipses, and dashes are for, Dad”). Or maybe, by the end of the book, you found that Dynamic Formatting works for you and you like it. Whatever your reaction, go to the Home page and cast your vote! You can also click on the Contact tab and send an email with any feedback you may have about the book in general. I am very appreciative of reader’s thoughts and ideas.

So     I have set the base font as Times New Roman, which includes all of Joshua’s speaking and thoughts (it is his story, after all), but Franklin Gothic Book is used for the dialogue of any minor character. For the other major characters, I have selected specific fonts with an eye to enhancing character presentation, while also maintaining readability (frilly cursive fonts are just a real pain to read). The alternating of fonts during conversations also eliminates much of the need for dialogue identification phrases, such as: he replied, she said, George answered, etc. Getting rid of such filler words speeds things up for the reader and creates a more natural flow in the verbal exchanges between characters.

Finally, there are times I have used spacing to create a dramatic effect. I have done this sparingly, so as to avoid taxing the reader. Perhaps you will feel I have failed in that effort. Or you may just be a traditionalist, like my son (“That’s what commas, ellipses, and dashes are for, Dad”). Or maybe, by the end of the book, you found that Dynamic Formatting works for you and you like it. Whatever your reaction, go to the Home page and cast your vote! You can also click on the Contact tab and send an email with any feedback you may have about the book in general. I am very appreciative of reader’s thoughts and ideas.

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