The Project Gutenberg FAQ - V-121

V.121. Sample 1: Typical formatting issues of a novel.

Look at the image novel.gif. It shows a page of a novel, with several typical formatting decisions to be made.

We note that there is no end-quote on the first paragraph, but that's OK, since the second paragraph is a continuation by the same speaker, so the first paragraph doesn't need a closequote. There is also an italicized "I", which will end up with underscores, but there is nothing else to give us any difficulty.

In the second paragraph, we have an ellipsis, an italicized French word with an accented letter, the British pound symbol, and an italicized "Here".

The ellipsis is simple.

Let's assume we're making this into a 7-bit text, so we're going to convert the non-ASCII character a-circumflex and the pound sign. The a-circumflex just goes to an "a", but we have several choices we can make about the pound sign.

The italicized "Here" is clearly for emphasis, so we will mark that up. The word "flaneur" is italicized because it is not English, but possibly also for emphasis . . . if the sentence had read "The Major is a fool", with the word "fool" italicized, it would clearly be emphasis. As it stands, we don't know whether emphasis is intended. This doesn't matter if we are just using _underscores_ or /slants/ to render italics, but if we use CAPITALS, we're going to have to impose our best guess on one side or the other.

The third paragraph shows some vaguely familiar squiggles--Greek letters! We hit the PG transliteration guide at [V.81] and spell it out . . . rough-breathing upsilon = hu; beta = b; rho = r; iota = i; final sigma = s. So the Greek word transliterates as "hubris". Since hubris is a familiar word, we don't need to make a fuss about it, though we may _italicize_ it.

We then have a note, which we will format a little differently from the main text to help it stand out, and a new chapter heading.

We should certainly indent the second line of the Byron quotation to preserve its original form, but we have the option whether or not to indent the first line a little to signal to any future automatic converter that this is not to be rewrapped.

In the first paragraph of the new chapter, we need to get rid of the hyphenation of "Wentworth" at line-end and fix the two em-dashes.

In the second paragraph of the new chapter, we have a long dash between "d" and "l", clearly meant to denote "devil", so we will fill it in with three dashes, and we see a three-em-dash after "Lord H", so we can use six, or possibly four, dashes for that.

Finally, we have a table, a list of money values against names.

Depending on the standards we've chosen to use throughout the book, we could render these details in a variety of ways. For illustration, here are two acceptable possibilities:

"I shall go down to Wokingham", said Middleton, "a few days 
before the election, and the Major will stay here. I 
understand that there will be no other candidate, and _I_
shall take the seat.

"The Major is a . . . _flaneur_. He has no interest beyond 
his own advancement. I can buy him for a hundred pounds. 
_Here_ is his answer."

Wallace wondered at the _hubris_ of his friend, and 
examined the note Middleton thrust upon him.

"Sir,
    No consideration would induce me to
change my resolve in this matter, but I am
willing to engage your services as my agent
for a fee of 100 pounds.
                     H. Middleton"



CHAPTER XV

THE ELECTION

  Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
      Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                                    ---- BYRON

On hearing of Middleton's visit, Mr. Wentworth began his 
preparations. Meeting with Thomas Lake and Riley at the 
back of the tap-room of The Bull--where the landlord saw
to it that they remained undisturbed--he laid out their
plan of campaign.

"That d---l Middleton shall not have the seat," he raved,
"not for Lord H------; no, nor for a hundred Lords! We 
shall see to it that every man's hand is turned against
him when he arrives."

Lake unfolded a paper from his vest-pocket and smoothed it
on the table. "Here are the expenses we should undertake."
       Doran           L13 10s.  
       Titwell         L 8  7s. 6d.
       St. Charles     L25



         *     *     *     *     *



"I shall go down to Wokingham", said Middleton, "a few days 
before the election, and the Major will stay here.  I 
understand that there will be no other candidate, and _I_ 
shall take the seat.

"The Major is a . . . flaneur.  He has no interest beyond 
his own advancement.  I can buy him for L100.  HERE is his
answer."

Wallace wondered at the hubris of his friend, and examined 
the note Middleton thrust upon him.

"Sir,
    No consideration would induce me to change my resolve
in this matter, but I am willing to engage your services as
my agent for a fee of L100.
                     H. Middleton"




CHAPTER XV

THE ELECTION


Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
    Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                                    ---- Byron

On hearing of Middleton's visit, Mr. Wentworth began his
preparations.  Meeting with Thomas Lake and Riley at the
back of the tap-room of The Bull--where the landlord saw
to it that they remained undisturbed--he laid out their
plan of campaign.

"That d---l Middleton shall not have the seat," he raved,
"not for Lord H----; no, nor for a hundred Lords!  We
shall see to it that every man's hand is turned against
him when he arrives."

Lake unfolded a paper from his vest-pocket and smoothed it
on the table.  "Here are the expenses we should undertake."
       Doran          13l. 10s.  
       Titwell         8l.  7s. 6d.
       St. Charles    25l.

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