General Question

lilakess's avatar

What is the official meaning of the double space in a short story or novel?

Asked by lilakess (789points) January 10th, 2008

I know they indicate passage of time, but I’d like to know if there is anything else, officially, those spaces can mean.

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3 Answers

boydieshere's avatar

I think it’s generally always a passage of time…I’m not sure there’s anything else it means. If not a passage of time, it might be a parallel storyline happening at the same time and the double space just divides the stories.

Foolaholic's avatar

Are you talking about when a writer does something like this-
. . .
And then down here something completely new is happening. Some times it can be used to change the perspective, or switch to the POV of another character, but not really in a instantaneous sense. That would normally be done when the chapter changes.

biz's avatar

Right. When a break stronger than a new paragraph but not as strong as a new chapter is required in fiction, authors will commonly use a bigger break. This is to indicate the passage of time, a scene change, an introduction of a new point of view, or some other shift in the narrative.

However, this extra line break has the disadvantage that it may be missed if it falls at the bottom of the page so sometimes you’ll see a type element or some other dingbat instead of the extra break. That also has the added advantage of being classy!

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