Pre-chapter quotes


Active Member
Jan 20, 2012
Hi guys,
how do you enter pre-chapter quotes (see Dune) on a submission draft? Is there any way to differentiate it from the rest of the chapter?

I was thinking about this too. There seems to be some variation in publications, I have no idea about submissions, but I think:
Indent all of it a bit more than the normal 1st line of a body paragraph.
  1. No first line indent.
  2. Be wary of more than one paragraph, keep it short and snappy.
  3. Last line ends <space><EM dash (long dash)><space><attribution> on same line, or if poetry / verse on a newline, and right justified. There seems to be variation in this.
  4. The quotes are not quoted overall, quote marks only used in nested quote/dialogue in the epigraph quote/block.
  5. It can be imaginary author.
  6. Anything in copyright needs clearance, even though in most countries it's "fair use".
  7. Music lyrics are very expensive.
I think in a submission I'd use what ever size & font they asked for on the main MSS, and just indent more with no extra 1st line indent for epigraph.

Not in submission:
In my eBook & printed self publishing I use a serif font for body, a slightly smaller sans font for epigraph formatted as above. Some people use italic, I dont.
Any display screen text listed in body is monospace font even though only text consoles use that. I might use italic for notes, emails etc in text body. I use Italic for telepathy with tags but no quotes as if speech. If there is no telepathy in a book, I use italic for thoughts, otherwise no italic or quotes but clear, Sam thought, etc tags in the thought and separate paragraph from someone else's dialogue or actions or narration.

@tinkerdan gives good links above.
  1. Music lyrics are very expensive.

@tinkerdan gives good links above.

Hmm, I have a character sing at one point a couple of lines from a song because his friend has the same name as the song title. Was going to check on it when I got a publisher for it, so not in the forseeable future.
sing at one point a couple of lines from a song
Unless ancient and out of copyright, even a few lines of songs are expensive. Make up one! or use something Victorian.
Pity not called Daisy?
It's out of copyright. I wonder is that why HAL sang it in 2001? :D (Which was in 1968, investigation reveals it's probably because A.C. Clarke heard an IBM* computer "sing" it in 1961 )

[* H A L are the preceding letters to IBM, but Clarke maintains only a co-incidence or subconscious. Randall Monroe chose XKCD for his web site because it was meaningless. The Numerical value is 42. An odd co-incidence]
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