Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tech Talk: Chapter Breaks

Tech Talk: Chapter Breaks

Want your editor to love you? Or at the very least, make your manuscript look a bit more professional?

Learning to do chapter breaks can be fun. Okay...that might be the geek in me coming out. But really, it’s not that difficult, and if you make it a habit as you are writing your next story it’s not even time consuming.

My assumption is that we ALL use Microsoft Word when we write. (That’s because I like to haul out that old adage about ASSUME.) But really, I’m sure the Help section of whatever word processing program you use can teach you how to do page breaks--which is the key to making chapter breaks.

The nifty part about doing page breaks is that no matter how much editing or revising you do on your work, the chapter breaks will always remain at the top of the page. Not so if you use the Enter Key multiple times (sometimes up to 30 times!) to make “Chapter Six” appear at the top of the next page.

All you need do is at the end of chapter one, hit the return key once. Then insert a page break.

On the newer ribbon-style versions of Word, go to the “Insert” tab. In the first section called “Pages” you will find an icon called “Page Breaks.” Click it and Word takes you to the top of the next page. Magic!

It has been many years (more than one constitutes many, right?) since I’ve used the older icon-based version of Word, but I do have a screenshot that shows an “Insert” pull-down menu along the top bar. I’d be willing to bet that they’ve stored the page break command there.

The house preference for The Wild Rose Press is to have the chapter title aka “Chapter 2” or “Chapter Two” placed on line 6 of the page (5 blank lines) indented as a paragraph (not centered). Then we insert one blank line and the body of the text begins.

For a more detailed account (including pictures!) of this procedure and five other exciting ways to please your editor, leave your email address in the Comments section and I will send you a copy of the tutorial I send all my new authors, “Polishing Your Manuscript.” It includes both pre- and post-Word 2007 instructions.)

Free! No obligation! No credit card required! Your email address will not be used for marketing purposes. (What other disclaimers did I miss?)

Maggie Johnson - Editor
The Wild Rose Press


Jennifer Taylor said...


Carol Burge said...

Carolburge4 AT g mail (dot) com

Unknown said...

Laura Strickland said...

Fantastic and useful post! I'd appreciate the tutorial:

And yes, I want my editor to love me!

Colleen L Donnelly said...

Thank you!

Unknown said...


I'm already published and have looked for these instructions and can't find them! Please email them to me at:


Darlene C. Hancock

Rexanna Ipock-Brown said...

Please send me "Polishing Your Manuscript." Thanks.

I love your ideas.

Anonymous said...

Please send me the tutorial on pleasing your publisher