Cascade Library: a Sentinel fan fiction archive
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What are Block Paragraphs?

Just what does the Librarian mean when she says "block paragraphs"? As there seems to be some confusion among the newer writers who are sending me fic to archive, I offer this brief tutorial.

For those of who didn't take a ton of business and/or secretarial classes, this term may not be as familiar to you as it is to me. Basically, there are two types of paragraphs: indented and block. Indented is what you typically see in newspapers and books. Block is what you normally see in business letters and on the internet since tabs aren't really used on HTML coding.

These are indented paragraphs:

      The Guide of Cascade, he made some tarts, all on a summers day. The Sentinel, however, he stole those tarts, and took them clean away.
      Jim and Blair went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jim fell down and broke his crown, and Blair came tumbling after. When up Jim got and off did trot as fast as he could caper to Cap'n Banks, who patched his nob with vinegar and brown paper.

When I get the above type of paragraphs and then attempt to copy and paste, all I get is one very long fic with no paragraph divisions. Which means a whole lot of work for me to go through and format everything correctly. Please don't send me indented paragraphs. If I can the time to archive your work all nicely, you can surely take the time to format your stories correctly before sending it to me.

These are block paragraphs:

The Guide of Cascade, he made some tarts, all on a summers day. The Sentinel, however, he stole those tarts, and took them clean away.

Jim and Blair went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jim fell down and broke his crown, and Blair came tumbling after. When up Jim got and off did trot as fast as he could caper to Cap'n Banks, who patched his nob with vinegar and brown paper.

No tabs. No extra spacing at the head of the line. And a full blank line between paragraphs. See any of the stories at CL for an example.

However, even with block paragraphs, I am still picking one rather annoying quirk as of late with writers who are sending me their stories as text in an email. When I copy and paste the text, it all comes out as one paragraph. So I have to paste the entire thing into WordPerfect (yeah, I know, one of the last on the planet who doesn't have Word) to reformat the story correctly and then re-copy it back into my prepared HTML story page. What I'm seeing when I paste it into WordPerfect is that there is a space on that supposed blank line between paragraphs which is somehow defeating the purpose of the block paragraphs.

I have a suspicion it has something to do with the copying from the writer's word processing program into email. Or it could be a facet of the "new and improved" YahooMail since I didn't notice this problem a year or so ago. Or it could be a combination. Regardless, as noted on the formatting page, if you're sending fic directly to CL, don't bother with parts, just send the whole thing as an attachment, even a Word attachment. I can use the YahooMail "view attachment" to access the fic even without having Word on my computer. If I still need to correct things, at least then I'll only have one thing to copy and paste, instead of 13 or so parts.

Also, again, I must repeat that I rarely do any special formatting. So if you send a fic with italics or bolding in it, don't expect them to show up in the posted fic unless I'm feeling generous or have extra time. If you want special emphasis, you need to mark it with charaters like astericks or underscoring or capital letters or something.


Last updated 5/27/04 igr