I don’t mean to be a stickler for formatting, but I do like quotation marks.
I am currently reading Katie Ward‘s Girl Reading and it lacks these inoffensive yet very helpful double scratches. Why? I want to like this book: interesting subject, captivating characters, intriguing times, descriptive writing. Yet the lack of this simple and common formatting technique keeps throwing me off; it breaks up the flow of the story as I have to reread every 3rd paragraph to figure out who is talking. In fact, this one simple refusal to bow to standard formatting practices has given the entire book a dream-like quality. I also wonder if some of the lines are internal monologues; did that character just say that out loud or not?
I expressed this to my man and he found it interesting, but not interesting enough to have a lengthy discussion about (like the one I am forcing on you all). But an hour later he saw I was still reading this book and he asked why? Well, I stopped caring so much who was saying what, and while that cut down on character development, it picked up the pace and I can just focus on the imagery. He grunted in response. Are you going to want to read this book or shall I return it to the library when I am done? Another grunt as he sunk into his own book. Very good then.
Ha! Do you get hung up on formatting? What does it take for you in formatting issues to make you put a book down? In this book, every thing else is very well done – haven’t found a single typo or misplaced period yet. But this just makes me sure that the odd formatting was done with thought, care, and a purpose. A purpose most mysterious to me.
I have to chuckle that this deviation from normal on the use of quotation marks has had me more focused on that than on the story. Is that really what the author and publisher want?