Recently, I tweeted some pics of my printed book which included the start of chapter 6, and one of my maps.
The tweet was very well received by Twitter and the writing community.
I had one chap compliment me, but then proceed to inform me that it’s against the ‘rules’ to have the first paragraph of a chapter, especially with a drop cap (the large letter at the start) indented. He called it a beginner mistake.
Of course this made me panic – launch day is just over a week away – so I turned to Google to try and find this rule.
Typesetters have been doing drop caps with no indents since the beginning of printed text. In the medieval times, this was very common.
Basically, there is no set rule that says “drop caps may not be indented.” Rather, it’s “drop caps may not be indented, because no one else ever did, and we’re stuck in the medieval way of doing things.”
Personally, I love the look of my indented drop caps. To hell with anyone who calls it a ‘beginners mistake’, it’s my book, my rules!