Book Layout: How would you format long speeches / sermons?
September 2, 2014 9:07 AM Subscribe
I'm currently working on converting a religious book from its traditional verse-by-verse format into a verse-less, continuous edition. The book has many, many sermons and lectures. I'm at a loss for how to format them in a way which distinguishes them from the narrative, but isn't too detached from the surrounding text.
In almost all cases, the sermons begin at the start of a chapter. What I've tried so far is to put the chapter's opening lines (example: "Mary sits down before the crowd and begins to speak.") in italics, then a blank line, and then start the sermon. I've also tried using my font's small caps face for the opening lines.
These two options are my favorites so far, but the lead-in to the sermons doesn't always have a simple opening. Sometimes there's several paragraphs of action and dialogue before the multi-page sermon starts. Sometimes, the sermon begins this way: "Oh Lord," Joseph says, "Bless this cat, bless this bat...", and there's no way to separate the speaker out of the sermon's opening without rearranging the sentence.
I've thought about indenting both sides of the sermon, but this seems like a waste of space when the sermon goes on for multiple pages and, occasionally, even multiple chapters. And then I've also tried putting quotation marks around the whole thing with opening quotes per paragraph. Even though this is grammatically correct, it still doesn't look quite right. I've tried the small caps face and italics for the sermon content itself, but this seemed too distracting.
Any ideas? My main goal is consistency in how the sermons are presented, but the various edge cases are making this difficult.