With all the reading on AO3 I’ve been doing over the last couple months since diving into the Avengers fandom, I’ve come to identify two (closely related) major pet peeves with the way some authors post to it.
The first is the authors who plug in an extra blank paragraph between each separate paragraph.
So their text looks like this.
Which is annoyingly widely spaced and looks like crap in the epub downloads.
And then there are the authors who apparently believe in not having proper paragraph breaks at all.
And only use line returns between each separate paragraph.
But fail to insert any form of indent at the beginning of new paragraphs so that the left margin forms an unbroken line of text. It’s a horrible wall-o-text effect that makes reading along very headache-inducing.
Is this really necessary? I don’t think so.
Now, there are authors who play around with the formatting and achieve some nice (but still readable) effects using just the basic HTML coding that is allowed. But I don’t consider either of the above to fall into that category. Though of the two, I’d rather have too-widely-spaced than not-spaced-at-all.
And yes, I know that sometimes it’s just a side effect of whatever combination of writing tool and import method they use. As a reader, I have to say how very thankful I am for the authors who do take the time to correct any such automated weirdness, by finding workarounds that correct the broken HTML or fixing it manually themselves.
Weird but true … the way I get my formatting correct in AO3 is by posting to FF.net first, and then cutting and pasting my story from their edit window. It gives me the right paragraph breaks that way. (Whereas if I do it from
Windows Word (oops, sorry for the typo), everything is all borked and takes forever to fix).
Even so, AO3 does weird things - any time I edit a chapter, the breaks between paragraphs are fine, but it adds extra lines between my spacers (like, continually. If I edit a chapter three times, each time a new line will be added before the spacer). Sometimes I remember to fix it, sometimes not. It’s just weird.