After she read my comment, she wrote and asked, "How do I delete the section breaks?"
Ahh. Maybe you’ve had this problem. If you have, it’s easy to fix.
First step, you have to diagnose it. Generally, there are two ways to know if you’re having errant Section Breaks in your manuscript. One way is… you see them. The other way is… there are gaps in your manuscript. You figure you’ve somehow put in blank lines, but when you go to delete the blanks, they won’t, and yet the gap is there.
Second step, you fix the problem. If you can’t see the section breaks, you need to switch to “Print Layout View.” When you do, you’ll see them. They show up in this view as dotted lines with the words “section break.” To delete, click your pointer on the section break, then hit delete.
Voila! They’re gone.
While they’re easy to delete, if you don’t know why your manuscript is acting screwy, it can be very frustrating.
In case you’re wondering why I didn’t just delete them all and save her having to do it… one of the goals of hiring an editor should be to learn so you don’t repeat mistakes (plus, the less your editor has to do for you, the lower the cost of hiring an editor will be). You don’t want to chance having a manuscript turned down because the agent or editor became too frustrated with the faulty formatting to continue reading.
The late Helen Ginger (1952-2021) was an author, blogger, and the Coordinator of Story Circle Network's Editorial Services and writing coach. She was also a former mermaid. She taught public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. Helen was the author of Angel Sometimes, Dismembering the Past, and three books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series.