1. staceylouise
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    staceylouise Active Member

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    double lined?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by staceylouise, Feb 18, 2014.

    When typing up work, does it have to be double lined still or has that ruling gone out of the window a bit? I know it was meant for easier reading and if anyone wanted to make notes above or beneath wasn't it. But what do others do? Line after flowing line? Or line a blank then a line and so on?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I double space because it's easier to read and it's the format most editors/publishers prefer.
     
  3. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    If you are using something like Microsoft Word, you can easily change it from double spaced to single spaced with an extra return between paragraphs. (And vice versa.) I say, write whichever way you like. If you want to submit it, you can easily change it.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use 1,5 when I write and wide margins, it's easier to read, and when I submit I consult the guidelines. Some publishers (here) accept 1,5 or 2 space.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If you are preparing to submit a ms for publication, the usual standard is double spaced, 1" margin, 12 point serif font (e.g. Courier). If not, it's whatever you like.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a bit of advice, stacey:
    as you can see from the replies above, the proper term is 'double-spaced' and if your goal is to become a professional writer, it's best to learn and use the writing/publishing world's 'lingo' so you won't come across to agents/publishers as an amateur...

    and yes, as also noted above, your mss [= the plural of 'ms' which stands for 'manuscript'] must be double-spaced, if you're going to submit them to agents or publishers...
     
  7. staceylouise
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    staceylouise Active Member

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    Ok mamammia or whatever you are called. I value all of your opinions here I really do but I feel that last reply about learning the writers 'lingo' was totally harsh. I don't profess to be a total professional, although this is not my first piece of writing this is my first sailing out into the big blue sea and im on here to value what others share and submit in the workshop, by taking in views and opinions, and by getting and asking for them myself - a learning curve for me too. I expect everyone started out as an ameautur on here. So don't ever slam me like that again.
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Is one's skin is this thin, then maybe writing isn't the right world. Because it's very similar to when I was coaching college athletics: it takes a very thick skin to survive-and if being corrected on lingo causes a very angry response, then some soul searching might be in order.

    Not to toot her horn, but Maia is a high regarded professional in the business and has accomplished many things. In fact, if a person took time to get to know her, there's a lot of things a person can learn-and not all are purely writing skills. Just learning about the people she's known in her long fiction and screenwriting career is very rewarding in it's own way.

    This is not a slam but some free advice from someone who's been in many jobs where it takes a thick skin-just like writing.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @staceylouise - I don't see that @mammamaia "slammed" you at all. She made some observations based on your post, and some very good suggestions, as she always does. If you're going to grow as a writer, you'd better get used to critiques that do not sugar-coat anything. When she advises you not to come across as an amateur, it is because doing so will land any work you are trying to publish immediately in the dumper.
     
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  10. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I find double spacing to be easier to read when I go back to revise. Blocks of text can get tiring after a while, so double spacing makes it less of a wall. However, I work on screenplays, so white space be good.

    I don't feel mamma's comments were harsh. There is a certain vernacular in any industry, be it science or art. It helps with communication if all are on the same page as far as the terms used.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with @captain kate and @EdFromNY, @staceylouise. Reread what @mammamaia wrote. It wasn't "harsh" and there was no "slam" in there at all, just good advice. If, as you say, this is your first sailing out into the big blue sea, then you probably shouldn't snap at those with experience who are just trying to help you.

    We're pretty nice people around here. Smile! :)
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Double space. Thicker skin. Triple Vodka.
     
  13. staceylouise
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    staceylouise Active Member

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    I didnt insinuate that any of you are not nice people cos you have all been very helpful - with huge thanks by the way ;) but I think it was just the was it was put. It came across too strong for me, though I do take it on board. I'm great with the writing, the full stops and commas, but have little knowledge of the proper way to use ; although I have on a few occasions, either correctly or incorrectly. And I'm a bit slack at all of the lingo which I've kind of forgotten since school :/ so please don't hold that against me. I'm still trying to learn all of that. Maybe someone could inbox me some examples of the use of punctuation marks and also some of the lingo which may help me a great deal to learn :) happy face too :)
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    an apology would be nice, stacey... after which, i'd be happy to give you some more examples of 'in-lingo'... ;)
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You might also consider a, "sorry, didn't mean to come across that way". Upon rereading it I can see why Minstrel gave you the benefit of the doubt, but honestly, "a bit of advice, the proper term is," sounds condescending to me. You may not have meant it that way. Words do that, they have a life of their own that may not be what was in our heads when we spilled them onto the page.
     
  16. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem is that I wouldn't be comfortable giving you any advice, because I'd be afraid that I wouldn't get it exactly precisely perfectly right, and you'd accuse me of "slamming" you. mammammaia's advice seemed perfectly courteous to me--she didn't wrap it in ribbons, but it wasn't rude.

    Also, advice is generally intended to help the whole forum, and just sending it to your inbox wouldn't serve that purpose.
     
  17. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @staceylouise:

    Here is a useful page that covers punctuation, with examples.

    Here is a site that gives you everything you need to know about proper manuscript format. Of course, you should check with the publisher you're submitting to (they'll have a web page), to see if they have any specific requirements, but if not, use what you find at the link I gave. It tells about double spacing, fonts, margins, headers, footers, and everything else you need.

    I hope this helps! :)
     
  18. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    The purpose of the double spacing is to allow the editor space to write comments on problems and what needs fixing. That still holds for hard copy. But a submitted file will be commented via the comments feature of the WP used for editing, so no added paragraph marks are necessary.

    As for the comment on your learning proper terminology, someone took time they didn't have to give you to help you be a more professional writer. That rates only a thank you. And the comment was accurate. You took it personally because you though it made you look bad in some way. But ignorance is curable and we all suffer it, so Mammamala did you a favor. Where would you prefer to look foolish, here or in the publisher's office?
     
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  19. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    So what do you all think the ideal font, font size, line spacing, paragraph spacing, margins, page size and file type would be ideal for submitting work to a publisher?
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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  21. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Courier seems to be the one to use. Screenplays must be in courier as well because it helps with timing. However, I've been using Courier Prime because it's easier on the eyes. I don't use it in FD because it seems to affect line spacing in FD, but I use it in Scrivener.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i always let new writers know that courier new 12 pt is the most universally acceptable font, since tnr is too tiny and cramped, for comfortable reading all day every day, as agents and editors must do...

    while some may prefer tnr for one reason or another, courier will still be acceptable... unless, of course, an agent's or publisher's guidelines specifically require tnr...
     
  23. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Whoa. So many answers. :p I'm gonna assume you're using Word 2010. Let me know if I'm wrong.

    Double-spacing is the standard for submission. But if you properly use styles, you can switch from single to double in a second. Just go to the Home ribbon, click the down-right arrow below Change Styles (second thing to the right). The Styles window will pop up. Check Body Text (not Normal; I have my reasons for not using Normal for paragraph text), and click Modify. You can find the spacing under the Bold/Italics/Underline controls and switch it there.

    I'd suggest getting used to looking at double spacing if you're not. I know you can write and edit however you want, but I think it pays off to get used to seeing double spacing. When you go to edit on paper (and I suggest doing at least a couple drafts on paper as opposed to computer), it'll be invisible to you. You can write notes and edits between the lines. Just one man's method, though. Everyone has a different way, and if you find single spacing is good enough, then single spacing it is. Just note to switch it to double before you submit.

    When it comes time to submitting your manuscript, change the Normal style to Courier 12 pt (or whatever the publisher or agent wants). Normal will cascade into all your styles. Body Text will cascade only into Body Text and whatever else is based off it. (That's why I differentiate between Normal and Body Text: Normal is the template I use for all my styles, Body Text is the style I use for only my paragraph text. IMHO everything should be based off Normal, but Normal shouldn't be used for any text.) Good rule of thumb is if every style uses a certain formatting--regular font weight, Courier, double space--put it in Normal. If not, then put the formatting in only those styles that use it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

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