1. yfc54
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    yfc54 New Member

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    Help needed

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by yfc54, Oct 5, 2007.

    I'm a total newbie with regard to writing so obviously I want to get the basics right before I get started.

    Now call me stupid but I am struggling to get exactly 25 lines to a page despite following all of the instructions to the letter.

    I've set the margins to 1" all round, chosen Courier New(12) and gone through the format, paragrapgh etc etc but when I count up the lines it comes to 28. What the hell am I doing wrong?:redface:

    I am pulling my hair out and as you will see from my image I've got precious little to spare. So please please help
     
  2. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    I may be missing something but...why exactly do you need 25 lines to a page?

    I wasn't even aware that was something you could set...
     
  3. yfc54
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    yfc54 New Member

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    Apparently this is the usual format when submitting work to publishers. 25 lines and approximately 10 words per line. It can be set but obviously not by me:redface:
     
  4. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    Hm...well I learned something new today.

    Anyone who knows the answer should tell me how, too. I've just been messing with Word t see if I could figure it out, and I can't find it either...maybe it has something to do with line spacing as well... are you writing with a psecific point, single spaced, double, or what?
     
  5. yfc54
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    yfc54 New Member

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    I followed these instructions

    The Passionate Pen Presents ... Formatting Your Manuscript
     
  6. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    Okay, I've got it fixed, now.

    You have to make sure that under paragraph, and line spacing, it's set to exactly. That's what messed me up. Also, check your gutters and indents; that might be an issue as well.
     
  7. yfc54
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    yfc54 New Member

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    I will check everything out again. It's probably a malfunction in my old brain.It ain't as good as it used to be:D
     
  8. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    Good Lord. I've never done anything remotely like that. The first manuscript I sold was formatted in Times New Roman.

    Who is this Jenna person and why is she handing out 20th century advice as if it still applied?

    First type your manuscript--in whatever format you like. Then format it as a plain text document. (In Word: Save as --> Plain text.) Then obtain your publisher's submission guidelines and follow them to the letter.
     
  9. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    I bet you're typing on A4 paper, aren't you?

    Americans don't, which is almost certainly the explanation.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    yfc54,

    Weaselword is correct. Just type/word process your novel. When it is finished, worry about formatting it to the particular agent/publisher's request.

    There are formulas that some publishing houses use to estimate the length of a book. Some include particular size and font types along with margins. But, one publisher may request 1.5 inch margins, the next 1 inch margins. Some prefer courier others prefer times roman. Some want 12 pt font, others want 10.

    I know where you're coming from...starting out right, so that you don't end up wasting time and energy, and making things more difficult than they should be.

    Authors also wonder about how many spaces after a period/end mark. Two is no longer standard. One is. But if you're in the habit of hitting two spaces, then do it. At the end, you can find and replace all double blank spaces with single blank.

    Starting out: One thing that I would advise (and you may already be doing this)...back up your work. More than on your computer's hard drive. More than on a flash drive. Always keep an electronic copy (relatively updated one) somewhere besides home. In a desk drawer at work or at a brother's house. Email a copy to yourself every time you update. There are free accounts (ie yahoo accounts) and the space they allow makes it not a concern, and you can access your story from virtually any online computer.

    Hard Drives crash, flash drives get lost or go bad, sometimes there is a flood or fire that destroys offices and equipment. A novel is going to take months, if not years, of work writing, editing, revising, researching, etc. You'll be very sad if it gets lost (or you have to pay a fortune to recover it.

    This one is just me...but save versions of your work. Don't overwrite the same file each time. Makes it easier if you make a change that a week later you discover doesn't work. Name them Novel v1, Novel v2 (and use the date saved as a guide) or even Novel Rev Nov 1 2007...whatever works for you.

    Good luck and hang in there! There will be tough days and easy days...But one of the best days will be when you finish the first draft...there are others to follow, but that should be your first goal.

    Terry
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no such thing as a mandated number of lines for a ms... the standard is 1" margins all around, using times new roman or courier new 12pt font and double spacing... PERIOD... no rule about # of lines... and mss are judged only by total word count, never by number of pages or lines per page or words per line, so you shouldn't be counting lines, words per line, or pages, anyway...

    i'd have to assume that whoever gave out that info knows nada about ms format standards... here are the best format guides you'll find:

    http://www.shunn.net/format/

    love and hugs, maia
     
  12. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Listen to TWErvin2 and Maia. They know what they're talking about :)
     
  13. yfc54
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    yfc54 New Member

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    Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I will now adopt the same approach as I do when I buy any computer equipment. In other words I will make no attempt to read through the all of the technical stuff and only look something up when I need specific information.

    I am already enjoying the forum and hey it's great to be called a "JUNIOR" at 53 years of age(although I must point out that the image I have attached is doctored to make me look older, fatter and uglier) Oops my nose is starting to grow................

    So thanks again and apologies for not replying sooner but I have been celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary. Poor girl, as the old joke says-If she'd murdered me on the first night she would have been released by now:D
     

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