1. Coda
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    Coda New Member

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    Help seeing a book layout

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Coda, Jun 21, 2010.

    Hey

    On word you can type on what looks like a page layout of a book. I wanted to do this so I could grasp how much I have done and so I can see it grow. I would like to know what size font would be most realistic to use? If anyone does this also or has a good idea please let me know.

    Thanks

    :D
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Forget about the layout and the final appearance. You should be focused on producing a manuscript suitable for submission.

    Layout is the job of the publisher. Your job is to write something worth the publisher's efforts.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!

    first things first!... you need to picture what agents and publishing house acquisitions editors will be [you hope] drooling over, not what bookbuyers will be reading...
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Guys, sometimes it's okay to be excited about work you've poured your heart into. The page number shouldn't be the first concern, but it's worth thinking about all the same.

    Besides, the OP's question is very relevant in my opinion. When you're planning your story, it's helpful to have an idea of roughly how many words the novel will span, and how many pages that takes up. If you can guage roughly how long your story will take to unfold, and how many pages it's going to realistically take up in hard copy, you can structure your story correctly and pace it well.

    It's no good writing an epic novel that ends up spreading to just 100 pages in hard copy, or writing an interesting novella that's over 500.

    I've been wondering myself how my word count will look in hard copy, as it is undeniably an issue with some publishing companies. I read frequently about authors who had promising work, but had written it either too long, or too short.

    If you're writing for children, say, it's especially important. If you can't guage the length of your book in hard copy by the word count, then you could end up producing something that isn't acceptable for the age group you intended.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    But word count is the target you should be lining up in the crosshairs, not page count.

    I realize the allure of seeing a page layout and dreaming of it in the bookstore window as a featured new novel, but it can easily become an obsession, and distract you from actually working on the writing.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all one should be concerned about is the word count, since that's all agents and editors go by...

    the page count will depend on various factors, including what font the publisher decides to use and their house style in re layout...

    so i agree that obsessing or spending any time/energy at all on what a book will look like is a waste of time and effort better spent on writing, editing and polishing the ms...
     
  7. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    So does the way you lay your work out in the document necessarily matter when you've sent it off to publishers? I mean, aside from setting it in proper manuscript format, does the way you've divided your paragraphs and structured the dialogue matter too much?

    There are parts in my book where the characters are talking alot, and so the narration either comes in small parts or a large paragraph here and there, which doesn't look much like the page of a novel to me. It's something I'm concerned about...any thoughts?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If it reads well, the publlsher will make sure it looks good enough on the page. But it really isn't a major concern. Once the reader is into the story, an occasional page with a lot of white space won't make the reader look twice.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it only matters if you don't do it the way it's supposed to be done...

    it's a manuscript, not a book!... so just use the mandated ms format and don't worry about its 'look'...
     
  10. jacktheknife
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    jacktheknife Member

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    Coda,

    Howdy from Texas,
    I am 'laying out' a book in word,
    and the more I become familiar with word,
    the better I like it.

    I have a private 'forum based' 'story stash'.
    {proboards.com} Where I have 'stashed' all my stories for years.
    {300 pages of story links} under 'general'.
    Where I have a 'table of contents' with chapters listed.
    I click on the chapter and it takes me to it.
    The text is copied and pasted there without clicking reply,
    just a constant {mile long post} like PDF.
    Each chapter is filled with text I have been working on for 9 1/2 years.
    I just copy and paste from 'storage' {General} to chapter # {whatever}
    then clean up or 'edit' the chapter.

    My {soon to be} best selling book is becoming a reality.
    I can 'see' the book through the table of contents.
    'Word' and a 'proboards.com' 'forum based story stash'
    makes writing a book easy. I am turning 300 short stories into a book,
    the first book I have ever written.

    Hope this helps you grasp how far along you are in 'your book'.


    And by the way,
    I used to use the 'word counter' but forgot where it is on my computer.

    Anyone who can 'remind me' would be a great help.


    J. Winters von Knife
     
  11. Switch
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    I agree with Cogito and others, though I am always excited when I've written a large chunk of my book and wondering how many pages it would be were it to be published, I think it is a wiser decision to continue writing the book, so as to quench the possible obsession and for you to be able to write as much or as little as you want. Were you to find out the page number you may be persuaded to add or delete pages to make the book closer to a "correct amount" but a book's correct amount is however much is written.
     

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