1. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    Layingout your text

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MarmaladeQueen, Sep 14, 2011.

    I got told off before for starting a new thread here but I can't see why - other people seem to start them here.

    Anyway. I'm interested in what other people think is the "correct" way to lay out their prose.

    For example, I always put two spaces after the end of a sentence, before I start the next one. I notice that some people only leave one.

    I leave two spaces at the end of a sentence. I think it makes it easier to read.

    Other people leave one space. Is that actually wrong? Does it make the prose harder to read?

    I do two carriage returns at the end of each paragraph. Maybe I just like white space.
    Other people just do one carriage return, leaving text that I find all a bit squashed up.
    Personally, if I see a dense block of text like this where people have only used one carriage return, I often don't bother read it.


    What do other people think?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think in a ms that you intend to submit you usually don't have to put a blank space between paragraphs. (maybe that depends on personal preferences of who you submit it too, but that is at least what I've heard.) I also think that both ways are correct when it comes to spaces after sentence. The first way (your way) I think it's the old fashioned way, the other is more modern, but neither one is incorrect. Maybe it's just a matter of taste.
    what do you mean you got told off??
     
  3. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    I put a double space at the end of each of my sentences, it is the way we were taught to do it in primary school when we learned computers. On this forum, I leave a single white line between my paragraphs and speech, so that it is easier to read. When typing into a word document, however, I put a new paragraph and speech on a new line, but so it is indented.
    Like so.​


    I think, if you are submitting your work to a publisher, they will give you specific guidelines on how they want the work sumitted. I know when I hand in coursework we have to double space everything and have it on a certain font and font size - so I assume a publishers works the same. (I think the double line-spacing is so the teacher/publisher has space to write notes about your work on).
     
  4. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    One of the moderators told me off. I have to say, I was quite confused - it seems that people do start threads here, so I don't see why it was such a crime that I did.

    I thought when submitting a ms you double-spaced all text. That would have the effect of three carriage returns at the end of a paragraph. I have noticed that some people on here post writing that is solid with text, with no blank line between paragraphs, which to my mind is wrong. Certainly offputting.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    that is correct, most often publishers want the ms to be double spaced, for the reason that heather just said, and if you indent the new paragraph as well it isn't as hard to read anymore. I agree with texts being posted on here though, that is single spaced and no blank lines, it's quite hard to read, but how you format your ms and how to format the text you post on the forum are two different things. the best is to check the guidelines for who you intend to submit it to. here publishers say they want font size 12 and double spaced, PLUS quite a lot of space on both sides as well, like 3-3,5 or so cm I think is common. I even heard about someone leaving 5 cm on each side but that sounds like a whole lot to me.
     
  6. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    I should clarify - my original post here referred to the way people lay out their text on this and other forums. On the few occasions that I have submitted to publishers or literary agents, they have been quite specific in their guidelines with regards to font size and paragraph spacing, and I have followed them.

    I have not seen a publisher's guideline on whether to leave one space or two between sentences.

    I would have thought that one space was more old-fashioned than two spaces. In handwriting, at school, we were taught to leave one space. It's only with the advent of wordprocessing that I've started to use two spaces.
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, two spaces were used on typewriters to emphasise the sentence breaks (which are not so clear in a page full of monospaced text). With word processing the font is usually proportionally spaced, and some software is smart enough to put extra spacing between sentences, so typing two spaces isn't so important. I use two spaces pretty much instinctively, because my employer's house style mandates it.
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, two spaces were used on typewriters to emphasise the sentence breaks (which are not so clear in a page full of monospaced text). With word processing the font is usually proportionally spaced, and some software is smart enough to put extra spacing between sentences, so typing two spaces isn't so important. I use two spaces pretty much instinctively, because my employer's house style mandates it.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, that makes a big difference.

    On the forum, two or more adjacent spaces will appear as a single space when viewed.
    You cannot generate a first line indent on the forums, as you are expected to do in manuscript. Instead, you should leave an extra blank line between paragraphs, which you would NOT do in a manuscript. Also, don't try to double-space the text.
     

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