1. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Manuscriot formatting and style guids?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LuminousTyto, Aug 4, 2012.

    Some publishers and competitions on the net require the writer to use a certain style guide when submitting work to them. I have the Chicago Manual of Style but I need the New york Times style manual too. Unfortunately I live in Ecuador and if I were to purchase it and then have it shipped down here it'd cost me a frakken fortune! Is there a way I can maybe download a digital short version of this manual for free (legitimately)?

    Okay on to my next question. Formatting my manuscript. I don't know much about it. Is there a universal way to do it? I know that there's supposed to be 1 inch margins on the right, left, top and bottom and that the text needs to be double spaced. The rest I've been guessing ,: /

    What font do I use and what size? I THINK it's courier and roman 11-12 point fonts, but I dunno. Is Times New Roman allowed as well? Should I separate paragraphs or jut indent them? How bout italics? are those allowed or are they supposed to be underlined?

    I know a chapter break starts on the next page, but a scene break is supposed to be spaced by a soft space or hard space or what? Actually I don't even know what soft/hard spaces are lol. I'm guessing a soft space is 2 space bars and a hard is 4 no?

    eergh! Anybody know the answers to these questions or know a good link with an article (that's not out dated) that has the answers I'm looking for?

    Thanks
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    William Shunn's site is the best all-around reference for manuscript format: Short Story Format Novel Format

    However, also check each individual publisher's submission guidelines, and follow their recommendation whenever it differs from the general standards.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup, that!
     
  4. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Do the chapter's need to be named and listed Part 1, etc etc or is that for books that use parts to separate acts, or other items?
     
  5. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Chapters are always separated with either titles or numbers.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I knew that, I just didn't know if they had to be named. All chapters need to have Chapter X when you change.
     
  7. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Nah they don't need to be named. I've seen chapters break in five different ways.

    Chapter One
    Chapter Two

    One
    Two

    I've seen it done with numerals: 1, 2, 3, etc.

    I've seen it done with titles.

    The Dark Forest
    Blah Blah's Demise

    And finally I've seen chapters begin simply with a characters name, which is one of my favorite ways!

    Jack
    Dave
    Captain Kate

    lol

    Anyways those are all the way's I've seen chapters begin and I like them all except with numerals.
     
  8. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    Check the company's websites for specifications. Each site will either say follow the standard formatting, which is what the others posted, or they will produce their own specifications.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can simply use the heading Chapter to denote an anonymous chapter. That serves to make the chapter break apparent in manuscript.
     

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