1. Wolfo
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    Wolfo New Member

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    Manuscript format?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Wolfo, Jul 19, 2011.

    Different websites have been saying different things, so I'm looking for the most widely accepted method. Other than proportional spaced fonts and double spacing, is there anything else to know?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe the website Author! Author! by annemini. I have no personal knowledge to back up my belief, but she's convincing. And she offers manuscript formatting advice in excruciating detail.

    Edited to add: Wait. Proportional spaced fonts? No, no, I'm just about positive that it's monospaced fonts.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    By and large, this link to William Shunn's website is the one which publishers quote as an example of manuscript format. But you should make sure to check individual guidelines for any variation on this.
     
  4. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I was always confused on how to take the page number/author information off of the first page. Mammamia was the one who finally could explain it to me so that I could understand. I needed exact directions. If you have a question about something, you could ask her.
     
  5. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I used William Shunn's site as well because it was the clearest example. (I needed not just wordy descriptions, but I needed to see what it looked like on the page.) However, I couldn't find a clear direction on how to do the page number thing correctly, and I was putting it in the wrong place.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Chickenfreak is correct. Nonproportional fonts, like Courier 12 pt.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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

    you'll see in this sample, how the header should be done... i.e., no header on first page and how it should be arranged beginning on page 2...

    the header is explained on pages 4-5, however he did not include directions for how to put the info there in a header and not as part of the text... assuming, i suppose, that anyone wanting to be a writer would know enough about how to use their computer that instructions wouldn't be necessary... and/or not wanting to get into lessons in how to do it, since not everyone uses the same wp program, or the same version of one...

    so, if any of you don't know how to insert a header into your document, consult the 'help' section of your wp program...
     
  8. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    The problem I had was not about how to put something in a header, but how to get the program to "hide" the information for the first page. There's some special clicking/box unchecking or something that needs to be done for it not to show up on the first page, and I didn't really "get" what needed to be done so that it disappeared on the first page but showed upon the 2nd and thereafter.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can use a separate section for the first page. Sections, in MSWord, can either continue the header and footer from the previous section, or begin a new one of either or both.

    You can also have a header or footer treated differently on the first page of a section. That is the checkbox setting you are referring to in header and footer properties.
     
  10. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Honestly, with manuscript format, it's one of those things that you'll pick up the more writing and submitting you do. Over the last few years I've made hundreds of submissions, and can now reformat a document in my sleep.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to keep the header from appearing on the first page, you must click on the 'different first page' box that you'll find either within the 'insert' choices re headers, or in older ms word versions, in the 'page setup' window under the 'basics' tab [i think]... it's somewhere, anyway...

    if you're not using ms word, then you'll have to find the option on your own, or let us know what wp system you're using, so someone here whose familiar with that one can guide you...
     
  12. Thewriterlylife
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    Thewriterlylife New Member

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    The format my agent and publisher like my manuscripts in is Times New Roman, 12 pt. Double spaced.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    some do... but most, like me, find tnr too tiny and cramped for reading all day, every day...
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What should I do if I am quoting, and what to keep it separate from the text?

    Like this:

     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do you really mean 'quoting'?... or are you asking about dialog?

    in any case, those triple '" marks are incorrect unless it's a quote within a quote'... such as someone's dialog that is a quote from someone else... as in:

    if it's only dialog, it would be like this:

     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I mean quoting. I only used those marks to mark out the central lines in an attempt to illustrate what I mean. Having the body of text I'm quoting spaced away from the side of the page, and I could only really do that by having something there in my post to space it away from. I know I failed badly.

    If I wanted to quote song lyrics, what would I have to do in manuscript format?
     
  17. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why should it not be:

    I don't think you need the line breaks in there.
     
  18. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    An editor needs space to leave notes and corrections.

    Also, it makes it easier to read.
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I once decided to only accept submissions on vellum made from human flesh, and only if written in blood and accompanied by a Latin translation. Figured it would cut down on the slush pile.

    Who knew the Department of Transportation would consider it a biohazard? Boy was my face red.

    On the positive side, the slush pile dropped to 3.
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I meant the line breaks after the word "crowd" and after the quote. Of course, the passage needs to be double spaced. Mammamaia's version of the example was written as three separate paragraphs, and that makes it look like they could be about three different people, if you know what I mean. My version combined them into one paragraph, making it clear that the man who addresses the crowd is the same man speaking the quoted line and is the same man pausing with a dramatic flourish. That's the way it would usually be printed in a published book.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Because she was answering a question I worded poorly.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    minstrel...

    it can be done either way... it's just a matter of styling choice, not rules 'n regs...

    lemex...

    large amounts of quoted material [lyrics or whatever] is usually inserted as a block indent... just a few words can be done like this:

     

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