1. AniGa
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    AniGa Member

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    Style The right Font for the right Purpose

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AniGa, Aug 28, 2016.

    Hi there.
    Man, 'sbeen a while since I've been here.
    Anyway, I get pretty wall-of-text-y as is, so I won't waste your time and get straight to the point.

    My first project, the story I want to publish as my outing as an author, is finally making decisive leaps forwards.
    The script - in the form of a linear day-by-day timeline of events - is just about done, I have a decently clear picture of the target audience, and my writing style has seen much improvement after I was able to get over that unconscious "better than thou"-attitude of mine and actually started reading much more same-genre works by others to learn from them, their writing styles and their stories.

    What I am stumped on is a much more basic matter - the almighty font.

    It's like this, basically...
    In the beginning I wasn't quite sure what medium I would actually choose. Novel? Light novel? Visual novel, maybe even a manga?
    My writing style wasn't yet very clearly developed, and I wasn't quite sure about the length yet, either.

    By now I was able to narrow it down.
    I'll definitely reach a few hundred pages of text (assuming it's a novel), and my writing style relies a lot on dialogue, and on going through character actions and scene changes in a flowing, progressive way. And I'm good at character artworks, but backdrops take me forever to draw. So it definitely can't be a manga; those have ever-changing visual backdrops and don't work that well for dialogue-heavy writing styles.
    I also want to publish it as one complete story, not in a serialized form, making the light novel medium a less than ideal choice as well - also because those usually target a younger audience than the one I'm aiming for.

    So that's what this leaves me with:
    Either a novel, probably with the occasional page-sized hand-drawn artwork highlighting character introductions and key scenes...
    ... or a visual novel.

    Now, for a visual novel, the font choice is kind of very easy; text on a PC screen, no matter the font, is more easily readable than printed text in a book, so as long as it looks good and fits the style, almost everything is a fine choice here.

    No, what I'm stumped on is what font to choose if I make it a novel.

    On one hand, I am very much aware of the fact that serif fonts do much and more for the readability of printed text; "serif fonts are more readable while sans serif fonts are more legible," as we all know.
    So my logical brain says: Choose a serif font, because a sans serif font won't be as readable, it will be off-putting.

    But on the other hand... well, no serif font I ever laid eyes upon so far feels like it fits my writing style, and the tone and setting of this particular story, at all. They tend to look too traditional - too "old-school", so to speak.
    So my artistic brain says: Choose a sans serif font, because a serif font will clash with your style and feel wrong.

    So, yeah... I'm pretty stumped here.
    Do you have any advice you feel might be useful to me?
    Any font suggestions, or other forms of tips and advice you might be able to give?

    Thanks in advance.
    I appreciate any advice you can give.
    And if you need more information to give meaningful advice, do say so.


    Greets,
    AG


    PS: Jebus Crust... I wall-of-text'd all over myself again.
     
  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/which-font-do-you-prefer-to-use-when-writing.148017/page-2#post-1481979

    That thread might have some worthwhile information for you.

    As for my two cents: I don't place much importance on font until I'm ready to submit a short story for possible publication. I just write. When I do submit, there are usually preferred fonts that the publisher lays out for the submitter very clearly. (All of this is also covered at length in the thread I linked.)

    Hope this helps!
     
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  3. AniGa
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    AniGa Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    Thing is, in case I go the self-publishing route, that's all a wholly different story right there.
    And then, even just for me while I am still working on it, I want to be able to see the pages before me somewhat like how they will turn out in the end.

    So kind of settling on a fitting font, one that I would like seeing the finished story being written in, is definitely of value to me.
    Which, of course, brings me right back to the issue as I explained it in the OP. :meh:


    Greets,
    AG
     
  4. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I don't know. Maybe you and I differ fundamentally here. I don't see the value in using as much headspace as you seem to be for something as trivial as font before a project is even done. Writing novels or novel length works take time. Why waste any spare thought on font?

    Sure, when you're done, change the font around a few times (a thousand times if you have to), I guess I just can't share in your worry over choice in font before a manuscript is finished. That won't make sense to me.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  5. AniGa
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    AniGa Member

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    Hmm, it's hard for me to explain as well.
    I guess I'm the type of person who pays a lot of attention to what the text he writes (and reads)... well, what it looks like.
    It can have a subtle effect on my mood, and on how I write and word certain things.
    And I also appreciate having a general idea of what the finished thing will look like to the reader.

    Or it's just me being a sorta-autistic perfectionist who can't help but be restless unless it looks right to me, in which case it's for the exact same reason for which I have to save documents by typing an A, deleting it and then pressing Ctrl+S, and going through this process five to twelve times each time I save the document, which I have to do at least once per page.
    ... which is to say, none at all.
    Either of the two.


    I hope that explains it a bit.


    Greets,
    AG
     
  6. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I wasn't knocking your method. Just giving food for thought.

    If that helps you write, more power to you. But it is possible to pay attention to how the text reads and how words play together with just a standard font.

    I can't say I've ever changed the font for any story I've ever written except to submit it for publication.
     
  7. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I know what you mean about wanting to see how it will look on the page, I got about 10,000 words done and was interested to see how it would look, so I changed the page layout and font to reflect what I thought would be right, and continued to work with that. It gave me an overall idea how it would look and page count, but I still ended up re-formatting the entire document again once it was complete, because I found as I edited it I had orphan sentences, which I hate.

    Having done all that for the printed version, it all had to be done again to be ready for digital version. I understand your need to see how it will look as you work on it, but be prepared to change it all at the end, once you get there.
     
  8. AniGa
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    AniGa Member

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    So, does anyone have any suggestions for fonts?
    For any case where I can pick a sans serif font, it's fine; there's many I like.
    But do you maybe have some good serif fonts you would suggest?
    Y'know, ones that maybe have a more modern look, that don't look so traditional.

    (Honestly, there's another reason for this - reading my own documents, even if I like sans serif fonts more, is just a bit easier when it's in a serif font. So having one I don't despise looking at would be great either way.)


    Greets,
    AG
     
  9. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Just play around with various fonts, sizes, even colours. Some find a darker blue more restful to work with than others. Play around with line spacing too. If you are writing for yourself, use something you like, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

    If you are then going on to submit or print your work, read up on the preferred format and layout and re-do the whole document to comply.

    It isn't a big job at the end and actually ensures the whole document is the same. The one thing to watch out for is if you use italics in places, or similar emphasis, you may need to find a way of making sure they aren't changed in the process.
     
  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well I'm super lazy, so I write in standard manuscript format. TNR, size 12, double spaced, indented paragraphs, hash tags for scene breaks. I even set up the title page and headers before I begin writing, so when I write THE END I can send it straight off.
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I went so far as to set all that up and save it in a 'novel' template in MS Word.
     
  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm so lazy I open the last one and write over it.

    It'll probably get to the stage where I do Ctrl+H, change the characters' names, give it a new title, send it off and go back to bed.

     
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  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dang! Now I'm thinking about switching to writing romance. ;)
     
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  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Even if you are self-publishing, WRITE a atandard mqanuscript. Focus on the writing, as if you were going to submit to a traditional publisher. As a side benefit, you're keeping your options open. And if you're writing it to meet strict publishing acceptance standards, your writing will be better.

    Typesetting and layout design is an entire other specialty. You may find it to be more than you really wish to tackle, once you beging exploring it. But if you wrotr in manuscript to begin with, you still have the story, ready for any publishing option.

    Avoid unnecessary distractions, Writing well is hard enough to master.
     
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  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You'd have to do some kissy kissy boinky boinky scenes.
     
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  16. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always use TNR for writing in Microsoft Word and Calibri for writing in Scrivener. Never really experimented with a lot more than that.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I wouldn't deviate too much with font in the physical book. A bad font can ruin a reading experience. I've seen it more than once. For the e-book version, if there is one, it doesn't matter so much because the reader can change the font to whatever they want.
     
  18. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    My favorite part of romance writing! :D
     
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  19. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Me too! I wrote three versions just to see which worked best. :whistle:
     
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  20. AniGa
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    Those are indeed fun to write. Though, depending on the precise genre and current pacing and mood of the story, there's always this little struggle of: "Hmm, do I write it out or do I imply it and go to the next scene...?"
    While, of course, the rest of my brain yells at me: "Nooo! No, no, no, you definitely gotta write it out. Come on, you know you wanna!" :D


    Greets,
    AG
     
  21. Sack-a-Doo!
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    I'm always afraid it'll come out creepy creepy, yucky yucky. Is that normal or am I totally screwed up?
     
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  22. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, your book's about aliens invading a cow farm so it's probably a legit concern.
     
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  23. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I said 'creepy,' not 'perverted.' :)
     
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  24. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... Moving right along: the novel I'm writing on Scrivener is Calibri, but I'm just getting back to a short story that I outlined but never wrote, and I'm finding that Cambria works a lot better (I also have the text for my short story zoomed-in more than for my novel). I wonder what the difference is between the two.
     
  25. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Simpson17866 - when you zoom in it should feel like you entered the Tardis. :) [I think you were just fooling around while listening to some jazz]
     

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