1. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    What format do you write in?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Okon, Jun 19, 2014.

    I've recently started writing in a standard-ish submission format (double-spaced, 12 point TimesNR). I wanted to see each paragraph tied closer to another so I could get a better idea of the flow I was making. This made me wonder what everyone here does:

    What font do you like to work with?

    What are your ideal paragraph settings? Do you like extra space after paragraphs, or do you just double space the whole thing?

    Do you have a different colour scheme from black on white? Why so?


    Post a screenie if you like[​IMG].
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Here's moi. ;)

    Important to remember that Scrivener's screen format and its export format are two different things. When I export my MS, Scrivener compiles it into perfect Shunn MS formatting.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I like to write in the standard formatting (Double-spaced, 12 Point Courier New.)

    That said, I'm thinking of playing around with the color scheme and formatting. Maybe my fantasy can look like quill handwriting on parchment-colored background. :D That's it, off to play with the formatting now.
     
  4. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    This is what I use. It makes it easier when submitting stories.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Times New Roman - 12.

    When I first got my computer back in 1997? I wasn't used to the letters looking so small. I had been printing my stories on that old fangled thing called paper. So I did the idiot move of typing in capital letters. I have an entire novel trapped in capital letters! :dry:
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Plus, you don't want your novel rejected because your blockbuster horror manuscript is written with the creepiest font the word processor has to offer, and a dark background. :D They'll think you're not taking this seriously.

    But I think whatever helps spur your creativity, go for it. Write your fantasy with a parchment-like background and tiny cursives so it looks like it was actually written in that setting. Just remember to reset it back to proper manuscript form before handing it in. ;)

    That's what I did as well, only I wrote in crazy fonts with bright colors. :p Fun times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
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  7. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love that. It must look like an exciting read at first glance:D.

    @Wreybies, that's really easy on the eyes. It looks a bit like your blog, too. Do you edit in the standard format, just for a different look? Or do you stick to that one?

    @Link the Writer's idea brings an interesting point: is the format scheme important for getting you in the mood to tell a story of a certain theme? Maybe not even theme-based, but I'm beginning to wonder if a darker background might draw the writer into her story more, killing distractions.
     
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    12 point courier, single spaced, changed to double spaced when I print anything for group critique.

    My inspiration comes from walking in the woods or now that it's summer, sitting in the backyard. Font and formatting are just 'things'.


    I hope that's not blasphemous. ;)
     
  9. J Chris
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    J Chris New Member

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    I use Word's default font, and then tailor the font and size according to submission guidelines. That's usually Times New Roman, 12, double-spaced.
     
  10. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I'll chime in and say I write in standard manuscript format all the time. It's just so.. organized and clean looking. So, you know, Times New Roman, 12pt, double spaced, 1" margin, the whole shabang.

    Although, if I could get scrivenr for my tablet, I might switch to that.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    @Okon - What I figure is if the manuscript looks like something that could exist in the writer's story, it might help lull them into not worrying about being so standard and stuffy; encourage them to be more creative. For instance, if a writer is doing historical fiction, they could get the manuscript to look like it was written at that time period. They could even do a little roleplaying and have the name that goes under 'By' be the name of one of their characters so they can pretend to be their character writing that particular story.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I occasionally compile and export it as a .doc in Shunn format as a backup, but I typically do all my new work, revision, editing, etc. in the format you see there in my screen-cap. The color scheme is actually the vestige of a steampunk phase I went through, but I kept it because it is easy on the eye. I've seen some Scrivener set-ups that were pretty jarring. Not sure how folks write through all that visual stuff. And yes, my blog is a direct take in design from my Scrivener set-up. ;)
     
  13. hummingbird
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    hummingbird Member

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    I am completely unable to write with double-spacing. I don't know why, but it has always bothered me. Even back when I was in school and had to write by hand, I hated "skipping a line." I hate typing double-spaced. It just bothers me down at a gut level. So generally I single space with a tiny bit of extra spacing between paragraphs.
    The rest doesn't matter to me - size, font, margins, etc I just leave on whatever the default happens to be in my editor.
    I know if I ever get to the point of submitting a manuscript I'll have to change my spacing, but I have a long ways to go before that becomes a concern. If I left it double spaced for now I'd probably never have a completed manuscript.
     
  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I tested my own theory out and the result was directly opposite to what I had expected. I was so distracted by how to make the formatting look perfect that I forgot the writing part. :p Going to go back to using the normal formatting.
     
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  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I use Times New Roman, 12 point, single-spaced, no extra paragraph spacing. It looks nice on the screen.

    As @Wreybies pointed out, Scrivener lets you write in whatever format you like, and it will still compile to standard Shunn manuscript format. This is actually a wonderful feature! I print out my stories in Shunn format because it's easy to mark them up in red pen - the double spacing gives me room to do that. I find Courier ugly, though, so I don't like looking at it on my screen.
     
  16. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use Californian FB 12-pt for the font after a lot of trial and error to find one that's nice and easy on the eyes. I also use 1.5 line spacing instead of double, since it looks like it's wasting so much space. Paragraph spacing is all standard--no extra spacing, no window/orphan control, auto-indent, etc. For some reason, I actually like the process of converting my work to manuscript format. I guess it ensures that I have to go through it in its entirety at least once to catch all the little formatting changes (em dashes, ellipses, double-space after periods, italics, etc).
     
  17. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Single spaced, not 100% on margin size. I usually align it 'justify' but got lazy this time. In 11pt arial because it's neat, it's tidy, and it's easy to read. I don't like too many serifs on my typeface.

    I haven't submitted a manuscript yet but when I do it will be in TNR, 12 point and double spaced.

    Also, the scene in the screenshot was written out over facebook while my co-writer and I had connection problems with our computers. We haven't edited it, so there is *emphasis* instead of emphasis in a couple of places.
     

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  18. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is interesting stuff! I didn't know so many disliked double-spacing. I'm fine with single space if the right side of the text is justified too; it just looks so chunky and weird to me with left-only-justified and no spacing--really thick on one end, and all spidery on the other.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    After writing a paragraph out in Times New Roman, 1.5 spacing and 12-point font, I've now changed this to be my format. :)

    It is interesting that so many don't like double-spacing. I always thought it'd be easier to read and take notes on when you go to edit the manuscript.
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is one reason I love Scrivener. I can write in any format I want on my screen, but when I print it out, Scrivener can automatically format to double-spaced Courier, which is easy to mark up and make notes on. Best of both worlds, dude! :)
     
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  21. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I write in standard manuscript format, with the exception of using 1.15 line spacing instead of double.
    When using Scrivener's full screen mode I have a really dark drown background with a bright gray-white paper and black text.
     
  22. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate worrying about formatting when I write. I do all my writing in Google Docs, and I just use Google Doc's default styles. They are easy to read, and they are familiar to everyone who uses gdocs (I collaborate a lot), and those are the important things.

    If I need to, I can always change the formatting of the entire document just by highlighting a paragraph, making the changes I want, and updating the "normal text" style to match the selection. It instantly changes all paragraphs to match, as long as all paragraphs are in the normal style. (Which they are, since I never tamper with their formatting.)

    If I need more control over the semantic structure than what gdocs allows (e.g. if I need visually distinctive blockquotes, code snippets, citations, equations, etc.) then I use LyX. WYSIWYG (which describes word processors) is meant for people who are primarily concerned with how the content looks on paper. WYSIWYM (which describes LaTeX editors like LyX) is meant for people who are primarily concerned with getting a message across.

    In LyX, you deal with semantic structure and visual formatting completely separately. When you write, you cannot directly change how something looks. (You can change the semantic markup of something, e.g. putting emphasis on a word or turning a line into a heading, and that may or may not have the side effect of changing its appearance.) Instead, you use the document's style (part of the document's settings) in order to select the visual attributes that it will have when exported to PDF.
     
  23. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    12 pt Arial, converted to whatever the prospective publisher wants before submission. I only use black type on a white background since I think anything meant to be read should be in those colors, including websites.

    i write in single-spacing, but I often print a copy to edit by hand, and switch to double-spacing for that.
     
  24. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    12 pt Times New Roman. I wrote completely double spaced the entire way down, but I just dropped it to 1.5 spacing. It looks nicer, in my opinion. I don't know how much it matters to publishers, though. If they're printing it out they'd probably want full double spacing so they could edit on a hard copy if they needed.
     

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