Totally Newbie Questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Totally Newbie Questions
7
Thu, 09-04-2008 - 9:25am

I'm finally taking the plunge and starting writing a book, something I've wanted to do since jr. high.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2008
Thu, 09-04-2008 - 2:12pm

Double spaced, one inch margins, size 12 font, Times New Roman.

As for classes. Do a Google search for what is best for you. Online classes can be really, really expensive though. Is there a local writing group in your community you could join?
Perhaps a community writing class at an art center would be best for you. These classes are best for motivation and meeting like minded people!

Get writing....the best way to learn to write is by doing it.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Thu, 09-04-2008 - 4:54pm

Everything you need to know about manuscript formatting:

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Writing Blog |

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 09-04-2008 - 4:56pm

Hi, Calie! Welcome to The Writing Life!


There's only one thing I might add to the format information from our new copywriting friend. Since you're double spacing lines, paragraphs should be identified by indenting the first line of each one. Five spaces should be sufficient. MS Word will do that automatically if you tell it to.


As for education, I adore writers' conferences. They may seem a bit pricey but if you find one close to home, it may be more affordable than classes once you break everything down. You get to take the workshops you want and skip those that don't interest you. You get to rub elbows with agents, editors,

JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 09-04-2008 - 5:14pm

Wow, thanks, Linda!


The price is right on those free classes. LOL! I'll have to check it out. (You can never have too much education. Enough might convince you that you can teach. Heehee!)


Manuscript formatting has changed several times since I started writing. 'Course, the PC was invented after I'd been writing for nearly a generation! ;-) Actually, slug location has changed more times than anything. Think that might be so the editors might guess the age of the writers? Nah, probably just checking to see if they can find and follow the current instructions.


Thanks again, Linda. Your input is always appreciated.

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-08-2008 - 9:23am

Thank you all so much for the info.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
Sun, 10-12-2008 - 2:36pm

i must say that i completely disagree with the "standard format," but simply because its not what works for me. i don't double space, and i always use a slightly larger font like ariel. I feel this is simply what works best for my eyes...but only of a first draft. the wonderful thing about computers is that you can easliy reformat things. i find that when i chage the font back to times new roman and double space when i start my revisions, my eyes are not as firmilar with the text and i can catch things i otherwise would tend to skip over because my brain simply knows what to expect.


i would suggest taking your original start and playing around with formatting a bit to see what simply feels right for you =)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 10-13-2008 - 1:14pm

You have a point. Writing is difficult enough sometimes without worrying about format. If you want to pour out your first draft in Comic font at 18 point, that's up to you. If it makes the job easier, go for it!


Just don't forget to reformat your final draft before sending it out for submission. Nothing puts you in the reject pile faster than not following the rules.


Writing your drafts in a large font makes your writing easier to read. Single line spaces in your draft grow your final draft two fold the minute you reformat to double line spaces.


Playing games with your own head often makes it easier to play with your readers.

JudyB







JudyB