How To Format Your Manuscript
Posted on Dec 3 2012 at 09:25:16 AM in Literature
As you are typing the beginning of your book, there is one thing you must do. You have to start formatting your manuscript. Knowing how to format a manuscript in the beginning will save you a lot of time and energy later, and will prevent you from having to go back after finishing your book to format each page one-by-one. It’s not that difficult as long as you do it right.
Follow these simple instructions:
* Use a 12-point font. Whether you use Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New is your judgment call.
* 1-inch margins
* Indent paragraphs using tab (not an extra line spacing). I like to use .3 for my tabs
* Create a header for the top of each page. On the left side type: your last name/title of book in all caps/the word "manuscript", and on the same line but to the right will be the page number.
(Sometimes the program you use will let you insert a header that’ll appear automatically on each page and even allows you to insert page numbers.)
The header should look like this:
Last Name/TITLE/Manuscript Page 1
* When starting a new chapter go about 7 line spaces down the page from the header. This is where you type in all caps:
CHAPTER ONE -- THE CHAPTER TITLE (if needed)
* After you write the chapter number, go down about 5 lines spaces, indent using tab, and start writing the first paragraph.
* When you get to a new page, which is not the start of a new chapter, start typing 3 line spaces below the header.
FYI: You don’t have to use the exact line spaces that I indicate, but using spacing close to it would be wise.
* For words or sentences that need to be italic in a book (such as a characters thoughts) do not use italic. Instead, underline it because it's easier for an editor/agent/publisher to see.
* At the end of the manuscript, go a few lines spaces under the last sentence (or half-way between the last line and the bottom of the page) and type in all caps:
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