One thing that I’ve learned over time is that there are some specific (though not set in stone) requirements to the formatting of a manuscript.Tweet
How it looks and how it works do matter!
In my time as a book formatter, I’ve also learned that there are a wide variety of ways to incorrectly format a manuscript. The problems start back at the very beginning, and that’s why I think it’s important for us authors to learn how to format the most basic parts of our works in progress so that our editor doesn’t have to waste any time fixing things we could have done ourselves.
- page size
- hard returns
- page breaks
- scene breaks
- chapter headers
- and page headers
When we are properly formatting these items ahead of time our editors don’t have to stop and fix them when their time could be better utilized by staying focused on our prose.
Not only do editors love appropriate formatting, it will also give the manuscript a professional appearance when submitting to an agent or publisher.Tweet
It even is a great place to start when submitting to contests. The only caveat to this is that we also have to read the submission requirements and/or guidelines to agents, publishers, and contests!
I’ve put together a seven-part (9 videos) series that is available for free for writers to learn how to fix formatting and set up good formatting in a manuscript before sending it to anyone, including and especially the editor!
Click the link above or find B4 the Editor – Formatting for Writers in the menu above.
If you struggle with formatting, I hope you’ll watch these videos and use them as the helpful tool they are meant to be.