I changed the wording of this feature title. Writing Newbie Mistakes Monday, the previous title, could be misconstrued as WAYS to write some newbie mistakes…maybe I’m overthinking it, but I had to change it!
This Monday, I thought I’d talk about FORMATTING those rough drafts/MSes, queries, and proposals.
The format I started out with was exactly what I’d learned in college (which was ______ years ago…). Single-spaced lines, no indent, double-spaced paragraphs (It’s how I’m writing right now). Oh, and I chose whichever font best captured the vibe of my book, so for my modern paranormal, I used a font kinda like this. CERTAINLY agents would want to read Otherworld with the font that evoked the mysteriousness of the big purple house on the hill, right?
As I moved along in this writing process, joined a critique group, and got feedback from an editor, I realized that I wasn’t looking too professional, sending my stuff out with the wrong font and format.
I also tended to comment on fellow writers’ (or agents’!) blogposts with my favorite, carefree-yet-artsy girl way of writing (NO CAPS! AT ALL!). It looked…well, lazy. Not as artsy as I was thinking (but I still love you, e.e.cummings! And I don’t capitalize things properly on twitter, in homage to you!).
So I started paying attention to my IMAGE when I wrote. And I decided to try to follow the rules for sending in queries/manuscripts and proposals, which as I currently understand them ARE:
1) Use Times New Roman font, size 12.
2) Indent every paragraph.
3) Double-space every paragraph.
4) And the BIGGEST DOWNFALL, for those of my generation: SINGLE-SPACE AFTER PERIODS. YES, YOU READ ME RIGHT (UGH, I KNOW). SINGLE-SPACE AFTER EVERYTHING: COLONS, COMMAS, WHATEVER. IT’S ALL THE SAME NOW.
(but i can’t promise that i might not show up in your comment box, writing sans capital letters, just for the sheer joy of it all….)
*****What about you? Do you write your books in the correct font or just have fun? Have you run into any of these issues?*****