View Full Version : Common Formatting Guidelines
December 20th, 2004, 08:31 AM
I have a few formatting issues when writing. First of all, I've seen some magazine editors ask for double spaced and others ask for single space; I assume this is simply preference but what is the most common of the two?
Secondly, When a characters is speaking I have the habit of each person being on a new line, for example:
"I hate this place." Said Bill.
"Yeah, same here." Jim responded. "Why do they need us down here any how?"
"Eh, they want to cover their own butts."
Is this correct format?
Lastly, similar to the first question but with novel submissions. Should they be double or single spaced? I know most magazines don't want cover pages but do most submissions for novels require cover pages?
December 20th, 2004, 09:33 AM
Well as far as your editing question, it is really a question of preference. Double-spacing makes it easier to edit (I think) but single spacing looks nicer on the page ;)
Now to the real question...
Yes, everytime a new character speaks it should be on a new line (and indented). One thing I noticed though, you put periods at the end of your quotes but then continued the sentence. Unless you are ending the sentence with that quote, end the quotes with a comma and then throw in the "said whoever."
I don't know about most magazines not wanting cover pages, in my experience everyone that I have submitted to wants one... I do not KNOW but I would highly suggest putting a cover page on a novel submission.
December 20th, 2004, 09:54 AM
The answer, is that the agent/publisher/publication will tell you exactly what they want, although every single submission guidelines I have read requests double-spaced.
You should start text on a new line, or set an action tag on a new line before text:
"What is an action tag?" asked nisim.
Juzzza smiled to himself and said, "This is my good friend."
"I see," said nisim.
"Glad I could help," replied Juzzza ducking before Rocket Sheep turns up.
Notice no capital letter after speech, even when using a question mark. Most speech ends with a comma, and again, no capitalization for 'said whoever'.
December 20th, 2004, 10:38 AM
A rough guide I use for submissions, but as Juzzza said read the publishers details before you submit.
Double spaced. 12 font New times roman or Courier. No paragraph broken and taken over the page. So new page, new paragraph. One inch spaces.margins, top, bottom, left and right (this can differ from publisher to publisher.) New chapter new page. Page number at the bottom and centred. No double sided printed in hard copy submissions.... so if your story is 350 pages long, double spaced that is 350 pages you have to post. No fancy headers or footers, just the title and your name... Front page with your details, name address etc... title of book, page numbers and word count.
This is a basic, each publisher is different check their guidelines before send out.....
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