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Boomers Write – Writing Help – Manuscript Style
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Proper Manuscript Style is Vital
As with everything else in life, there are rules associated with how you present your manuscript. Doing it incorrectly might result in all your hard work being pushed aside, so it is vital that you do it right.
1) Your work must be double-spaced.
2) Use a plain type like Times New Roman or Courier New.
3) The type size should be 12 pt.
4) Use italics only to emphasize words or phrases.
5) Avoid all caps and bold face.
6) Set your margins to give you six inches across of text, with at least 1-½ inches at the top and bottom of an 8 ½ x 11 inches page.
7) Indents should be 5 or 6 spaces.
8) Do not put extra lines between paragraphs.
9) Don’t justify your text. Simply make it align left.
10) Each page should include your name, book title and page number at the top.
11) Use a white background or white paper only.
If you need to, you might want to take advantage of new software that has recently come out called 'New Novelist.' This software helps you improve your characters, maintain structure, set out chapters, follow your plot line and even offers suggestions and ideas as you go along. New Novelist software costs $54.99 U.S. and is available at: http://www.newnovelist.com It is interesting that the editor of this new software is Lucinda Hawksley, who is the great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens. She is also a successful author herself, with 13 published books.
The manuscript style for children’s books must also be double spaced and set out with the same margins. Put your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address on the top left-hand side of the page. Then scroll down about half way and center the title of your book. Then double-space and begin the body of your work. Each page should include your name, book title and page number at the top. Finally, just because it is a children’s book don’t add such flowery items as stickers or extraneous graphics to your manuscript.
If you are writing a children’s book or e-book, you might want to take advantage of a new program called e-Books Writer LITE available for free at: http://www.eBooksWriter.com This program is for works up to 20 pages or 1 MB. The Pro Edition costs $119.
Also, if your computer does not have the capacity to hold a full manuscript, you can go to http://www.writely.com where you will find a web-based Microsoft word processing program you can use for free. As well, no writer should be without a good dictionary and Thesaurus. You will find these both on line at: WordWeb: http://www.wordweb.co.uk/free.
If at some point, you would like to convert your manuscript into a PDF file, you can do this free for the first couple of times at: http://www.createpdf.adobe.com. E-book writers will find this most helpful. An even better site I recently found that converts MS Word files into PDF for free, with no limit on the number of uses is at: http://convert.neevia.com.
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