A3Writer: On Format
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On Format

     I understand why agents and editors make formatting a big deal. It is a big deal. Screwed up formatting, from how it looks on the page to the file format to the file name are a big deal, and I'm not even looking at this with publishing experience. As a college professor, I am driven up the wall when it comes to my students simply throwing whatever format they want out there. I'm sure agents and editors spend hundreds of hours on fixing simple formatting mistakes that should never be committed in the first place. Among the biggest I can think of are using spaces to indent paragraphs, manually inserting page numbers and headers on ever page, and using bizarre styles that set everything screwy from the get go.
     My advice, learn the formatting before you start writing. If you do it before you write, you won't have to worry about having done it wrong and wasting time. To that end, I've whipped up a little something that reflects the most current formatting. I'll post it up soon if anyone wants it. Of course, that's just the most generalized format. Agents and editors are the final authority on how manuscripts should be formatted.

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