The devil truly is in the details. The minutiae of completing a task are often just as important as the rest of it. When it comes to writing, getting the formatting correct, from the margins, page number position, line spacing, and even period spacing is essential. It’s tiresome, often mind-numbing tedium, but it needs to be done, and it serves a purpose. As authors we may not fully understand why agents and publishing professionals want manuscripts formatted just so, but they know.
As a teacher, I have my own reasons for wanting things just so. There are reasons for why I want margins at 1 inch. Reasons why I want an essay double-spaced, and reasons I want one specific font. Most of all, I have a reason for why I want an essay stapled.
It makes my life easier.
I can grade more efficiently. I’m focused on the writing and not the format. Essays written in script are difficult to read. When there are no margins, I can’t write comments in them. Margins that are too big make me flip through too many pages. Single-spaced essays leave no room for comments and correction. There are reasons, and I become very cross when the little things are wrong.
The devil is in the details, and when the details are wrong, the devil comes out.