Here’s a general reference with some useful standard manuscript format links. I hope this is helpful for anyone planning to submit a short story or novel somewhere, though it’s also for my own reference.
How to Format for Online Submission – Many of the standard manuscript formatting guides you find online don’t take into account online submissions and modern word processing software issues. Great post by Patty Jansen!
Example of Short Story – A sample of a short story formatted in SMF via William Shunn.
Example of Novel with Chapters – A sample of a novel with chapters formatted in SMF via William Shunn.
Format for submitting a partial – Just in case you need it via BookEnds LLC
Formatting tips for writers – Including how to format a synopsis via Agent Query
Dark Courier Font – A favorite of more than a few writers. It’s easier to read than Courier.
- Double space or single space after a period?
Single space. This one is easy to search and replace if you’re in the habit of double spaces (I am).
- Curly quotes or straight quotes?
If formatting for e-books, use curly quotes. Some publishers prefer straight quotes. Auto-formatting sometimes messes up the curly quotes (they can end up backwards or straight) so double check them.
- Indent the first line of the story, chapter, scene or not?
I’ve seen it done both ways. Your choice?
- Where do you add your pseudonym?
To the ‘by’ line beneath the title of your novel/story. In the address section and page header of the document use your legal name.
Note: Some online publications may ask for web formatted submissions (single spaced, spaces between paragraphs, no indents).
And in other news, I’ve been on a break from writing for the past week. It’s been nice to enjoy the summer and indulge in some non-writing creative outlets (dancing, sewing, food photography). Do you have creative hobbies other than sewing? How has your summer been?