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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Story Format Question

   
Author Topic: Story Format Question
Dogmatic
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Hi all,
I'm sure this is addressed somewhere on this site but I couldn't find it. Are there any standard formatting rules for short story submissions as far as page margins, line spacing, etc...?

Thanks in advanced!


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Merlion-Emrys
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Yep, I don't have the link to it anymore but I think theres actually an article on the SFWA site that nicely details Standard Manuscript Format. You should be able to google those three words and come up with something pretty easily.
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InarticulateBabbler
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The SFWA format page. It also depends on what program you're using. And this is the other manuscript page at the SFWA website. And, while I'm at it, here is the word count directions.

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited April 16, 2009).]


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C L Lynn
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However, concerning your story The Landing, I'm not sure all the rules apply, or should apply, that is. If every section had been typed in the standard Courier font, I would've had trouble distinguishing the computer readouts from the rest. The use of the two fonts was fitting and engaging. While I was critiquing, I did wonder how you would handle the Standard Manuscript Format issue. I'm sure this way of presenting story information has been done before, but how to handle it during the submissions process? Follow the rules? Break them, b/c the story demands it? Hmmm...

Who else has gotten away with two fonts successfully? And was that an editor's/typesetter's decision rather than the author's?


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Dogmatic
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My other thought on my story was to put the main part of the story in Courier and the computer generated text in something like Times New Roman. It doesn't look as good as the opposite way but it may be closer to correct formatting specs.
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extrinsic
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In an alternative, text that is excerpted, quoted, or representative of a printout, for example, could be block indented in the same typeface as the body of a manuscript.

In me experience as a typesetter, editor, student term paper writer, if, say a letter, a newspaper report, an excerpt from an external source, or a false document is incorporated into a manuscript, my style manuals all say that block indentation is the recommended way to set it off.

One line with only a typesetter's line space character, #, either flush left or paragraph indented precedes and follows a block indentation in a standard manuscript format, but not in a term paper.


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