ellen datlow (ellen_datlow) wrote,
ellen datlow
ellen_datlow

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A rant on proper manuscript formatting

Recent reading and editing has brought to my attention the fact that some writers have suddenly (well, since using computers and email) decided that the usual rules of mss preparation are no longer necessary.

Three examples:
1) I have received print submissions without PAGE NUMBERS (not often, but still, this should never happen).

2) I have increasingly been the recipient of manuscripts that don't underline words meant to be italicized in the story's final, printed form. The reason editors/copy editors/and whoever does the production on a mss need to see underlines is that some typefaces don't show italics very well, and even if they did--it's quicker to "see" underline than italics

3)I have been receiving mss without anything indicating space breaks. What happened to ###? I'm in the middle of reading a printout that seemed to be missing at least two pages because there were no transitions...When I checked the efile, lo and behold, the sentence breaks were in different places so I could actually see that there were supposed to be space breaks. Writers--new and pro--please please show your space breaks by putting in hash marks.

4) Paragraphing--before online publishing, paragraphing was shown by indenting margins...Guess what, folks? Most publishing (especially of books) is still print, which means that paragraphs are indented.

Rant over
Tags: proper mss preparation
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