Rough draft questions

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GARLAND3688
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Rough draft questions

Postby GARLAND3688 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:20 am

Hello, I am new to the community and had some questions regarding first drafts.

I was wondering how many of you out there type their word first drafts on the computer, like for example, Microsoft word? If so, do you type the rough draft in a certain format or save that when you're ready to submit the actual manuscript for publishing? Page size, spacing, font size, etc... Or do you just first hand write your story first and save all the typing for editing and manuscript formatting?

I was curious if anyone types a rough draft without double spacing?

Also, part of my next question is due to the fact that I enjoy writing a lot, and despite being an avid reader I know I am a very bad editor. When typing your work during a draft or even writing it out, do you know exactly where to put things such as ellipsis, en dash, em dash, or where to italicize your words? And does most programs adjust it for you when you do remember to put them in manually?

Lastly, when finishing up your manuscript and right before submitting them to publishers, is it the editors jobs to add those dashes and italicize to use emphasis on a word or do you have to include that in your submitted manuscript? I always pictured that the complete manuscript has to be in times new roman font and that the editors add that stuff in

Thank you so much and I hope some one can answer my questions.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Jared

sammy2
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby sammy2 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:13 am

[quote="GARLAND3688"]Hello, I am new to the community and had some questions regarding first drafts.

I was wondering how many of you out there type their word first drafts on the computer, like for example, Microsoft word? If so, do you type the rough draft in a certain format or save that when you're ready to submit the actual manuscript for publishing? Page size, spacing, font size, etc... Or do you just first hand write your story first and save all the typing for editing and manuscript formatting?

I was curious if anyone types a rough draft without double spacing?

Also, part of my next question is due to the fact that I enjoy writing a lot, and despite being an avid reader I know I am a very bad editor. When typing your work during a draft or even writing it out, do you know exactly where to put things such as ellipsis, en dash, em dash, or where to italicize your words? And does most programs adjust it for you when you do remember to put them in manually?

Lastly, when finishing up your manuscript and right before submitting them to publishers, is it the editors jobs to add those dashes and italicize to use emphasis on a word or do you have to include that in your submitted manuscript? I always pictured that the complete manuscript has to be in times new roman font and that the editors add that stuff in

Thank you so much and I hope some one can answer my questions.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Jared[/quote]

==========

I type everything on a computer using word. Planning to switch to linux and libre soon.

No real formatting while writing at all. That gets done last after all the editing and revisions.

I print double space if I am going to do major revisions. I print single space for minor proofing.
I do not double space on screen.

I put ellipses and dashes in as I go. I tend to let italics and similar items go until the end.
But only do real formatting only when the mss is totally finished and done. Some of the items you mention are not formatting they are the content.

You should put in whatever content your mss needs. Editors may make changes for various reasons but they are not going to fix your mss with formatting other than to prepare it for publication to fit the media and certainly not to add things that should have been there that you call formatting. The typesetters may change your dashes to a true em dash.

Times new roman is a terrible font that is only used because word defaults to it. The standard is Courier. Twelve point. Double spaced. Big margins all around. For scripts you must use Courier. For novels you can get usually away with other large x-height fonts that look reasonable. Some agents or publishers may require a specific font for their use if they are reading on paper. An electric copy can allow change the entire font for typesetting purposes.

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ostarella
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby ostarella » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:05 pm

[quote="GARLAND3688"]
I was wondering how many of you out there type their word first drafts on the computer, like for example, Microsoft word? If so, do you type the rough draft in a certain format or save that when you're ready to submit the actual manuscript for publishing? Page size, spacing, font size, etc... Or do you just first hand write your story first and save all the typing for editing and manuscript formatting?

I was curious if anyone types a rough draft without double spacing? [/quote]


These are all just personal preferences, of course, but I typically use a pc, with a format I set up in Atlantis Nova. But I have also hand-written various chapters and then re-type them into the computer document (very time-consuming and rather boring, but at least the writing got done). I set up my line spacing so it's easy for me to read, and yeah, I double-space between paragraphs. No point in making things more difficult by making it hard to look at, right? ;)


[quote="GARLAND3688"]
Also, part of my next question is due to the fact that I enjoy writing a lot, and despite being an avid reader I know I am a very bad editor. When typing your work during a draft or even writing it out, do you know exactly where to put things such as ellipsis, en dash, em dash, or where to italicize your words? And does most programs adjust it for you when you do remember to put them in manually? [/quote]

I've been reading and writing long enough so any grammatical issues are pretty automatic. I do find myself rewriting a sentence to see whether something reads better one way or another, but in general they get placed where they should be from the gitgo.

Not sure I understand the last question. I don't know of any word processors that don't do exactly what you tell them to. ??


[quote="GARLAND3688"]
Lastly, when finishing up your manuscript and right before submitting them to publishers, is it the editors jobs to add those dashes and italicize to use emphasis on a word or do you have to include that in your submitted manuscript? I always pictured that the complete manuscript has to be in times new roman font and that the editors add that stuff in[/quote]

You're the editor - at the very least, the proofreader. You can, of course, hire an editor or proofreader prior to submission if you want to, but the more they have to do, the more money you're out. And no, you do NOT want to submit a manuscript that isn't as perfect as you can possibly make it. Why would an agent/publisher take on an ms that requires more time and money to "fix" when they get thousands of ms that need very little to make it presentable?

As to format, each agent/publisher has their own requirements - use whatever they say they want.

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wdarcy
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby wdarcy » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:22 pm

I write my first draft in Microsoft Word, Courier 12 double-spaced. Each chapter is in a separate file. When I've finished the first draft I enter revisions in the hard copy in red ink, then enter them into the computer files. When I'm finished revising I merge the files into one master copy--still Courier 12 double-spaced.

I send my manuscript to agents in whatever format they request. I also make a Times New Roman 12 double-spaced version of the manuscript, print it out, and have it copied and spiral bound. That's what I give my first readers.

And yes, while writing the first draft I do know exactly where to place punctuation, italics, etc., although obviously I might change some of that during the revision process.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby sammy2 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:15 pm

[quote="wdarcy"]I write my first draft in Microsoft Word, Courier 12 double-spaced. Each chapter is in a separate file. When I've finished the first draft I enter revisions in the hard copy in red ink, then enter them into the computer files. When I'm finished revising I merge the files into one master copy--still Courier 12 double-spaced.

I send my manuscript to agents in whatever format they request. I also make a Times New Roman 12 double-spaced version of the manuscript, print it out, and have it copied and spiral bound. That's what I give my first readers.

And yes, while writing the first draft I do know exactly where to place punctuation, italics, etc., although obviously I might change some of that during the revision process.

--Warren[/quote]


Why would you inflict times roman on your readers? It was developed by the times of London to be able to pack the maximum number of words on a page not to be easy to read. Double spacing conflicts with the goal of times roman to pack as many words on a page as possible, which seems contradictory. Why not use the same courier font that scripts must have, most agents prefer, and which you used originally.

If you use different fonts why not pick something easier to read with a large x-height and less obtrusive serifs? Arial narrow is very legible and puts more words on the page than courier if your goal is to save paper. Courier is very legible but does put fewer words on a page.

What is the motivation to use TR? Also, what is the motivation for spiral binding. Scripts have their own presentation de facto standard, but don't agents want loose sheets unbound. Why spiral bind for your beta readers?

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wdarcy
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby wdarcy » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:58 pm

The spiral binding is for the convenience of my first readers, who would not want to deal with hundreds of loose-leaf pages. When submitting to agents I always do it electronically, in whatever font they want. Very few agents these days want manuscripts by snail mail. If by chance one did I would certainly send loose pages.

I guess I don't have quite the aversion to TNR as you do, nor do my readers (I asked). I do it to cut down on the number of pages and the copying cost. Also, remember I preserve the double spacing, which makes it easier to read. Actually, one novel I did distribute in Courier 12 instead of TNR. But it makes for a much longer manuscript. I'll consider doing that for my current novel when it reaches that point. Or I may take your suggestion and use Ariel 12. I agree that's easy to read.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

T.A.Rodgers
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:34 pm

TNR is the main accepted font for all submissions to agents and publishers. You can use courier as well, but not required.

sammy2
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby sammy2 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:07 pm

[quote="T.A.Rodgers"]TNR is the main accepted font for all submissions to agents and publishers. You can use courier as well, but not required.[/quote]

I cant say about novel mss but for scripts courier is mandatory. I do find it hard to believe as TNR is so much harder on the eyes. Maybe when those agents and publishers get older they may change their minds.

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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby T.A.Rodgers » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:58 am

[quote="sammy2"][quote="T.A.Rodgers"]TNR is the main accepted font for all submissions to agents and publishers. You can use courier as well, but not required.[/quote]

I cant say about novel mss but for scripts courier is mandatory. I do find it hard to believe as TNR is so much harder on the eyes. Maybe when those agents and publishers get older they may change their minds.[/quote]

I agree Courier does spread the words out better than TNR. I've never had any problems reading or working with TNR. I use 12 font and double space everything as required for fiction submissions. With Word if the text is too small to read on the screen, all you have to do is zoom in. I usually do this when doing edits. Takes the strain off the eyes.

sammy2
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Re: Rough draft questions

Postby sammy2 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:39 am

[quote="T.A.Rodgers"][quote="sammy2"][quote="T.A.Rodgers"]TNR is the main accepted font for all submissions to agents and publishers. You can use courier as well, but not required.[/quote]

I cant say about novel mss but for scripts courier is mandatory. I do find it hard to believe as TNR is so much harder on the eyes. Maybe when those agents and publishers get older they may change their minds.[/quote]

I agree Courier does spread the words out better than TNR. I've never had any problems reading or working with TNR. I use 12 font and double space everything as required for fiction submissions. With Word if the text is too small to read on the screen, all you have to do is zoom in. I usually do this when doing edits. Takes the strain off the eyes.[/quote]


I zoom word and any program that makes me read on screen. The real problem is after it is printed.

Microsoft designed Georgia to replace TNR because of problems reading TNR. On screen it makes a big difference.

Remember that TR was designed to pack the most words on a page not be aesthetic nor easy to read.
In print I would have to use 14+ size to have a chance at reading times. And it would still be unpleasant.
If word had not defaulted to TNR would it really be used that much? If people had a palette of fonts would they have naturally picked TR?

I have several thousand fonts that I have for use and there are so many that look nicer and are easier to read.
I guess if I wanted to pack more words into a printout then TNR might be my choice. But unless a client demands it I would never use it.

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