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Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters) : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
jaidan
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Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby jaidan » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:01 pm

Hi, I can't find a single professional article that addresses "books" within the book or subchapters. For instance, my book - which is a long sci-fi adventure - has 12 large chapters. If the book is ever published, I would like each chapter title to take up a full page, possibly with an illustration. Within those chapters, there are anywhere from 1 to 7 sections.

It's not exactly the same but, for instance, think of books that have the structure:

DAY ONE
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

DAY TWO
etc.

In the case of my book, it's not broken down by days but it's a similar formatting requirement. There are 12 big chapters with descriptive chapter names and then each of those is broken into subchapters with each subchapter being a different character's perspective (it alternates between 7 main narrators). So ideally, I'd like to have it structured like this:

FIRST CHAPTER NAME (full page with illustration)
First Character Name
Second Character Name
Third Character Name

...and so on.

How should this be formatted in an official manuscript that's meant to go to agents and publishers? Right now, I've just done the standard formatting for the chapter names (centered part of the way down the page, in bold, immediately followed by the text) and then have not specially identified the subchapters, simply dividing them with the # sign (as scene breaks per typical manuscript rules). I'd like to format them in line with the structure above but have no idea how.

Also, if the chapter names are given their own page, are illustrations included? If not, can they be included at the end or should they always be left out of a manuscript?

Thanks!

williamadams
 

Re: Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby williamadams » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:19 pm

imho

format it the way you want it
then submit it to the agent/publisher

realise that the agent or editor and publisher may change it

if you want full control then self publish

jaidan
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Re: Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby jaidan » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:36 pm

Thanks but that's not quite my question. There are generally certain standards when it comes to official manuscripts...the book itself can be formatted in any way I want if it gets picked up for publishing; what I'm asking about is the correct format for use in the original manuscript that will be submitted to agents and publishers. You can't just format it any way you want - there are professional standards and most publishers and agents expect to see those guidelines followed. I've taken a lot of care to format the manuscript properly and really don't want to wing it with this last issue :-)

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robjvargas
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Re: Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby robjvargas » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:14 pm

Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

It's still under construction, but come take a look.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby cynicalwanderer » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:36 pm

I'd suggest it might look more professional having the main chapter names, but then leave the character POV sections to be worked out by context, separated by a scene break each time (three centered asterisks such as * * * are often used for these). If you're writing it clearly, then within a few sentences it should generally be obvious who is currently the POV character, which makes the sub-chapter breakdown unnecessary. At any rate, go with your instincts and preferences, but that's the most common way I've seen similarly structured books handle this matter.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

jaidan
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Re: Manuscript Rules for Books (Within Books / Subchapters)

Postby jaidan » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:16 pm



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