Author Topic: formatting a messy manuscript  (Read 14225 times)

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2016, 07:30:50 PM »
007, I did include how to reset the indent for scene breaks and chapters, here: "Then I search for "#" or whatever you use to end scene breaks, and set the slider back to 0.0" for those, then I search for "chapter" (if you have chapter in front of chapter numbers) and set the slider back to 0.0" for those."  If they are set to 0.0, how do they become centered? And there must be another slider? The one I see has 3 things, one for indenting the paragraphs and is located at the top of the ruler thing and two others at the bottom (left indent and hanging indent).

If you're just using the "Heading 1" option for chapters, make sure the ruler is all the way back at 0.0 when you save the style, and it will be set, and will update along with everything else as you're changing from plain text to the style. Okay, this is all Greek to me. How do you save a style? And that would be just for the document? I'd have to do that again for the next MS? And I have no clue what changing from plain text to style means.
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline Micaela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 189
  • Karma: 7
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, lets play!"
    • The Official Website of Author Micaela Eagle
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2016, 07:34:27 PM »
Okay...true newb here! What is this formatting for? Submissions? Ebook?

I'm having anxiety because I don't know what the hell this is about!!!!
Follow me on Twitter: @MicaelaEagle

You can't make everyone happy. You aren't a jar of Nutella.
She's a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. She sees possibility everywhere.
Life is too short for fake butter, cheese or people.

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2016, 07:36:13 PM »
Okay...true newb here! What is this formatting for? Submissions? Ebook?

I'm having anxiety because I don't know what the hell this is about!!!!

I'm doing it for my manuscript, in prep for querying.
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline Micaela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 189
  • Karma: 7
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, lets play!"
    • The Official Website of Author Micaela Eagle
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2016, 07:37:35 PM »
Dang...I've got a lot to learn.
Follow me on Twitter: @MicaelaEagle

You can't make everyone happy. You aren't a jar of Nutella.
She's a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. She sees possibility everywhere.
Life is too short for fake butter, cheese or people.

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2016, 07:40:50 PM »
Dang...I've got a lot to learn.

Join the club.  :) 

You do know that when you paste pages below your emailed query, that those pages should be formatted differently than pages you'd send in an attachment? No indents, single-spaced lines but an extra line between paragraphs, like your query.

The stuff in this thread is for formatting the MS, in case an agent asks to see more than what would be pasted with a query.
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2016, 07:55:40 PM »
Here's a link to my new thread in 'resources for writers'. It has links on how to do things in Word.


https://querytracker.net/forum/index.php?topic=20935.0
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline Micaela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 189
  • Karma: 7
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, lets play!"
    • The Official Website of Author Micaela Eagle
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2016, 08:04:37 PM »
Thanks!!! :clap:
Follow me on Twitter: @MicaelaEagle

You can't make everyone happy. You aren't a jar of Nutella.
She's a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. She sees possibility everywhere.
Life is too short for fake butter, cheese or people.

Offline RKarina

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
  • Karma: 44
  • love, life, & laughter
    • love, life, & laughter
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2016, 08:24:02 PM »
Yay for SlightySmall chiming in!
She's a genius on this stuff.

I won't say formatting is my favorite task, but it's something I do almost on autopilot (too many years of being an editor does that to you), and I do get a strange sort of satisfaction from making the text behave the way I want it to.

I don't know that you really have to be exact and technically perfect when querying...the difference between using the return key versus formatting the chapter head with the proper space above it are not something most people will notice while just looking at the MS - it's also an easy fix when it comes time to format the MS for print/digital run.

If you self-publish, you'll have to worry about your formatting being just so, but there are easy to follow tutorials for that. If you publish with a small/indie house, it's likely they will give you a house style sheet and ask you to format the MS accordingly.

"...It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us..." ~ M. Williamson

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2016, 11:30:43 PM »
Yay for SlightySmall chiming in!
She's a genius on this stuff.

I won't say formatting is my favorite task, but it's something I do almost on autopilot (too many years of being an editor does that to you), and I do get a strange sort of satisfaction from making the text behave the way I want it to.

I don't know that you really have to be exact and technically perfect when querying...the difference between using the return key versus formatting the chapter head with the proper space above it are not something most people will notice while just looking at the MS - it's also an easy fix when it comes time to format the MS for print/digital run.

If you self-publish, you'll have to worry about your formatting being just so, but there are easy to follow tutorials for that. If you publish with a small/indie house, it's likely they will give you a house style sheet and ask you to format the MS accordingly.



Okay. Good to know that I don't necessarily need to be absolutely perfect, though I will try. ; )



Anyone know how to make it so that the header doesn't show up on title page? I tried inserting a blank page at the top and that didn't work. And I tried formatting the header on the first real page, after the title page, and that didn't work.

Also, since the page number will be in the header, it doesn't need to be at the bottom too? And if it still needs to be in the bottom too, how/what's the term for the feature that makes it so the title page isn't page 1?
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline slightlysmall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2069
  • Karma: 303
    • Rochelle Deans
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2016, 11:53:46 PM »
Anyone know how to make it so that the header doesn't show up on title page? I tried inserting a blank page at the top and that didn't work. And I tried formatting the header on the first real page, after the title page, and that didn't work.

Also, since the page number will be in the header, it doesn't need to be at the bottom too? And if it still needs to be in the bottom too, how/what's the term for the feature that makes it so the title page isn't page 1?

There are two ways to do the first thing. This way is what will keep the header off the title page, but won't change the page numbers. The second way will help with both the header and the page number problems.

Way 1: Double-click inside the header and it should open up the "Design" tab. Click on "different first page." (then make sure it deleted the header from the first page, and not from every other page.)

Way 2: Delete your page break between the title page and the first page of the manuscript. Keeping your cursor in the same place, go under "Layout" and choose the "Breaks" drop-down menu. Insert a "Section Break, Next Page." Then, making sure you are on a manuscript page, not the title page, double click in the header section and unclick "Link to previous" in the "Design" tab. You'll probably have to re-add the header at this point, and delete it from the title page. Then click the drop-down menu for "Page number" and choose "Format page numbers." Choose "Start at" and change the number to 1. Then double-check that your title page doesn't have a header, and you should be set.

ETA: Rochelle, thank you!  :emb:

Offline Pandean

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8666
  • Karma: 474
  • Panic in human form
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2016, 12:22:50 AM »
99% sure I miss some type of formatting rule.

12 inch Times New Roman, 1in margins all around, double spaced, header in right corner, page number in right corner, cover page with word count and info, go through the P paragraph thing to make sure there aren't any rogue spaces. Scene breaks with ### (thought I'm never entirely sure what constitutes as a scene break).

It's worked for me.

But I'd be lost if I had to clean up a messy MS.

That's why we have people like SS and Tabris.
WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019

Offline 007 fan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Karma: 748
  • Eye right store ease.
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2016, 12:45:14 AM »
Anyone know how to make it so that the header doesn't show up on title page? I tried inserting a blank page at the top and that didn't work. And I tried formatting the header on the first real page, after the title page, and that didn't work.

Also, since the page number will be in the header, it doesn't need to be at the bottom too? And if it still needs to be in the bottom too, how/what's the term for the feature that makes it so the title page isn't page 1?

There are two ways to do the first thing. This way is what will keep the header off the title page, but won't change the page numbers. The second way will help with both the header and the page number problems.

Way 1: Double-click inside the header and it should open up the "Design" tab. Click on "different first page." (then make sure it deleted the header from the first page, and not from every other page.)

Way 2: Delete your page break between the title page and the first page of the manuscript. Keeping your cursor in the same place, go under "Layout" and choose the "Breaks" drop-down menu. Insert a "Section Break, Next Page." Then, making sure you are on a manuscript page, not the title page, double click in the header section and unclick "Link to previous" in the "Design" tab. You'll probably have to re-add the header at this point, and delete it from the title page. Then click the drop-down menu for "Page number" and choose "Format page numbers." Choose "Start at" and change the number to 1. Then double-check that your title page doesn't have a header, and you should be set.

ETA: Rochelle, thank you!  :emb:

Thank you, resident expert!   :clap:

I got things to work fairly well in my 2016 Word, but the page numbers won't ascend. For my 2003 Word, now the header will only show up on one page and the numbers won't ascend when before I monkeyed around with it, the header with ascending numbers was set. Blech.

Another karma, thank you! I'll try playing around with things later, when I don't feel like murdering my computer.  ;D
:write:                                                                          :cbash:

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7878
  • Karma: 794
  • This, too, shall pass
    • Sarah Ahiers
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2016, 07:19:03 AM »
I won't say formatting is my favorite task, but it's something I do almost on autopilot

Me too. I draft with correct formatting, that way I don't have to do it late. And since I like things "just so" when drafting, I kind of look forward to it. Like, on of my favorite things is when I get to do a page break and all those returns and then center the next chapter title.
Repped by Mollie Glick of CAA
ASSASSIN'S HEART 2016 HarperTeen
I hang out at Sarah Ahiers Writes
Author Website

Offline slightlysmall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2069
  • Karma: 303
    • Rochelle Deans
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2016, 09:17:03 AM »
007, if you want, I can DM you my email address and you can send it to me. Would take me a couple of minutes to figure it out and send it back. :)

Offline JeanneG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2114
  • Karma: 507
    • Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Re: formatting a messy manuscript
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2016, 10:37:00 AM »
Wow, I am so impressed by this thread! I'm pretty good with formatting, but every now and then I run into some weird thing I can't make work. I'm coming back here if I need help!

This is great. Thanks!  :up:

JeanneG
Debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) released in March 2015; winner of IPPY in national category of religious fiction and currently a finalist for IAN Book of the Year. My work-in-progress: THE DOUBLE SUN.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JeanneLyetGassman
Twitter: @JLyetGassman