Friday, February 22, 2008

Time for a little friendly writer tip!

Now those of you who aren’t strange enough to enjoy rejection, editing, reviews, and writing in the middle of the night because you had a great idea may not think this is important. That’s okay, read it anyway.

I was editing some notes from a survey for one of my books and I noticed that almost everyone double-spaced after a period. I remembered that I didn't learn that you only need one space after a period until I worked as a freelance editor for another publisher.
At first I thought it would be very hard to remember to put only one space, but after concentrating on it for a bit, it became natural. At the time, I had been typing regularly for at least ten years and I have since talked to others that learned how to do this after typing for over 40 years. When I mentioned this to my writer’s group, people were worried about going through their whole manuscript and fixing every double space. Someone suggested using the “Find” tool in Word to help you with this.

Just in case some of you may still think that putting 2 spaces after a period is correct for publishing, never fear. I was taught that way with my typing programs about 20 years ago, but it is no longer necessary. This dates back to the age of typewriters I guess, when you needed 2 spaces, but if you check into writing guidelines for publishing houses almost all that I have seen (if they mention it) will tell you to only put one space after each period. Otherwise the typesetting is tricky when it comes down to the final draft.
So remind yourself now: Only one space after each period! Unless of course you aren’t a writer-ly type and therefore don’t care.
Happy typing!

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