| Typing it up
Your novel has to be delivered
in a state acceptable to the publisher, and that means typewritten.
And while it doesnt matter whether you use your trusty old
Remington manual or produce a laser-printed treat for the eye, the
fact is that it will be taking its chances with a great many other
novels, all desperate to be read. Yours will stand a better chance
if it looks professional.
white A4 paper, or its equivalent, if you are not in the UK.
margins of about an inch and a half either side.
justify the text (the right margin should remain ragged).
you are using a word-processor, select a clear type-face, and
use a point size of between 10 - 12. Dont use a fancy script.
you are using a typewriter, use a black ribbon. If you have a
black and red ribbon, dont use the red at all.
you want to stress a word, underline it. Just once.
is contained within single quotes. Any quote within the dialogue
is contained in double quotes to distinguish it from the rest.
(In the USA, the convention is the other way round.)
a new paragraph with each new speaker.
you are using a typewriter, the hyphen can be used as a dash,
by leaving a space before and after it. Dashes are used to indicate
a pause within a sentence and to indicate an abrupt breaking-off
of a sentence, in both dialogue and narrative.
a sentence merely remains unfinished, use three dots (known as
ellipsis), like this. . .
a title page which contains the title of the novel, and the name
under which you write. It should also have your name, address,
phone number, etc. But nothing else.
Thats about all you
need to know to produce a professional manuscript. None of it is
vital to acceptance, but it will improve its chances of being read,
which is vital to acceptance.
Send it off, be patient,
and do what professional writers do. Keep your fingers crossed!