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Formatting

2013 Novel Manuscript Format for Genesis contest

Genesis

Novel Manuscript Format for Genesis Contest

The following instructions for changing the formatting of your electronic document is for Microsoft Word, which is the standard for most publishing houses.

Genesis synopsis format: The one-page synopsis should have the same format as the manuscript EXCEPT that it should be single-spaced instead of double-spaced, and it should start at the top of the page. Include synopsis in the same file as the manuscript, at the beginning of the document, and not in a different file.

Margins: Text should have 1-inch margins on all sides of all pages. Header (see below) can be 1/2 inch or 1 inch from the top of the page, but the text of the manuscript itself should be at least 1 inch from the top of the page.

In Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Click on the “Page Layout” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2. Click on the “Margins” box.
  3.  
  4. Select “Normal” for 1” margins on all sides.
  5.  
  6. If you want something different from that, click on “Custom Margins” at the bottom of the menu. This brings up a “Page Setup” box where you can set up custom margin sizes.

In older versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Click on “File” at the top, then “Page Setup.” A window will pop up.
  2.  
  3. Click on the “Margins” tab at the top of the window.
  4.  
  5. Under “Margins” is “Top,” “Bottom,” “Left,” and “Right.” In the boxes next to each, change the setting to 1. Optional: the “Top” margin can be 1.5 instead of 1.
  6.  
  7. Click “OK.”

For Word for Mac Users: Go to drop down at top of screen that says “Format.” Select “Document” and on the next screen select the tab for Margins. You can adjust the margins for your document in the appropriate spaces.

Font: 12 point Courier, Courier New, or Times New Roman.

In Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010:

     
  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2.  
  3. Click on the drop-down menu of fonts on the left side of the menu display and select “Times New Roman.”

or

Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar. Click on the “Select” button on the right side of the menu bar. Click “Select All” from the drop-down menu. Click on the drop-down menu of fonts and select “Times New Roman.”

Older versions of Microsoft Word: Click on “Edit” at the top, then “Select All.” Click on “Font” at the top, then select Times New Roman.

You can also use the keyboard to “select all” by hitting CTRL-A combination. Then, go up to the drop-down font menu and select Times New Roman or Courier.

For Word for Mac Users: In the toolbar click on the dropdown arrow next to the font name you are currently using and select Times New Roman or Courier.

Double-spacing: The manuscript should be double-spaced (setting it at 25 lines per page is not allowed).

Do not manually put carriage returns between lines like a typewriter—this can cause formatting problems if text is revised or margins changed.

Do not put an extra carriage return between paragraphs.

In Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2.  
  3. In the “Paragraph” section, click on the drop-down arrow on the bottom row which shows several lines and an up and down arrow on top of each other (the mouse-over text says “Line and Paragraph Spacing”).
  4.  
  5. Select “2.0” from the drop-down menu. This should set the spacing for the rest of the document.

or

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2.  
  3. Click on the “Select” button on the right side of the menu bar.
  4. Click “Select All” from the drop-down menu.
  5.  
  6. In the “Paragraph” section, click on the middle button on the bottom row (the mouse-over text says “Line Spacing”).
  7.  
  8. Select “2.0” from the drop-down menu. This should set the spacing for the rest of the document.

Again, you can do CTRL-A to select-all first.

Some templates in Word 2007 also add extra space after each paragraph, which is not needed. To shut that function off:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2.  
  3. Click on the “Select” button on the right side of the menu bar.
  4. Click “Select All” from the drop-down menu or do the CTRL-A combination.
  5.  
  6. Click on the lower right hand corner of the “Paragraph” section to bring up the paragraph sub-menu.
  7.  
  8. Under the “Spacing” section of the “Indents and Spacing” tab, enter “0” for “After.”
  9.  
  10. Click “Okay.”

In older versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Click on “Edit” at the top, then “Select All.”
  2.  
  3. Click “Format” at the top, then “Paragraph.” A window will pop up.
  4.  
  5. Click on the “Indents and Spacing” tab at the top (usually the first tab that shows up in the window).
  6.  
  7. In the middle of the window on the right side is “Line spacing:” and under that is a drop-down box.
  8.  
  9. Click on “Double.”
  10. Click “OK.”

For Word for Mac Users: Use Control-A to select the document as a whole and then go to the drop down “Format.” Select “Paragraph” and in the box, go to the field under “Line Spacing” and select “Double Space” from the drop down menu.

Left side justification (ragged right edges): Make sure justification is on the left and not centered or justified.

In Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2. In the “Paragraph” section, click on the left-most button in the bottom row. The mouse-over text says “Align Text Left.” This should set the justification for the rest of the document.

or

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2. Click on the “Select” button on the right side of the menu bar.
  3. Click “Select All” from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the “Paragraph” section, click on the left-most button in the bottom row. The mouse-over text says “Align Text Left.”
  5.  

*You can also do CTRL-A and CTRL-L to set the entire document with left-side justification.

In older versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Click “Format” at the top, then “Paragraph.” A window will pop up.
  2. Click on the “Indents and Spacing” tab at the top (usually the first tab that shows up in the window).
  3.  
  4. At the top of the window on the left side is “Alignment:” and to the right of that is a drop-down box. Select “Left.”
  5. Click “OK.”

Indentation: Indent the first line of the paragraph 0.5”, not 0.3” (which is standard in some word processing programs).

In Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2. Click on the lower right hand corner of the “Paragraph” section to bring up the paragraph sub-menu.
  3.  
  4. In the middle of said menu is “Indentation.” On the right is a drop-down menu labeled “Special.”
  5. Set the drop-down menu to “First Line.”
  6. Type “.5” in the adjacent box.
  7. Click “Okay” to close the menu.

In older versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Click “Format” at the top, then “Paragraph.” A window will pop up.
  2. Click on the “Indents and Spacing” tab at the top (usually the first tab that shows up in the window).
  3.  
  4. Under “indentation” there will be a drop down box under the word “Special.” Select “first line”
  5. To the right under “By” type in 0.5
  6. Click “OK.”

For Word for Mac Users: After pressing Control-A to select entire document, go to “Format” and then “Paragraph”. In the “Alignment” box, select “Left.”

Header (no footer): Most headers are only one line, since a book title, category/genre, entire manuscript word count, and the page number can usually fit all on one line.

There are several ways to format a header, but the most common is:

Left side: Title of Manuscript/category or genre/entire manuscript word count

Right side: page number

In Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab at the top of the menu bar.
  2. Click on the “Select” button on the right side of the menu bar.
  3. Click “Select All” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the lower right hand corner of the “Paragraph” section to bring up the paragraph sub-menu.
  5.  
  6. Under the “Spacing” section of the “Indents and Spacing” tab, enter “0” for “After.”
  7. Click “Okay.”

In older versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Click on “File” at the top, then “Page Setup.” A window will pop up. Click on the “Layout” tab at the top of the window.
  2. Under “Headers and Footers” near the middle of the window is “Header” and “Footer.” In the boxes next to “Header,” change the setting to 0.5 if your top margin is 1, or change the setting to 1 if your top margin is 1.5.
  3. Click “OK.”
  4. Click “View” at the top, then click “Header and Footer.” The header box will appear.
  5. Type in the header.
  6. If the header text isn’t left justified, highlight the header text. Click on “Format” at the top, then “Paragraph.” Select the “Indents and Spacing” tab near the top. Under “Alignment” (near the top) set the box for “left.” Click “OK.”
  7. To insert page numbers, click on “Insert” at the top, then “Page Numbers.” A box will pop up. Under “Alignment” make sure it says “right.” Make sure the box that says “Show number on first page” is checked. Click “OK.”
  8. To exit the Header/Footer view, click “close.”

For Word for Mac Users: While in your document go to “View” at the top of the screen and select “Header and Footer”. When you return to your document you’ll see the header and footer on the document in a pronounced way and the main body of the document will be faded. Your cursor should be positioned in the header already and blinking. Type in the required elements of the header, and then double click on the body of your document and you’ll be ready to work in the document itself.

Numbering: Number pages consecutively. You should start numbering your manuscript from the FIRST page of text (the synopsis). This is different from traditional formatting taught in high school and college, where they instruct writers to not number page one and start numbering on page two. Since manuscripts are not bound, if several fall from a table, there is no way to know the manuscript’s title if there is no information about the manuscript title on that first page of the prologue or chapter one. Therefore, your very first page (synopsis) should have your header (manuscript title, category, total manuscript word count, and page 1).

Typically, fiction manuscripts do not have footers.

Chapters: Indicate new chapters by typing Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. You can also have them in ALL CAPS: CHAPTER ONE, CHAPTER TWO, etc.

Start each new chapter on a new page—insert a page break after the last sentence of the previous chapter. Do not continue a chapter on the same page as where the last chapter ended.

To insert a page break in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010, hit Control-Enter to force a break. In order version of Microsoft Word, click the page so that the cursor is after the last sentence of the previous chapter. Then go to “Insert” at the top, and click on “Break.” A box will pop up. Click the button next to “Page Break” and click “OK.”

For Word for Mac users: after the last sentence of the chapter, go to “Insert” at the top of your screen and select “Break”. Under no circumstances should you select “Section Break.”

On the new page, drop about one-third (6 to 8 double-spaced lines) or halfway (10 to 12 double-spaced lines) down the page before typing Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. This is the only time you will need to add extra blank lines.

Extras at the beginnings of chapters: Sometimes the book has a date/time notation at the beginning of the chapter, or a scripture verse. Add it after (or before) the chapter number, formatted as you’d want it to look in the printed book. Try not to use strange fonts the editor might not have on their computer.

—For example, if you have a date/time notation, place it on the first line after the chapter number and before you start your chapter:

Chapter One

Canoga Lake, Wisconsin 2011

    The kitchen door opened, and I came face to face with a ghost. Not a Scrooge’s Christmas Past kind of ghost. More like the Ghost of Long-Lost Love. Bronze complexion,

—If you have scripture, place it wherever you feel it should go:

Chapter One

Canoga Lake, Wisconsin 2011

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

    The kitchen door opened, and I came face to face with a ghost. Not a Scrooge’s Christmas Past kind of ghost. More like the Ghost of Long-Lost Love. Bronze complexion,

Spaces after a period: The latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style instructs writers to put only one space after the period instead of two, and this is the standard for all manuscripts to be submitted to publishing houses.

If you have two spaces in your manuscript, they are easy to replace. Click on “Edit” at the top, then “Replace” (or simply type Control-H). For “Find what:” put two spaces. For “Replace with:” put one space. Hit “Replace All.”

Italics, bold, underlining, ALL CAPS: Italics for words being emphasized is the standard according to the Chicago Manual of Style, but underlining is still acceptable if you are consistent.

Do not use both italics and underlining—just use one or the other. Most editors and agents frown on using boldface or ALL CAPS when a word is being emphasized.

Scene breaks: Use one pound sign (#) or three pound signs (###) centered on a line to indicate a scene or section break. Do not insert extra blank lines (paragraph breaks or carriage returns) above or below the pound signs. Another option is to have a blank line instead of a line with pound signs, but the pound signs more clearly indicate the scene break.

Document format: Save the document as a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file.

For older versions of Microsoft Word, the document is automatically saved as a .doc file, but for Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010, to save it as a .doc or .rtx file. 1) Click on the Windows Office symbol in the upper left corner. 2) Click on “Save As.”

You can find a sample of how your formatted entry document should look by going to the right-hand sidebar of http://www.acfw.com/genesis and selecting “Sample Manuscript.”

Genesis synopsis format: The one-page synopsis should have the same format as the manuscript EXCEPT that it should be single-spaced instead of double-spaced, and it should start at the top of the page. Include synopsis in the same file as the manuscript, inserted before the first page of your entry.