Format for Short Story WritingShort story writing format
Short-story script reformatting
Lately I've had the privilege of working on some comedies. I' ve noted a number of tendencies on the basis of the preserved scripts and related question. Because I have long experiences in the submission of shortsheet scripts for myself and others, I thought I would take a look at some of the problems I have seen lately in this and upcoming post.
On this occasion I will concentrate on the correct format of the manuscripts, which seems to have been disgraced by the up-and-coming authors. Many authors, I guess, have become a little too familiar with on-line format, in which the paragraph is usually not indent and is two-line between sentences, but one line inwardly. That is, just as I format this diary as I am writing it, and as I expect, it will appear there.
Default web formats are good for what they are meant for: blogging, Facebook, web copy and the like. However, nonfiction magazine/journal writers stay a bit old-fashioned and favour a certain size - usually the classical size, which William Shunn has so aptly described here. When I get a script, whether for example editing or full editing, one of the first things I do is reformat it as Shunn says in his article: with duplicate indentations; Times New Roman, Courier New, or a similarly serif-emphasized 12-point typeface; a label line in the headers; etc. The first thing I do when I get a script is to use the formatting that Shunn says in his work.
It is the intention to make the script simpler for the editors, the first readers, the slushy miners or those who use it. Failure to follow the instructions may cause your script to get out of control, even if you are the next Joyce Carol Oates. Prior to the publisher's decision to outsource infinite versions of the base textbook, WM was a repository of essays on various topics of composition, among them the mechanics of manuscripts.
Maybe it still is (I don't use it much anymore), but you never know how most authors reformat their work. Whilst the judges remain split on this issue, most journalists consider it superfluous. Legibility is important, but there is another good why the editor wants you to reformat your script in a certain way: you want to see if you can do it.
Most journals offer policies that are often published on-line, where they specify exactly how you should prepare and send in your work. You can only request templates for which the default size is obligatory. You may be asked to include the narrative in a standardized e-mail, or you may be asked to use a proposal template in which you can crop and insert your script, or you may be asked to include an RTF or DOC or XYZ or whatever you need to skip through.
Here is the point: You must either strictly adhere to the format and submit guidelines - or your labors will go directly into the discard stack. Literature magazine editors, many of whom are well known to be far back on their stacks of snow, are glad to find a single cause to refuse your manuscripts - even if it's because you used Helvetica instead of Times New Roman.
Considering that many literature journals nowadays charge for the cost of literacy (this is a whole theme for an entire blog), think of the amount of cash you can spare if you format your scripts well. When you want your scripts to be taken seriously by professionals, you must abide by their regulations.
He wrote pretty much everything an author can do: jokes, characters' characters and recommendations, books and musical critiques, news items, poems, shorts, books, non-fiction, instructions, a theatre piece, softwares guides, web contents, marketingwriting texts, booklets, leaflets, questions, proposed books, scientific work, scientific works, scholarly propositions, etc. He has worked as a tech journalist for ten years and released an e-book on literature publishing (100 Great Places to Send Your Brief Storys, Both On and Off the Web), which also contains references to fundamental scripting techniques and submissions.
He has published his non-fiction books in many of the most important US historical journals, among them America's Civil War, Military, Wild West, Old West, US and Persimmon Hill.