Monthly Archives: September 2012

Formatting Your Manuscript

Page Breaks Between Chapters:

It helps to put in a page break between Chapters, so if you go back and change something in one chapter, the next chapter’s heading won’t move an inch. To do this you:

First, make sure the cursor is on the bottom of the last page of your chapter.

Click on Page Layout at the top of the page.

Click on Breaks and choose Page, not Column or Text Wrapping.

That’s it. Simple, right? And if you’re paranoid about whether you did it right or if it worked or not, an easy way to know for sure is to go to the Home section at the top of the page and click the little square with a paragraph symbol on it. It looks like a backwards capital P and click on that. The words Page Break will appear at the bottom of the last page in your chapter. Then you can click it again and everything that just popped up will go away.

 

Headers:

All fiction manuscripts should have a Header, so if an agent or publisher is holding two manuscripts and they drop them, it won’t be impossible to put them both back together again.The header should consist of Your Last Name/One or Two Words from the Title/and Page number . Just like that. So it could say Smith/ZanyLaces/1

To create a header, double click at the top of a page. A bunch of header and footer options will appear at the top of the screen and little dotted lines will appear to indicate the area you can write in on the page. For a Header, go to the top. For a Footer, go to the bottom. Remember, whatever you type on one page is going to appear on every page. But before you type anything, go to Page Number, which is beside Header and Footer on the left hand side at the top, and choose Top of Page or Bottom of Page, depending on where you want it. Then type in your Header or Footer…ex: Smith/Zany Laces/ …in front of the number. And you’re done!

 

Finding replacement words:

Now this one is pretty obvious, so don’t be insulted that I’m pointing it out. I know you’re probably smart enough to know this already, but… Just in case… For the other guy I mean, not you… Here it is.

If you want to find a better word for what you’re trying to say, a thesaurus might help. And there’s one in Microsoft Word. Just click on Review at the top of the screen.

Then click on Thesaurs. You can type in any word you want and click on one of the words it brings up to see more thesaurus words. There’s even a little back button under the box you type in so you can go back if you can’t remember what you typed or clicked on before. So you can go crazy and not have to worry about losing past words.

 

Finding a specific word in your manuscript:

Okay, one more thing. You can search for a specific word if you want to get straight to the beginning of a Chapter with the click of a button or if you want to know how many of them there are (you’ll have to count them as your computer locates them).

Just make sure your on the Home section at the top of the page.

Look at the far right corner at the top, where you’ll see Find, Replace, and Seclect. Click on Find, make sure your in the Find section in the pop up (not the Replace or Go To) and type in the word you want to find. Then click Find Next. And you’re done!

That’s it. Hope it helped. And I hope it all made sense. Send me a message if it didn’t or if you have questions,and do my best to help. I’ll post more if I think of anything else. Autumn is finally here, the best time of the year. Happy September, everyone!!

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Some Simple Grammer Helps

I thought I would try something different today. I’ll share some things I’ve learned in writing my novel. They’ll probably be obvious to you, but maybe it will help someone.
Sat is someone sitting down, set is a person setting an object down.
Commas come before and after a person’s name or title if you’re talking to them. Ex. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.”
You’ve got to learn when to use a comma before too, anyway, either, and lots of others when they’re the last word in a sentence.
There’s different opinions all over the internet on how to use a comma, so sometimes you just have to read it out loud to see if you need one.
When someone’s name ends in an S and you’re using that name to be possessive of something, you just put an apostraphe after the s, not an apostraphe and then another s.
You wonder about something, you wander to a place.
Critique groups are such a blessing!
Hope this was informative and helpful. I love writing!!!

Get in the Game

I’m trying to get into the ballgame of finding an agent after finishing my young adult historical romance. I’ve queried a few agencies and hope to hear back from them soon. I’ll keep everyone posted.