Fonts

by Sav
(Maine)

Question: If I want to be dramatic in my writing what font should I use?


Answer: Never use fancy fonts in a manuscript. The drama should be apparent in the words themselves, not the typography. (Imagine your book was being read out loud, so the typography was invisible. Make sure the words alone convey the meaning.)

An occasional word in full caps may be permissible, or you can underline words (which indicates to the publisher that they should appear in italics in the printed book). An occasional exclamation mark is also okay. But you should use these techniques sparingly.

The only fonts you should use in a manuscript are Courier (preferable) or Times New Roman, both in 12 pt. But do not use more than one font or size within the same manuscript.

Editors want manuscripts that are easy to read. The standard manuscript format gives a very clean look that is highly readable. On the other hand, fancy fonts and typographic effects are distracting and make a manuscript look messy and amateurish.

Of course, if you are self-publishing, that is a different matter. In that case, you should have a book designer who knows what they are doing and can do the layout, choose fonts and effects, and design the cover (front, back, and spine).

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