OMG! This is incredible, advice about a fictional town was perfect, now I'd like to know the font and size etc.


Question: I'm just sooo impressed with this place for the two answers has me jazzed about my location, but this is a suspense, love story with a twist at the end of each of my four books, but I find writing on yellow legal pads with felt tip pens the best way to write;however, when writing it on Word, do I double space? What font do people like? Size? And the rule of 90,000 - 100,000 words will not work for me, will that kill my books?

I think I have a winner here, but I am drawing a graft and putting tension and then climax of that certain scene and doing it again, with a total of about 4 climax's and the end of each book a climax with a cliffhanger, do you think this is too much in each book? And why if not?

Also I have a friend that is writing non fiction but scolded me for I keep editing and shred and then rewrite a tighter fit, but my friend said that she did the same, and her first instincts were deleted and was hung on that chapter. Do you have any ideas about this for my thinking is--is that the first stuff that comes out--is like throwing lots of potatoes at a wall and whatever sticks will be my story.

If you could help me, I would owe you forever,BTW my spelling is worthless!

Thankx again,

Answer: Let's take your questions one at a time.

First, the standard format for manuscripts is double-spaced. Use Courier 12pt for your font. The aim is to have 60 characters per line and 25 lines on a page, on average. Assuming an average of 5 characters and one space per
word, that gives an average of 250 words per page - making it very easy for an editor to estimate the length of your book.

Here's a link to a more detailed description of manuscript format...

Next, there are no hard and fast rules about length, only rough targets. 70,000-110,000 is a good target range for a first novel, but as long as you are not wildly off the mark, you should be fine.

I'm not entirely clear what you are asking in your second paragraph, but I generally favor the four-act structure, even in novels.

If you haven't checked it out, here's my article on writing an outline, which may help you sort out your structure...

If you are doing a series, it is sometimes helpful to think of each book as an act in the overall series plot (hence your cliffhangers at the end of each book). At the same time, each book should have a story that is complete in itself, so the reader has a satisfying experience. The example I often use for this is the Harry Potter series.

Regarding revision... some of us are pantsers (who write without forethought, by the seat of our pants) and some of us are plotters (people who plan their plots in detail before they start writing).

Every book must go through different drafts. But plotters usually have to do less revision because they solve a lot of their plot problems in the planning stage. Of course, the planning stage also takes time. It's a matter of personal choice.

It is helpful to keep copies of your earlier drafts, just in case you realize that material from an earlier draft is actually better than a later draft (it happens sometimes).

Comments for OMG! This is incredible, advice about a fictional town was perfect, now I'd like to know the font and size etc.

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 29, 2012
I feel I now have a family with all asking questions that I wanted to know!

I feel that once I looked at the other writer's problems and the advice has made me feel like i have a family and that we all are doing the same things, as right now,I've printed a million pages and will take the weekend in reading all the things that were problems or even finding out what dramatica is?
This is too much fun, and I find myself running back home and writing away! I'm living in my main character's mind, and I'm free to do as I wish...I thank this wonderful site, and have changed my mind on so many things!

Jun 30, 2012
by: sayass

font face: ariel, font size: 10, page layout: A5 size. wont that do.i think it is good. i use the same style.

Jun 30, 2012
To Ariel:
by: Glen

The reason I recommend Courier font is because with Courier, as with typewriters, each letter takes up the same amount of space.

Using 12 pt., which is easier to read than 10 pt., and one-inch margins still leaves room for a 60 character line. Of course, that's using 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. I'm not sure how the UK equivalent works out.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero