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