The Basics – Formatting your Manuscript

Over the past year, I’ve been trying to help other writers learn ‘the rules of the road.’ And in that capacity, I’ve had more than a few manuscripts sent me for one reason or another.

And I cannot tell you how many DIFFERENT ways these MS were sent to me. It disturbs me because, as a ‘rule girl,’ I’ve always made sure that my document was formatted in the manner that wherever I’m sending it to has requested.

Rule One: IF you are submitting something – a book, a short story, an article – it is EXTREMELY important to find out what format they are requesting your MS to be in. You can always find this somewhere on the site or rules of the contest, etc.

Rule Two: It is rare to see two places requesting you submit your MS in the same manner. So, you must understand your formatting system well enough to manipulate your document to meet their standards.

Rule Three: RARELY is your MS to be submitted with fancy formatting and headers/footers. Sometimes, it’s requested that your document has a numbering system. Still, it is ALWAYS crucial for you to check with the rules/regulations to find out.

Rule Four: If you are using a program that you can’t accurately manipulate your documents to bit standards – LEARN how to do these things OR find someone who can FORMAT your document for you. There are many sources for this service. (I’m one of them.)

The most basic format is to use one-inch margins all the way around, double-spacing, and a twelve-point font, such as Times New Roman or Courier.

Just a bit of information for you

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: