If you’ve read up on manuscript formatting, you’ll know that the rules on submitting your work for publishing are endless. Times New Roman size twelve with no gaps between paragraphs… and so on. But not everyone likes to have their manuscript laid out in this way while they’re actually writing it. I know I don’t. The standard format may be great for people who want to sit down and read a book casually, but if you are editing, you will want to set it out in such a way that you will be able to easily spot mistakes.
I have found a number of good techniques such as changing the font to something a little more round and with no serifs – the good old standard Calibri works fine for me. I also like the line breaks between paragraphs as this helps me to spot if they are too long or short. And one more thing is changing the colour of your paper. You can easily change the background in Microsoft Word by going to the Design tab and clicking the Page Colour button (it will be in Page Layout if you have an old version of Word). I suggest using a creamy colour.
But whatever you do, don’t forget to change it all back to standard before you send if off to an agent or publisher!
Do you have any tips of your own for making your work easier on the eye while editing?