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Formatting

November 11, 2010

If you can read, don't judge. First draft!!

Warning: Another very, very short post.

As I’ve been on twitter, I’ve become increasingly aware of the finickiness of writers, and have also realized that I am somewhat of a nitpicker, too.

I’m not saying we’re all OCD or real-life Adrian Monks. We just like things the way we like them. Some writers can only write well on manual typewriters. Some on Macs. Some might only be able to write on napkins and paper plates (and probably host a lot of barbecues.)

I, for one, have to write in Word 2007 (or a newer version), preferably on a keyboard with relatively flat keys. My best work is done on a computer, as my brain seems to turn to mush when I have to write with a pencil and notebook paper. I’m the girl who comes to second period English with her notes typed up because I took them on the computer. When people smirk, I don’t feel badly. I know that writing on the computer works better for me, helps my juices flow, and is simply more enjoyable. Not to mention the fact that my fingers can keep up with my thoughts, when a pencil simply doesn’t achieve the same speed. It’s neater, faster, and prettier. Sue me.

And I thought I was alone in my slightly obnoxious preferences, but it appears I’m not. Can you only write in the oldest Word format you can find? Only with double-spaced lines? Only in Garamond, or goodness gracious, Arial (the horror!)? What are you base formatting requirements for good writing?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 12:40 PM

    I love my Mac. I will never NOT have a Mac. 🙂 I’m terrible at writing by hand. (My handwriting is grotesque and I edit too much as I go.) I like Pages, with the setting that shows only the MS and the black background. I hate using Word, but track changes are worth it for editing.

    • November 14, 2010 5:21 PM

      Hmm… This sounds familiar! 😀 I’ll tell you that I *do* plan on getting a Mac before college. I’ll make you so proud!

  2. November 14, 2010 1:58 AM

    Interesting…. I’m actually very *not* picky about my writing!! I write by hand (crazy — I know!) when I’m on the metro; I use Open Office or Scrivener when I’m on my Mac. My favorite way to write, though, is with a program called PyRoom. You’d probably hate it! It’s full screen and you have zero control over formatting. 🙂

    I only get picky about formatting at the end, when I’m submitting my ms to my agent. Then it’s gotta follow the standard 12-pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, header, title page, half-page Chapter markers, # scene breaks, etc. 😉

    • November 14, 2010 5:23 PM

      That’s impressive! You’re probably less obsessive compulsive than the rest of us. Good for you! (And lucky for your family. ;D)

  3. November 12, 2010 1:13 AM

    Call me whatever but I totally prefer Word 2003…. I’m not kidding :p I love it. Times new Roman size 12 all the way, and I’ll double space it when I’m done so I feel super accomplished in the matter of 2 seconds because I’ve suddenly doubled the amount of paper space I’ve taken up. Yeah. go me xD And I personally like writing compositions (essays, free writes, school stuff etc) on computers, but note-taking (from txtbooks, seminars) by hand. Interesting post, I didn’t realize ost of this until you pointed it out!

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