Tag Archives: manuscript

Formatting Manuscript and Helpful Writing Links.

SimpleLPCLogo copyWith my writer’s group, I often write up a newsletter for the members so they get the information we covered, but also to share with the members who couldn’t join, to catch them up on the topic.

Today’s meeting was all about manuscript formatting.

Manuscript formatting for standard publishing:

Always remember to follow guidelines, but these are the suggested standard formatting list of your manuscript.

Writer’s Digest: What Are the Guidelines for Formatting a Manuscript? This covers some of the basics to formatting your document. Remember, you’ll also need a synopsis and letter if you want to publish through a publishing company.

A Step-by-step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior (Createspace.com) E-publishing and print-on-demand for Amazon marketplace. With e-publishing, you need to format correctly in order for the pages to view correctly on e-readers. Createspace also provides templates specific to the size books you want to use.

Click here to view templates you can download.

The Basics of DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Book Publishing by Writer’s Digest provides lots of tips to follow for publishing, to help decide how to publish but also the basics on how to publish.

Find and Replace Tips for MS Word- (Includes how to find and replace manual indents, double spaces, and more)

Find: ^t (this code will find all manually indents in your manuscript)

Replace (leave blank)

This will delete all manual indents

Want to know more things you can do with Find/replace? Click here.



This program provides a way to organize your MS Word documents (also works with OpenOffice) to sort files into chapters. You can then have the program assemble all files into a single Word file to publish. Unfortunately, this does not work with Mac computers.


Need a quick tutorial on how to use the Chapter-by-Chapter? Check out my YouTube Video;


Dropbox is one of many ‘cloud drives’ which are used to back up and share files. What I love about Dropbox is that it is easy to use and can synchronize files between smart phones, computers, and the Internet so you can always get your files.


Want to learn more about the other cloud drives? Here is Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services you can choose from. 

Web Site: https://www.openoffice.org

OpenOffice is a free software suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. This is free and works with MS Office documents.

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row”- Ray Bradbury


Filed under Author, Handy Links and Resources, Links, Program, resources, tip, Writer

Convert Words to Pages

convertWhile compiling a printed book through Createspace, I found this neat site, Convert Words to Pages, that will count pages from the word count.

You can also determine pages with the font used, line spacing, and font size. Its very helpful on figuring out the size of your novel from what you’ve written.

You can also check the speech to Minutes calculator, connected with the site.

If you liked this post- remember to share and click like.

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So many stories…so little time


I’m not sure if other writers have this problem but this past week, I’ve had some issues with figuring out which story to write.

It reminds me of how you throw more than one ball to a dog, and it doesn’t catch any of them. Yeah, kind of like that.

Organizing is helping, but I’m a typical Libra who waffles between decisions trying to find the best choices. Should I go with the short story, the non-fiction, or should I finish the stuff I already started?

I suppose I should let the Creative Muse decide for me; this way, I’ll be bursting with words. Or one would hope. She often abandons me without warning.

So far I organize with the following tips;

I setup each novel with its own folder. All notes, character biographies, and plot outlines get stuffed in there.

Any file I want to work on, I add the ! (exclamation point) in front of the word. For instance, !ThisBook. Why? Because it puts this at the top of the alphabetized list.

I don’t always write from the beginning. When I have issues where I’m not entirely sure where the story beings, I just start writing. Eventually, the plot will reveal where the story starts and where it will end.

What are your tips? Post in comments.


Filed under tip, Writer

Top 10 things you should know about word processors

IMG_1466Here are some of the most important things you need to know about word processors, as a writer;

1. Backup. MS Word and Open Office (and I’m sure other programs) offer a setting to back up your work. I highly recommend turning this feature ‘on’. You can set for certain times, such as every 5 minutes. This enables writers to automatically backup while they work.

Backup in MS Word (recent versions). You may need to look up your specific version of MS Word

How to create backup copy in Open office

2. Automatic saves. I know the word processors also provide the feature of automatically creating saves in timely increment. I think the default setting for MS Word is 10 minutes, but as a fast typer, I can lose quite a lot in 10 minutes. I changed it to every 5 minutes. This saves your work automatically while you work.

Autosave in MS Word

Autosave in Open office

3. Templates. Word processors offer tons of templates from the manufacturers but often times you can find users upload these to share on the Web. I’m including some links to writer-related templates; (Check your program version)

Book Manuscript and short story templates for MS Word.

Book manuscript template for Open Office

4. Find and replace feature. The find/replace feature works in nearly all word processing. You can find and replace just one event, or find all words and change as you desire. I’ve also used this feature, to find spacing or even symbols in the manuscript.

– Click Ctrl+F which will open a box to type in the word you wish to find.

Find and replace in MS Word

Find and replace in Open Office

5. Hotkeys or Keyboard shortcuts. I use these a lot when I type because it takes time to reach for the mouse to click and drag things. With hotkeys, you find the same commands do the same thing, and your hands stay on the keyboard. You can save, print, cut/copy/paste, highlight, insert auto text, change formatting, and so much more.

Hotkeys for MS Word

Hotkeys for Open office

6. You can change default settings for font and file format. Some writers find their word processor has the Ariel font as their default. Its better to change this to Times New Roman or Courier. Even Georgia and Bookman works pretty well. And why? Its to help make reading easier for the reader (or editor/agent).

The font size should also be 12 point.

How to change default font in MS Word

How to change font in Open Office

You should also think about the default save format of your document. Most settings for writers include RTF (rich text format) or DOC (MS Word), or TXT (text). Avoid using the default DOCX format.

Change other formatting settings in MS Word

7. Header and Footers. These are essential when formatting for submission. Each page should  include your last name, title, and page number. I find for my writer’s group, we also ask for email address so feedback can be sent to the author.

Headers in MS Word

Headers in Open office

8. Macros. Macros are programmable actions the program will do by assigned keys. For instance, in my journal document in MS Word, I was sick of adding the date, day of the week, and ‘goals’. I created a Macro which adds all of this with the simple Ctrl+PageUP key combo. Very handy.

Macros in MS Word, Macro for Windows XP

Macros for books

Macros in Open Office

9. Dictionary and Thesaurus. Did you know MS Word and Open Office include a built in dictionary and thesaurus? You can even edit words to include character names, settings, or odd words you’ve made up for your story. The thesaurus also helps the writer to find words that mean the same, if you’re at a loss for the right word.

How to remove a word in MS Word dictionary

Custom dictionaries for MS Word

How to use MS Thesaurus

Open office dictionaries– information about Openoffice dictionaries, how to install new ones, add thesaurus and more.

10. Spellcheck and grammar checking. I must preface this feature with a warning that programs are STUPID, they only do what they are programmed to do, and cannot use words in context. That being said, these features should not be the final method used in checking your writing.  The grammar also includes settings for formal and informal styles. For instance, you can choose the program to check for words like contractions (you’re vs you are). In some styles of writing, this is important.

Check spelling and grammar in Office

Top 10 tips for mastering MS Word’s spell check feature

Choose how spell check and grammar check work in MS Word

Spellcheck for Open office

I don’t think Open office has a grammar checker but you can find some online

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