Friday, January 14, 2011

Ok, ok, I get it!

The last time I submitted something to the group for critique (for newer members, yes it's happened!), something unusual happened. The brief discussion was centered almost entirely around the formatting of my piece, virtually nothing about its content. My sin? I used double spacing after a period and each new paragraph started at the far left margin; this is the same formatting that this blog uses.

This is not the standard format for submitting manuscripts to agents and editors, but it seemed fine for an informal writers group. But Farhad Manjoo of Slate.com furiously disagrees.

In this piece, he insists unequivocally that "you should never, ever use two spaces after a period" under any circumstance because it "is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong."

No room for misinterpretation there!

I never expected that this would excite people so much. But suffice it to say, I was sufficiently chastened that I will never submit another piece for critique the "wrong" way ever again. This blog's format, however, will remain unchanged.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

But Brian - you just were providing the illumination of the point!

Sandy

John Briggs said...

Every submission should look like it's going to an agent, at least as far as margins, spacing, punctuation, etc., go. Even the title page should be formatted properly. Why format it twice just to ship it out to an agent? Never could figure out why authors want to make more work for themselves...

Michelle Galo said...

You kids slay me.

Goldberry said...

I'm sure Farhad Manjoo is under 50 years of age.

Goldberry said...

I'm sure now that Farhad Manjoo is under 50, thinking himself very well hip, with no respect for tradition!

Yours :),
Sherry

Goldberry said...

Sorry about the double transmission. Didn't know this thing was working. (Feeling very un-hip!) Sher