Mentally writing in the shower is one of the perks of outlining, because it will get your thoughts percolating. Be sure to keep paper and pens scattered about so you can capture your brilliance the minute it bubbles up, rather than letting all those ideas fade away. This means a finished book in less time!
Write first, format later. However, there are some steps you can make when writing your book in Microsoft Word that will make the job of formatting your book easier and help prevent errors in the book formatting process. Below are some of the most common issues I see in book documents sent to Jera Publishing to be formatted.
The location for this in Word is shown below. This will show you all of the formatting markup in your Word document. First Line Paragraph Indentation: You should not use extra spaces or tabs to indent the first line of each paragraph.
When formatting, your book designer will use style settings to set the first line paragraph indent. If you used extra spaces or tabs to create a first line indent in your document, they will need to delete them from your document.
The reason many people do this is the default Normal style in Microsoft Word is set to not indent the first line of a paragraph. Authors mistakenly create an indent manually so they can distinguish paragraph breaks without realizing they should be modifying the style to do this automatically.
Click on the Format button at the bottom of the window that appears. Now, when you type your text into Word using the Normal style and hit Enter to start a new paragraph, it will be indented automatically and no extra spaces or tabs should be used.
Word Tips For Writers: First Line Indents Using Styles video 2. Extra Paragraph Breaks Between Paragraphs Another common mistake authors make is adding two or more paragraph breaks between paragraphs hitting Enter more than once at the end of a paragraph.
A single paragraph break should always be used between paragraphs, not two or more. If you find it easier to write with extra space between paragraphs then you can change the style of Normal or whatever style you are using for your chapter text to add the space for you automatically.
Then, when you hit the Enter key to start a new paragraph using that style, Word will automatically add extra spacing between the paragraphs. However, with modern word processors such as Microsoft Word and fonts, only a single space should be inserted between sentences.
If you place two between sentences, it will throw of justification and the book designer will need to remove the extra spaces. Word Tips for Writers: Replace Two Spaces with One in our video library.
Inserting a Manual Line Break at the End of Each Line This mistake is also commonly done by people who learned to type on a manual typewriter.
You should not create a line break by hitting the Enter key at the end of each line of text; instead, let the text wrap naturally to the next line. Using Tabs at the End of a Paragraph to Create a New Paragraph When you reach the end of a paragraph, do not hit the tab key to move your cursor to the next line to start a new paragraph.
Instead hit the Enter key once to start a new paragraph. You will need to run the last search multiple times until Word says that no results are found. Keep in mind that this will remove ALL tabs in your document, so be careful! However, if you will be creating tables, charts, graphs, or other similar items you should consider setting your page size to the size you plan on printing your book.
You can set your page size under the Page Setup window in Word. Often this is done by simply inserting a few extra paragraph breaks before the new scene. The problem occurs when your book is sent to your book designer. One of the first things they will usually do is a find and replace to replace two paragraph breaks with a single one, as placing two paragraph breaks between paragraphs is a common mistake they correct for see 2.
If you only use paragraph breaks to create the scene breaks they can be lost in the formatting process. This way, they will not accidentally be lost and it will be clear to your designer where the scene break is located and they can format it accordingly.
Using Paragraph Breaks to Create a Page Break Do not use a series of paragraph breaks, created by hitting the Enter key, to force a page break. Also, only place a page break in places such as between chapters, after title pages, etc.
I hope this helps! Please leave a comment if you have a question about fixing an issue in your Word document.Leveled Books • Guided Reading Books • Books for Kids Check out our leveled book sets selected according to various leveled reading programs. Purchase from monstermanfilm.com to enhance your child's reading program and Grow Independent Readers®.
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When writing your book you should separate the writing from the formatting. Write first, format later. However, there are some steps you can make when writing your book in Microsoft Word that will make the job of formatting your book easier and help prevent errors in the book formatting process.
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