Proper Manuscript Format, Original Recipe
          

This is the original version of “Proper Manuscript Format,” exactly as I wrote it in 1993, and approximately as it would have appeared on the web in late 1995. It’s much more proscriptive and smart-alecky than later versions, not to mention filled with advice that you should not under any circumstances heed today. I present it here for historical purposes—and my own amusement—only. (Click here for the current version of this guide.)
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D. William Shunn
about 2,000 words
12 Courier Lane Pica's Font, NY 10010 (212) 555-1212 format@shunn.net Active member, SFWA
Proper Manuscript Format
by D. William Shunn
No one knows for certain how many good stories are passed over because the manuscripts containing them are formatted poorly, but it is certain that a properly formatted manuscript will be more eagerly read by an editor than a poorly formatted one. Here are a few suggestions. First, your manuscript should look typed, not typeset. This is particularly important if you are composing your manuscript on a computer, where the temptation to use fancy fonts can be great. Use a Courier font; most every printer you can buy comes with Courier, so you have no excuse for not using it. Use a 12-point Courier, which prints out at a pitch of ten characters per inch. Don't use a 10-point Courier, which prints out at a pitch of
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Last updated 12 October 1995


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