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Alexandra Little
07-25-2007, 08:59 AM
Hey,

Couldn't find this in another thread, so here's my post.

I recently read that it should only be one space in between a period and the start of a new sentence instead of two spaces. I'm used to doing two, as you can see in this post :tongue. Is this rule really a big deal, or does no one really care? I don't see how this would be annoying in the way of ellipses or semi-colons or too many adjectives, but I just need to know for my own reference.

Thanks---Alex.

blacbird
07-25-2007, 09:03 AM
No, it's not a big deal, in fact it's a non-issue, and there must be fifty threads here that have addressed it recently. Do not fret.

caw

Ziljon
07-25-2007, 09:14 AM
And, I don't know if you noticed, but when you do it in the message window it goes away.

Here's one. See?
Here's two. See?

They look different as you type them, but then the plain-text of the message window deletes the blank space. Of course, in your MS, which is Rich text, nothing I just wrote applies.

Alexandra Little
07-25-2007, 10:32 AM
No, it's not a big deal, in fact it's a non-issue, and there must be fifty threads here that have addressed it recently. Do not fret.

caw

*smacks computer* Find the threads!! What's wrong with your search capabilites?!?!

I thought it was a non-issue, since I haven't seen it pop up in a while, but I'm just one of those people that needs to know.

Chasing the Horizon
07-26-2007, 06:55 AM
Write it however is natural to you (one space or two), then use 'find & replace' to make it match the editor's guidelines. I am completely incapable of typing with two spaces between sentences unless I go through after I'm finished and manually put them in. I kind of panicked when some agents wanted things double space (no way in hell I'm going through 500 pages and manually putting extra spaces!), but then I discovered that you use find replace and tell it to find '.-' and replace it with '.--' (dashes represent spaces). Voila! Double spaced. You could do a reverse find replace to single space your work.

(Note I use Appleworks not Word, so maybe Word can't do a find replace like this, but I know Appleworks can.)

rugcat
07-26-2007, 07:29 AM
In WordPerfect(and I imagine, Word) you can format your settings so that two spaces after a period are automatically inserted, even if you type only one. But remember, as many posts have emphasized, this is a non-issue. Nobody in agenting or editing cares either way.

Chasing the Horizon
07-26-2007, 07:38 AM
If they don't care, why do some put it in their submission guidelines?

dahabnz
08-06-2007, 09:45 AM
I'm one of those who posted the other recent thread with this question in it. I got a lot of ‘it doesn’t matter’ too, and it doesn’t', but I ended up with the following advise to go by. Ask who you are submitting to, then find/replace to make it so

And… a good definitive reply i got, that made good sense, is that single space is preferred because when the manuscript is left and right justified, the gaps from two spaces look bad, and are therefore removed before this is done.

blacbird
08-06-2007, 10:13 AM
And… a good definitive reply i got, that made good sense, is that single space is preferred because when the manuscript is left and right justified, the gaps from two spaces look bad, and are therefore removed before this is done.

The manuscript should NEVER be right-justified. If there is a firm rule regarding manuscript format, this must be it.

caw

maestrowork
08-06-2007, 06:07 PM
And, I don't know if you noticed, but when you do it in the message window it goes away.

Here's one. See?
Here's two. See?

They look different as you type them, but then the plain-text of the message window deletes the blank space. Of course, in your MS, which is Rich text, nothing I just wrote applies.

HTML deletes extra spaces -- so the norm for the Internet is always one space.

As for mss., it's not a big deal. Most publishers have their house style guides, but they're not going to penalize you one way or another. People growing up with the Internet is going to use one space and people growing up with typewriters may use two.

One thing to consider, however: using extra spaces will add length to your manuscript.

maestrowork
08-06-2007, 06:09 PM
The manuscript should NEVER be right-justified. If there is a firm rule regarding manuscript format, this must be it.

caw

I think he's talking about typesetting, as in books, which is justified. So, maybe typesetters do want single space; but it's never really a huge issue to global replace doubles with singles.

PVish
08-06-2007, 09:45 PM
I think I answered this in another thread, but I'll post here just in case.

College composition classes now teach one space. The Little, Brown Handbook, 9th ed., which I used when I taught grammar and comp, had a chapter dedicated to document design. On p. 206 (top): "Leave one space after all punctuation, with these exceptions," and then it lists the marks that have no space after them.

I live in an area with two small papers and many civic organizations. The organizations often send press releases (as email attachments) to the papers, who copy and paste the info without removing the extra spaces. The original press releases probably had a ragged right margin so extra spaces didn't look too bad. The newspapers, however, justify the text and use narrow columns. The releases with two spaces appear to have huge holes.

I have also seen self-published/vanity published books filled with holes because authors used two spaces. They sent their work on disks to the printer, who copied, pasted, changed font or size, and justified.

If you're sending work out on disk or as an attachment that might be copied and pasted into a publication, train yourself to use only one space.

blacbird
08-06-2007, 11:48 PM
I think he's talking about typesetting, as in books, which is justified. So, maybe typesetters do want single space; but it's never really a huge issue to global replace doubles with singles.

Check his question. He said "when the manuscript is right and left justified".

caw

dahabnz
08-07-2007, 07:04 AM
To clarify, I mean when the manuscript is left and right justified by the typesetter to go to print.

The point being, ultimately, it will need to be set to one space.

maestrowork
08-07-2007, 07:07 AM
To clarify, I mean when the manuscript is left and right justified by the typesetter to go to print.

The point being, ultimately, it will need to be set to one space.

Correct, but the ms. has to go through a lot of stages before it gets to the typesetter, and global replace is easy. So your question really is "What does the editor prefer"? Most often the answer is: It doesn't matter. I have yet to hear from an editor who insists on one way or another.

Julie Worth
08-08-2007, 08:23 AM
I recently read that it should only be one space in between a period and the start of a new sentence instead of two spaces. I'm used to doing two, as you can see in this post.

I always do a find and replace, two spaces for one, getting rid of every instance of two spaces in the ms. Not that it matters much to agents. I think Ben Salmon probably speaks for most when he says:

"I know that a lot of authors stress out about following submission guidelines perfectly. They’re guidelines, and that’s what I say. Sometimes, someone will say what if I send them four pages, is it okay? Or they’re worried about two spaces after a period. I really don’t care. I just want to see good work. Good writing will trump all."

SpookyRabbit
08-08-2007, 05:36 PM
Alexandra,

I recently worked with a free-lance editor who also writes reviews for Publisher's Weekly and I guess she rubs elbows with some big time editors at the hoity-toity publishing houses (i.e. those that don't publish me...yet :tongue). When she looked over my work she asked me about my period-double space-beginning of sentence format. Actually, she told me to stop it. As the others mentioned above, it can cause issues with formating when you send in a disk. This editor said that was one of the pet-peeves of the folks who work on your manuscript, because then they have to go in and fix it. I for one do not want to be peeving off anyone working on my stuff. (Look, editor! I made you a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a heart.)

The editor also mentioned a friend of hers who does the double space and goes in to search and replace, which I was thinking about doing as she was talking to me, and said, just as PVish recommended above, to just get in the habit and do it right the first time.

(Laugh) Now, who told us to start doing that double space business in the first place???

PVish
08-09-2007, 07:58 AM
Alexandra,
(Laugh) Now, who told us to start doing that double space business in the first place???

Typing teachers. Back in the monospaced font days. Back in the days before CDs existed. Before even floppy disks existed. Back when—OMG! I can remember that! I'm OLD!

A couple of books (published over a decade ago!) address the differences in typing and using a computer: Your Mac is Not an Typewriter and Your PC is Not a Typewriter.

Stijn Hommes
08-21-2007, 02:50 PM
Write it however is natural to you (one space or two), then use 'find & replace' to make it match the editor's guidelines. I am completely incapable of typing with two spaces between sentences unless I go through after I'm finished and manually put them in. I kind of panicked when some agents wanted things double space (no way in hell I'm going through 500 pages and manually putting extra spaces!), but then I discovered that you use find replace and tell it to find '.-' and replace it with '.--' (dashes represent spaces). Voila! Double spaced. You could do a reverse find replace to single space your work.

(Note I use Appleworks not Word, so maybe Word can't do a find replace like this, but I know Appleworks can.) When agents say they want a manuscript double-spaced, they're talking about the vertical distance between individual lines - not spaces between words and/or punctuation.