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itsmewill
12-13-2014, 10:23 AM
The short story I'm writing follows the epistolary format. It is composed of letters exchanged by two main characters. I'm curious if whether or not right-aligning some text using the manuscript format is allowed.

This is how each letter appears:

12/13/2014

Dear Character 1,


This is my letter to you.



Sincerely,
Character 2


In my first draft, the closing statements (the Sincerely's) are aligned to the right so as to avoid confusion when the next letter is being read. Now, I'm unsure how I can go about with the manuscript. Is it okay for me to retain the alignments of the closings?

Is there a way for me to make the format clearer so as to avoid confusing the editor? Thank you!

BenPanced
12-13-2014, 10:52 AM
I would keep "Sincerely, Character 2" aligned to the left. Any special formatting would be done by the publisher. Also, put dividers between each letter; usually it's four centered asterisks or pound signs:

****
####

itsmewill
12-13-2014, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the answer.

In my manuscript, each part of the letter that requires a space between two parts has a symbol, like so:

12/13/2014
#
Dear Character 1,
#
This is my letter to you.
#
Sincerely,
Character 2

Am I doing it wrong?

Based on your answer, I should place four symbols between each letter, but what about the spaces between the date, the opening statement, the body, and the closing?

Thank you.

Bufty
12-13-2014, 03:34 PM
It only has to be readable. Not sure why you are involving right aligning at all.

Left align Dear X and Sincerely and the letter content, and if you wish to inset the opening paragraph of waffle feel free to do so.

The hash symbols are only to separate one complete letter from the next.

Whatever you do, if your publisher prefers a different style/format he will change it.

(hash marks centred) #

12th August 1932

Dear George,

Waffle waffle waffle.

Sincerely,

Charles.

#


20th August 1932

Dear Charles,

Waffle waffle waffle

Waffle.

Sincerely,

George.


#

Jamesaritchie
12-13-2014, 03:48 PM
Only ONE pound sign. I don't know where the four comes from. A typesetter will add an extra space between lines for each pound sign you insert, and you do not want four extra spaces there, you want only one.

Cathy C
12-13-2014, 03:55 PM
There are multiple types of letter formatting in office work. The one in your first post is called "Modified Block (https://www.tracy.k12.ca.us/sites/lhuggins/Documents/Computer%20Literacy/PDF%20Handouts/Modified%20Block%20Help.pdf)". The format Bufty suggested is "Full Block" (http://wiz.cath.vt.edu/tw/technicalwriting/corresp/letters/formatexamples/fullblock.html)

I would suggest full block. There are no proofreader marks (which are the #### or # suggested--either is fine) between the sections of the letter, just above and below the entire letter. This is so the publisher can later go in and do special formatting to set it off from the rest of the text by different font or slightly wider gutters (margins).

Does that help?

ETA: But since you asked, if the letter is purporting to between business colleagues, you wouldn't use the date format as 12/13/14. It would always be: December 13, 2014. Bufty's example is the European format. :)

itsmewill
12-14-2014, 08:43 PM
Thank you so much for your replies. Learned a lot! I will definitely be using the full block as it looks easier on the eye.

itsmewill
12-14-2014, 08:44 PM
And yes, Cathy. They are business colleagues. Thank you for the heads up!

field19
12-21-2014, 12:18 PM
As I'm new, I'm not able to post my own threat, yet.

Generally, should manuscripts be allign left or fully justifiedl?

Also, is it acceptable to submit a manuscript with double-spaces between paragraphs? I do this to make it more easy on the eye as well as to insert editorial comments/corrections.

jvc
12-21-2014, 01:54 PM
As I'm new, I'm not able to post my own threat, yet.

Generally, should manuscripts be allign left or fully justifiedl?

Also, is it acceptable to submit a manuscript with double-spaces between paragraphs? I do this to make it more easy on the eye as well as to insert editorial comments/corrections.

Well, we'd prefer you didn't post threats, that's just wrong. However, you can post your own threads, just not in the Share Your Work section, which requires members to have at least 50 posts. But here in the Ask The Agent forum, or over in Basic Writing Questions, or elsewhere is just fine.

Maryn
12-21-2014, 06:36 PM
Dang it, I should have been posting threats, since I'm not new. Talk about missed opportunities--and good typos!

Listen to jvc, of course. The dragon knows plenty.

Maryn, who used to know something but forgot

Cathy C
12-21-2014, 07:56 PM
As I'm new, I'm not able to post my own threat, yet.

Generally, should manuscripts be allign left or fully justifiedl?

Also, is it acceptable to submit a manuscript with double-spaces between paragraphs? I do this to make it more easy on the eye as well as to insert editorial comments/corrections.

Left align, generally. The publisher or printer will make the necessary adjustments for right justification when it's time.

As to double spacing, the whole manuscript should be double spaced, so you wouldn't want to make a second hard return (quad spacing) between paragraphs. That would be a HUGE page count.

itsmewill
12-22-2014, 03:45 PM
As I'm new, I'm not able to post my own threat, yet.

Generally, should manuscripts be allign left or fully justifiedl?

Also, is it acceptable to submit a manuscript with double-spaces between paragraphs? I do this to make it more easy on the eye as well as to insert editorial comments/corrections.

Most editors (well, most of those I submit to) seem to prefer the William Shunn format. To be sure, check the website (http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html).