- Nancy Ellen Dodd on How to Write a Manuscript

- Nancy Ellen Dodd on How to Write a Manuscript

Submission of a manuscript to some publishers can be a very tricky and improper submissions can immediately get your manuscript rejected. Ensure you review their set of formatting standards and guidelines for the specific company you will be publishing your fiction novel through prior to submitting your manuscript.

Follow a publisher's guidelines to the letter as this will help you avoid a definite rejection of your manuscript since if you can't follow directions, then who is to say you will follow their recommendations to sell more books after they do publish your work.

In researching how to write a manuscript, I put together most likely the closest match for most publishing companies out there. There may be a slight adjustment here and there, but for the most part, they are the same and it won't take much time to bring your manuscript up to speed and ready for submission.

The general format used by most companies as a standard is simple to understand and easy to achieve on any word processing program. Once you get your manuscript in that format, contacting a company and meeting their submission deadline in their format is very easy.


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I came across many similarities between several different publishers when it came to how to write a manuscript and how it should be formatted for submission. I spent a little extra time and research and developed a simple guide to help create a manuscript for your fiction that gets it ready to the standard of most publishers, then with a little tweaking here and there based on their personal requirements, you can make quick changes and have it in the mail that same day. This is how I format my manuscripts prior to submission to traditional publishers or literary agents.

When writing a manuscript, you may think that these standards are pretty strange and make your book look bad, but don't worry about how it looks at this point. A publisher generally sends it to other entities who edit and format your book from the standard manuscript format into a book format that you are used to seeing in the bookstores during the publishing phase of your book.

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One of the most frequent questions I receive from aspiring authors is regarding exactly . Although different publishing companies may have specific formats for the manuscript in the submission process, there is no universal formula for how to write a manuscript. In speaking with many of the authors with whom I have worked, some prepare a basic outline and develop the story within the confines of that framework, while others actually write the ending to their books first and work backwards to the beginning. Despite the various approaches to writing a manuscript, there are two key elements upon which you should focus as you begin.
How to write a manuscript for ready submission to any publisher is what you should be shooting for if you are looking to traditionally publish your book. Using a standard manuscript format as your baseline will help when you are ready to start sending it off because it is easy to make one or two changes to meet a publisher's requirements.

First, it is axiomatic in the world of literature that the best works are produced by authors who are knowledgeable in the area about which they are writing. This does not mean that you need to be a spy before you know how to write a manuscript involving espionage, or that you need to be in law enforcement before writing a murder mystery. It does, however, mean that you need to be well researched in the areas in which you choose to write. Editors are invaluable in the writing process and the production of the final manuscript, but do not rely on the editor to do your research for you. Taking the time to fully research and understand the subjects involved in your work will ultimately produce a higher quality manuscript, and will give you a much greater chance of catching the attention of a publisher.The different approaches used by authors in preparing a manuscript can vary as much as the writings themselves, but the key elements necessary to produce a manuscript worthy of publication remain consistent. The focus should not be so much on identifying a specific format for how to write a manuscript, but rather the fundamental elements necessary to produce the final work.