re: Giving Editors Their (Line)Space

in Formatting/Punctuation/Grammar by

Dear Editor…

I know the correct format for a novel is to begin Chapter One two-thirds down the page. Once, I read that other chapters should begin 1/3 down the page. This looks really weird to me, like I made a mistake in spacing. Do editors expect or desire to see manuscripts with successive chapters spaced 1/3 down the page?

Sincerely,

Carol

Dear Carol…

Don’t sweat this detail. Editors don’t care about that. If they get past Chapter One when reading your submission, they’re far more interested in what you’re doing within the story than with the spacing above the chapter headers. The difference is so minor, just choose the one that feels most pleasing to your eyes.

Happy writing!

The Editor

3 Comments

  1. I appreciate this! I’ve often wondered about this very thing, and following the advice of a college professor, just tried to be “consistent with myself.” I do wonder though, how many lines are standard between header and body on subsequent pages in a chapter, and what info (do I include email, phone etc.) to put in the header besides title, name and page #.
    Thanks!
    Michelle

  2. I loved the part where you wrote that if an agent/editor gets past the first chapter, line spacing between chapters and other small details don’t make or break the deal. What matters is consistency and professionalism. Thanks for easing our minds!

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