Thursday, December 22, 2011

Banish Those Weird Characters and Run-On Sentences

Be certain that your editor is not going to receive a sloppy query or manuscript that possible arrives with weird characters, or sentences that run together.

Some ISP servers like nothing but pure plain text. So when you've saved your work in a standard word processor, whether you use plain text or RichText/HTML, it may not arrive in the pristine condition you intended.

Also, nearly all email programs or web email interfaces default to Rich Text, which also can result in ugly manuscripts when you don't take time to trim it. Let's face it. If your editor receives sloppy looking material you'll be less likely to receive an assignment.

There are ways to prevent the problem.
  1. Save a copy as plain text in Notepad. Then open that copy to check for HTML debris. Actually, it is good practice to keep a Notepad plain-text-folder for all your manuscripts.
  2. Set your email program or your web email to default to Plain Text.
  3. If you're still not sure that you have a clean manuscript, you can run it through one of the "scrubbers" to be found online.
Here are two free converters discovered with a quick search, and each produces a different font:


Keep your favorite editors happy by ensuring they receive perfectly formatted copy.

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