Sunday, January 18, 2015

Indented Servitude

I don't know what they teach kids in school these days.  There is one thing  I find baffling.  In editing projects I'm noticing a huge increase in stories where paragraphs are not indented.  I'm really struggling to figure out why.  I've lamented before that writers don't seem to have any concept of standard manuscript format.  But the lack of paragraph indentation really ticks me off.  This blog is block left and not indented. It's my blog and I like it that way.  Still, I would not dream of sending something off for publication without it being in proper format--and, especially, with indented paragraphs.  It's easy to do on a computer.  I get the impression that the people spewing out manuscripts don't understand that paragraphs are supposed to be indented.  And they wonder why they don't get published. Frankly, it's the number one peeve other editors have voiced in conversations. It generally carries the death penalty.  Yet, I keep seeing more and more of this. There must be something I'm missing. A good looking and well prepared manuscript won't get you published. However, a poorly prepared one may easily keep you from getting published.  I'm not joking about this. It is a big deal.

Any editors who read this are welcome to post comments. Likewise, any authors may comment as well.  


  1. Poor formatting is unprofessional. To me it says that the author didn't take the time to learn their craft and didn't bother to read the submission instructions, so why should I bother reading their story. I've had submissions that weren't in MS format and one I even replied to tell the author they should find out what MS format was. I got a pretty snotty reply. Better to say nothing at all, or a quick thank you...

  2. proper format--and, especially, with indented paragraphs

    Really? Your one to talk about about this?

    1. Yes asshole. And it's you're, not your you illiterate moron. And have the guts to put your own name on something instead of hiding behind nameless posts.