Monday, August 02, 2010

One Space or Two?

There's a discussion over at the ywriter forums about whether to use one period or two after a sentence.

IMHO, one space is correct for manuscripts. The two spaces came from a previous era when we used typewriters and dot matrix printers and nonproportional fonts and two spaces after a period made the documents much easier to read. Nowadays proportional fonts will adjust the space after the period anyway, making it unnecessary to use two spaces. While wikipedia isn't the definitive authority, it does explain it well here.

And here's the MLA ruling on the issue - one space.

Having said that, there is still some controversy over the issue. A recent poll by literary agent Nathan Bransford found only a slight majority of his readers in the one space camp:

In a minority view, the APA publication manual blog wants two spaces, but it recognizes that:
. . .the usual convention for published works remains one space after each period, and indeed the decision regarding whether to include one space or two rests, in the end, with the publication designer. . . .

So, I'm in the one space camp.

If you've put two spaces in, it's easy to do a universal find and replace. Just search for ".[space][space]" and replace it with ".[space]" It might take a little while, however for those of you (like myself) who learned to automatically hit the space bar twice after a period, to retrain yourselves to only hit it once. It did me anyway.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Do You Read Writing Blogs?

"Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard." - Daphne Du Maurier

In 2006, about the time I began writing this blog, I started reading the blogs of other writers. There weren't many. Today, due in part to the increased responsbility for authors to promote their work, thousands of writing blogs exist. You could spend every moment just reading about writing and doing that reading only on the internet.

My current favorites include Nathan Bransford, Rachel Gardner, Query Tracker, and Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog. These blogs focus on literary agents and the publishing industry. For a wider variety, see this list published by the directory of universities and colleges of the 2010 Top 100 Writing Blogs.

The bottom line is that we should all spend much more time working on our projects than reading these blogs. The bloggers, if they're worth their salt, would agree. Still, our desire to read about writing persists.

Do you read writing blogs? If so, which ones do you find helpful?