1.18.2006

F your Font

Miss Snark,

In a dream universe, what would be the best font and size for you to get an MS in? Times 12? Arial 12? Courier New 12?

Also, you said 80k is the minimum for a first time novel... what's the maximum?

PS: Be careful sharpening KY's fangs, last thing we need is him to take a bite out of the mailman carrying my query.


Quit worrying about this. I mean it. I don't give a rat's ass about perfect font. Can I read it?
That's all. Now, the best way to figure out if I can read it is: can YOU read it? Ok, don't trust yourself? Give it to your spousal unit; can s/he read it? Not enough? Before midnight tonight take a page to your librarian. Can s/he read it?

Quit obsessing about your damn font. Obsess about your writing. You can send me drivel in Geneva 10 and I'm not going to take it; and absolute wondeful stuff in Helvetica 12 and I will.

There's no maximum. It depends on what you're writing.

Just write well. I can fix everything else.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Odd you should say no maximum. Many (several) other agents make a big deal of Maximum word count. I think I recall one of their websites stating flatly that 120K was absolute the upper limit for a previously unpublished writer. Mine’s 147K so I’m a bit sensitive about it.

Jude Hardin said...

You can't go wrong with Courier Dark, 12 pt. You can download the font for free from Hewlett-Packard's website.

With 147K words, you have to start asking yourself where to start trimming. Do you have characters who are blabbermouths? Cut some dialogue. Do your descriptions go too long? Is there too much exposition? Try to say what you have to say in as few words as possible, keeping in the active voice and using strong verbs. Kill your darlings. Anything that's not story must be cut. J.A. Konrath has some excellent tips on his website. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Snarkling Lizzy thinks that 80K minimum is a tidy sum for an advance.

Anonymous said...

(Very funny, Lizzy.)

Although Miss Snark is apparently not snarky about fonts (would that there were more like her), plenty of agents and editors are.

Most people won't be at all happy unless it is 12 point, and either Courier (whatever flavor you like) or Times New Roman.

Courier tends to be popular with the older set (because they grew up reading the output of typewriters). It is still the screenwriting standard.

Some of the younger editors and agents see Courier and assume that your grandchildren have to help you operate your e-mail.

One well-known editor says that Courier has the advantage of making the pages turn faster (less words per page in Courier). I say, fine: use Times New Roman and slightly wider margins, and your pages will turn just as fast and be easier on the eye.