Dear Miss Snark,
I nearly went insane this evening trying to figure out why a manuscript refused to consistently print 25 lines per page -- I thought I had everything right: 1" margins, 12 point Courier, double spaced etc. Finally, after a great deal of confusion, I noticed that I'd left the "eliminate widows and orphans" option turned on in Microsoft Word. Turning it off eliminated the problem, but now, of course, there are occasional widows and orphans (surprise!) scattered through the text.
Am I right in thinking that getting 25 lines per page takes priority in a manuscript over widow and orphan elimination? Or should I let Microsoft Word do its stuff on sample chapters I send to an agent?
Where are you getting this idea that ms pages have to have 25 lines per page OR that you should do it in Courier (which is an ugly ass font and I hate)?
Much of this depends on what stage of the process you're on. If you're preparing a document for your publisher you follow THEIR house style guide and you follow it to the letter and anything Miss Snark says be damned.
If you are sending a full manuscript, you don't want to leave single lines on a page if you can help it. It's a waste of paper. I get LOTS of manuscripts that have fewer than 25 lines per page, particularly if you're doing scene breaks.