Friday, December 4, 2009
My Son's Basketball Shoes
Why do I have a picture of them on my blog? No worries. I'm going to tell you, and I will tie it into writing. My thirteen-year-old son, Cody, tried out for his Junior High basketball team this week. Big deal, you might say, but oh, it was a big deal. You see, Cody stands six inches shorter than even the smallest kid in his class, and he's at least a foot smaller than the boys who tried out for the team. Eighth grade is hard enough for a boy going through puberty without the added pressures of basketball tryouts. Not to mention being little. But, I'm happy to say, he made the team. No one thought he would. Everyone thought he was too short. He proved them all wrong. Why did he make it despite his size? Well, I'll tell you why. The coach saw past his small stature to his heart and his stellar ball handling skills. (I'm his mother, okay. Let me brag just this once.) His size didn't' matter because he could still play ball. But this post isn't just an excuse for me to talk about my personal life. I have a point to make. I started this series about contradicting information we writers find on the web, and before I continue with the topic of manuscript formatting, I want to point out that, although there are many conflicting requirements out there, I don't think any of them are going to make or break you. If an agent or editor sees the heart and the stellar writing skills, how you submitted it to them isn't going to matter. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to put our best foot forward, but it does mean that we shouldn't get too hung up on these little details. That being said, I'd like to summarize what everyone thought about page numbering. It seems the majority feel that the number should go in the upper right hand corner. I'd have to agree. Others added that they also put their name and working title up there. I agree with this too. The top of every page of my manuscript is headed with this: Susan Mills/TICK-TOCK/1 (It's right justified and the number coincides with the page, of course.) Now, my friend, Shelli, commented that her agent, who happens to be Alyssa Henkin of Trident Media Group, prefers 11-point Times New Roman font. Huh? I thought 12-point was standard. See ...even the font size is up for discussion. Go figure. So, what do you think? Will agents forgive less than perfect manuscript presentation for a good story? And, what font do you consider standard?