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Writer's Room => Chapter Books, Easy Readers, and Middle Grade (MG) => Topic started by: Madeline on June 28, 2020, 10:15 AM

Title: Diary-style manuscript formatting advice, please :)
Post by: Madeline on June 28, 2020, 10:15 AM
Hey, all! I am writing a diary-style (most likely early chapter book) series but can't find much about formatting it for a manuscript submittal. (I am not illustrating it, but I would like to include some illustration notes.)  Any advice on where I might find some direction?  Series is similar in style to Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliot. Thanks!
Title: Re: Diary-style manuscript formatting advice, please :)
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 28, 2020, 05:37 PM
Perhaps look at how completed diary-style books are formatted and copy. I'd think you could use a date and/or Dear Diary as a chapter titles and just format as a regular manuscript thereafter. If the illustration notes add something that isn't clear from the text, you'd include them in parenthesis at the end of a relevant section. Make sure everything in a note matters to the story. (For example, if you mention the color of a dress, that color should mean something and not be clear from context anywhere in the book---the illustrator will read the entire text before putting in spot illustrations and working on the cover, etc. )
Title: Re: Diary-style manuscript formatting advice, please :)
Post by: Vijaya on June 28, 2020, 07:22 PM
Madeline, you'd format your manuscript like any other story--double spaced. If you're not the illustrator, only have the most necessary art notes (ex. if the text is the opposite of art, or if a particular detail is important for the plot). If you have narrative interspersed with short diary entries, you could italicize the latter. Good luck!