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amyo

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I got a critique of my current nf WIP, and the critiquer suggested that one route I could take is to make it into a pb along the lines of "Snowflake Bentley," where lots of the hard-core facts are presented in sidebars.  (terrible sentence, sorry!   :tongue:) 

Anyway, my question is this:  if you're planning on using sidebars, how do you present that in a typical submission format?

Thanks for any tips!
#1 - May 21, 2004, 07:16 AM

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Amy,

I don't know if there's a standard way.  I would think any format that makes it clear what you'd want to do would work.

If it were me, I'd probably put notes in the text like [SIDEBAR 1] indicating the general area where you think the sidebar would go and then put the sidebars at the end of the manuscript, identified by number.  And of course, those kind of decisions are probably going to be made ultimately by the art director and illustrator and editor anyway. 

When I subbed a mag story with sidebars to Highlights, I just put them all at the end.  They didn't use any of them with the article, and they used one on a completely different page, FWIW.

Anne Marie
#2 - May 21, 2004, 07:20 AM
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I'll second AM's advice. You don't want to jar the flow of the MS with the sidebar facts stuck in the middle. Indicating where they would appear with numbers and throwing them all in at the end should work.
#3 - May 21, 2004, 08:05 AM

amyo

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Thanks, guys!  I'll aim for the Big Pile O'Sidebars at the end .... if I ever get my BIC to write this one.    :typing:
#4 - May 21, 2004, 09:20 AM

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Amy--standard is sidebars at the end.  The editors will decide where to put them. 
#5 - May 21, 2004, 05:54 PM
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amyo

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Thanks, Pam!   :D
#6 - May 21, 2004, 06:51 PM

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Pam,
Thank you.
#7 - November 20, 2005, 05:30 PM

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I'm working on a creative nonfiction PB for which I envision sidebars.  How/where do I include them in my manuscript text?  Any other pointers?

Thanks!

Jody
#8 - October 06, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Hi JodyJS,

I've always just written the word "sidebar" in brackets--[sidebar] and then placed the sidebar text underneath. Just put it where the sidebar would most logically fall within the ms text.

Katy
#9 - October 06, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Thanks, Katy.

I'd done that, but became concerned that the sidebar information would detract from the flow of the narrative.  What do you think?  Not a problem?

What about putting [sidebar A] etc. within the text, then including a page at the end of the story listing all the sidebars?
#10 - October 06, 2010, 05:50 PM
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For educational publishers I intersperse sidebars in a manuscript.  But for creative nonfiction I've included any "extra" stuff as backmatter, to avoid interrupting the flow of the story.  Whether to include extra information as sidebars or backmatter seem like a design decision that would come further down the road.

#11 - October 06, 2010, 06:51 PM

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Good point, Buffy, and good distinction.  Thanks!
#12 - October 07, 2010, 04:58 AM
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For GET REAL, I had short sidebars with recurring heads. I put them in footnotes, with [sidebar] followed by the recurring head and then the sidebar in the same size font as the rest of the ms.

For the project I'm working on now, I have longer sidebars. I've been putting them in boxes (in Word, a single-cell table with a border) about where I think they should fall.

I might be wrong, but my experience is that trade editors aren't terribly picky about manuscript formatting as long as it's easy to read. I just go with whatever gets my point across most simply.
#13 - October 07, 2010, 05:34 AM
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I wondered about footnotes, too, Mara.  Thanks!
#14 - October 07, 2010, 07:54 AM
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Mara wrote:  I might be wrong, but my experience is that trade editors aren't terribly picky about manuscript formatting as long as it's easy to read. I just go with whatever gets my point across most simply.

I'll ditto this.  :yup

Katy
#15 - October 07, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Thanks, guys!
#16 - October 07, 2010, 06:56 PM
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When I taught ICL's basic writing for children course, the format for non-fiction sidebars was to add a new page at the end of the manuscript with the title:  Sidebars and then to list them on that page. That way, the article would flow smoothly and at the end, the editor would see all the sidebar information presented and could choose which, if any, of the sidebars would fit and be pertinent to the article when published.

But any of the above suggestions would work, too. As long as the editor is clear that it's meant to be a sidebar, you should be fine.
#17 - October 08, 2010, 06:13 AM
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Great advice, Verla.  Thanks!
#18 - October 08, 2010, 10:40 AM
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I think it may depend on the function of the sidebars.  I subbed a rhyming pb earlier this year and the sidebars were needed in some cases to make sense of the verses.  So I did what Mara was suggesting and put the side bar information to the right of each verse in a box (except I used text boxes with a border instead of making a single-cell table).

I suspect Mara's right about trade editors not being terribly picky as long as it's easy to read.  My sub got a positive response (not an acceptance, but it's in their "we like it" pile), so obviously that format was not a problem for that particular editor.

Verla's advice makes sense for sidebars that are more in the category of "extras."
#19 - November 05, 2010, 07:29 PM

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