Hints for Authors

Originally written by Susan Carr
Revised by DragonWriter17

  • Type your story in a word processor, and save it in a format compatible with those used by Mystic Muse, such as Word Format (.doc, .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or Plain Text Format (.txt). Unless you know HTML Code really well, do not submit your stories in HTML Format.

  • Save your document with a filename that incorporates both your story title and your pen name. Include book and chapter/part if necessary.
    Example: PowerOfThreeBk2Pt16ByDragonWriter17.rtf

  • Keep the entire story in one document rather than splitting it up unless the story is "In progress" (being submitted in parts over time as opposed to submitting it only when it's complete).

  • Do not use horizontal lines or extra spaces to separate sections or chapter headings. Instead, use three asterisks *** that are left justified. Use only three asterisks; put no spaces before, after, or between the asterisks; and don't center the asterisks.

  • Put a blank line between paragraphs, but do not indent anything in the document. In other words, don't use the Tab key and don't use the Indent tool.

  • If you have a part of your story where there should NOT be a space between the lines, such as in a poem or song, then use a line break instead of a paragraph break. In Word, you can add a line break by hitting Ctrl+Enter instead of just Enter by itself.

  • Mystic Muse uses 12 pt Bookman Old Style font, but you do not have to use that font. Just use the default text for your word processor, and leave the rest to Mystic Muse.

  • Keep your formatting simple. Don't use tables, borders, internal graphics, or preset styles/themes. Do not use special fonts, colored fonts, unusual font sizes, or font effects such as shadows. However, you may use italics and boldface, but only if you use them sparingly. Italics should be used only for emphasis and inner thoughts. Boldface should be used for chapter headings.

  • Do not put a space in front of any type of punctuation, but do put one space after all commas and after all end punctuation marks unless they are ending a quote. You don't have to put two spaces after each sentence ending. That is the old school rule. These days, a single space between sentences will suffice. Do not put a space either in front of or after the ellipsis (...). Do not put a space either in front of or after the dash (--).

  • All word processors have a spell checker...use it! But keep in mind that spell checkers and grammar checkers cannot catch everything. You still need to do your own eyeball-edit (or find yourself a good beta reader who will do this for you). Go to this site for advice on Common Errors in English.

  • More questions? Drop me a line at susan.carr@yahoo.com.


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