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The Art of Story Writing : CHAPTER XVII Manuscript Paper

by Nathaniel C. Fowler, JR   

CHAPTER XVII Manuscript Paper

THE best paper for manuscripts, either for books or for magazines or newspaper articles, should be quite thin, but never as thin as tissue paper, and of the stock commercially known as bond, which is tough and strong, and does not easily tear in the typewriter or when handled. If thick paper is used, it will be difficult to make carbon copies, and they are likely to be indistinct.

Manuscript paper should never be larger than eight and one-half inches from right to left, and eleven inches from top to bottom. This size is standard. It should not be smaller than six inches from right to left, or eight inches from top to bottom.

White is acceptable, but some light tint, like light yellow, light gray, light buff, light orange, or light blue is preferable to white, because a tint or light color is easier on the eye.

Good bond paper can be obtained from seven to twelve cents per pound, and it should be of a thickness known in the trade as from sixteen to twenty pounds to the ream. The paper is made in sheets which may be cut up into four sheets eight and one-half by eleven inches without waste. A ream of this paper, and a ream is usually five hundred, instead of four hundred and eighty, sheets, will cut up into two thousand sheets of standard size. The cost, then, of a thousand sheets of manuscript paper of standard size, and of the twenty-pound weight, at seven cents per pound, would be seventy cents.

I have covered other details of manuscript paper in the chapter headed "The Preparation of a Manuscript."

Do not use a ruled paper, unless your manuscript is hand-written.

Avoid a paper with a surface which will not permit the use of pen and ink, because the editor or reader may desire to make corrections upon the manuscript, and if the paper is soft and spongy the ink from the pen will blur upon it.