What font is typical when writing? Im writing a YA and I'm using Times New Roman at 12pt but I didn't know if I should change the size and style. Thanks!
Font really doesn’t matter at all until you are submitting, so use whatever you prefer. You can always reformat later.
When you submit, always follow the agent/publisher’s guidelines to the letter.
Personally, I use courier, font 12, double spaced, justified left. This is also the usual preferred font/format for short stories submissions. I do believe for novels some publishers prefer Times New Roman, so you need to check every time you send one.
The reason I, and many editors, prefer courier is because all the characters occupy the same amount of space (an l will take the same area as a g or x.) and it makes it easier to read and spot typos and mistakes. The double space leaves room for notes and it’s justified left so as not to mess with the space per character I just mentioned. I find using this rather than Times New Roman does make it that little bit easier.
I've been working on a story for almost a year now, and I'm having some major issues with the first part of it. For the first 300-400 pages, the plot feels stilted and the characters just seem to be going through the motions. I've considered cutting that section completely, but I need buildup to events that follow, which is when the story really picks up and the characters come to life, in a way. But, the result is pretty much the same with every rewrite. Any tips?
Your story is just picking up between 300 and 400 pages? I don’t know where you are in your story because depending on font, font size, spacing, and writing program, you could be anywhere between 50k and 100k words, but either way you need to put all that good stuff in the beginning if you want readers to keep reading.
Here are some reasons you might be ending up like this:
Starting Too Soon: Start as close to the main conflict as possible. If you start your story too far behind the main plot and the main conflict, it’s going to drag on and bore the reader.
Not Enough Conflict: If your plot is stilted and your characters aren’t really doing anything, you probably don’t have enough conflict. Put your characters in tough situations. Make everything go bad for them. Add sub plots. Let them make terrible decisions if their emotions override their reasoning. For tips on conflict, check the tags page for the conflict tag.
Wrong Plot: You might need to rewrite your plot, not just the story. Try taking it in a different direction. Take some stuff out. Add some other stuff. Combine ideas.
Unnecessary Scenes: You might be writing unnecessary scenes or filler. You can get rid of unnecessary scenes. If you have entire scenes describing what your characters are doing over the length of a few days, but nothing happens that contributes to the story, take it out.
Pacing: The pacing might be off. For tips on pacing, check the pacing tag on the tags page.
Back Story: If you have back stories for your characters that needs to be revealed and if these back stories take up the beginning of your story, take them out. Weave them in your story in other ways. Stick to the main plot and then reveal information as the story goes on. For tips on back story, check the tags page for the back story tag.
Not Fully Formed: Your story might not be a full story. Make sure you have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Make sure there is a cause-and-effect format with some conflicts and their resolutions. Make sure what you write contributes to the story.
The Mushy Middle: Lots of writers have trouble with writing the middle of their stories. They tend to fail in terms of rising action, conflict, and suspense. Check the tags page for the middle tag.