I was surprised to find that (William) Shunn advises using TWO spaces at the end of sentences when sending a manuscript to an editor. I've had several writer friends in my writing groups who have sold manuscripts only to have to go through and change all of the double spaces at the ends of sentences to single spaces. I naturaly want to put two spaces, but am wondering what you advise? One or two spaces?
I come from a journalism background in which saving space is the name of the game. Therefore I learned to follow the Associated Press Stylebook, which stipulates only one space be used at the end of a sentence.
About two years ago, while discussing my manuscript with the editor of a small press, she advised me to insert two spaces after a period, so I did.
About a year later, The Wind Thief was accepted by Alondra Press, a different small press. The editor said he only wanted one space at the end of sentences, so please stop using two spaces when rewriting segments.
Personal Experiences Scorecard
1 space: 2 votes
2 spaces: 1 vote
Wikipedia actually has a fascinating page about the subject of double-spacing. What
I have never heard an editor or publisher say that using one space or two at the end of sentences is a deal breaker, so long as whatever you choose is consistent.
But Don't Take My Word for It!
Wikipedia has a fascinating page on the issue of double-spacing. Among the historical data are citations from a number of style guides for legal documents and those for other subjects such as political science, sociology, health, etc.
The ones most writers are interested in, however, are these standard style guides used for formatting manuscripts for fiction, nonfiction and creative nonfiction books:
Chicago Manual of Style: 1 space
The Copyeditor's Handbook: 1 space
Modern Language Association: 1 space
1 space: 3 votes
2 spaces: 0 votes
I'm out of time tonight, but will address the Ruth's second question soon.