When I first started,  I knew absolutely nothing about what publishers are looking for.  A chance meeting with another writer gave me some important pointers.  Most of the formatting can be done at the final stage, I was advised, but choose a simple font such as Times New Roman and use double spacing.  So far so good.  Then my friend asked me what the word count was.  To be honest I hadn’t worried too much about the number of words, I was just so pleased to see my writing filling the blank pages.  By now, I had probably written about nine or ten shortish chapters.  However, when I tried to check the word count, my trusty Mac let me down.  I’m sure some IT geek out there can find a way but it was beyond  me.  I was aiming for around 90,000 words as anything less than 75,000 my be considered as a novelette rather than a novel and is harder to sell – or so I’ve been told.   Having no idea how many more words I needed to write, I had two choices.  I could buy Word for Mac or borrow a PC.  Not having  a lot of readies , I opted to borrow the OH’s computer which had Word on it and had to start from scratch retyping the novel.  The thought of this set me back a couple of weeks as I took a break and decided where my novel was going to take me next.  As it turned out, it wasn’t all bad news.

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