Monday, January 12, 2009
Writing the Novel - Which Font is Best?
This is a question I get asked a lot, and as simple as it seems, it can create a lot of confusion.
What is the best font to use for my novel?
The simple answer is to use whatever works for you, is appealing to your eye, and most importantly, easy to read.
The more involved answer is that agents do have preferences. They don't want anything flashy or creative or flamboyant. Beginning writers often try to play with different fonts as a way to express their individuality or creativity. Nothing screams out amateur greater than this. The font is not where you will stand out to an agent, it's the writing. A flamboyant font is enough of a red flag for agents to toss your manuscript into the trash.
What agents want is a professional looking (and reading) manuscript that follows strict format. They also want a font that is easy to read.
Originally, I wrote in Courier because I was told it was the most neutral. I've since switched because the spacing between the letters creates too many pages for the word count. After speaking with Robert Dugoni, I now use exclusively, Times New Roman, and have since learned that this is a very commonly used, accepted font with professional writers.
Other basic fonts should be acceptable, but the beauty of Times New Roman is that the page count you'll get using this font is nearly identical to the page count for the finished product. In other words, my novel at 102,000 words is 454 pages, just as it will appear when printed (or close to it.)
Save the standing out for your writing. When it comes to font, it's best to blend in with the rest.