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Question
I'm currently writing a fictional book about zombies and what not. all i'm using write now is Microsoft Word 2000. I was wondering how i format my book? whats a good font? how will i know if it's long enough? any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer
Dear Rob,
Thank you for your letter. Word is the correct program, industry standard. Publishers usually want double spaced courier type in 10 pt or 12 pt. I usually go with 10 pt. Use 1" margins all around, with your name, title, and page numbers in the header.
The pages will shrink down a little bit when they are printed, so you want your manuscript to be a pretty good length. For a horror novel with zombies, you probably want at least 200 manuscript pages. Usually there are about 250 words per page, so that would be about 50,000 words. You can check the word count in your tools menu.
I recommend that you read a book on horror writing, since each genre has its rules. You can break the rules, of course, but you need to know what they are. At my site I have linked to at least one horror writing book at my "good writing books" link, see:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
Also, check out the Fiction Writers Workshop linked to that page. The workshop will help you plot out your novel.
One thing that makes a book longer is to have more developed subplots, but in genre fiction, you can keep subplots to a minimum.
I hope this helps. Best to you,
Sincerely,
Nori

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