A Question on Standard Manuscript Format

SINCE I FIRST STARTED using a digital word processor to write, I have used what I’ve come to think of as SMS (Standard Manuscript Format) — 12pt (10 pitch) Courier or Courier New with 60 character (10 word) lines, 25 lines per page, double-spaced, no smart quotes, no type styling, all styles indicated by underlines, hyphenation, widow, and orphan control turned off. As close as possible to a plain-Jane typewriter MS.

The purpose for this, of course, is to give the typesetter the plainest, most-vanilla MS possible. Since this was the desired work product end point, there was little sense to convert between other formats for the sake of a little convenience in writing.

Now, though, I’m contemplating self-publishing, in eBook formats to start. I’m also starting out with a new tool — Scrivener. And I’m wondering: should I throw out all that standard MS bunk and work as close as possible to my end product?

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