Christian Writing Tips - 1 or 2 Spaces?
This Christian writing tip is a short technical tip on an ongoing debate. Many, as I was, were taught to put two spaces between sentences. There are millions of sentences with two spaces after a period, or question mark, or exclamation point or ellipsis out there. There are also millions of sentences out there, wherever "there" is, with only one space between sentences.
I have finally succumbed to the one space chain of thought. However, my fingers are very slow to get the message! Thus, I have very mismatched spacing. It must be consistently consistent, regardless of whether I want two spaces or a single space.
When I had lunch not too long ago with a writer friend, she asked me point blank this question: "Linda, how do you easily change double spacing into single spacing without having to go through each sentence in a manuscript?"
"I'll get back with you on that," I promised. I sent her an email a couple of days later with instructions that I found online and that I used myself to get rid of several hundred, yes, hundreds, mismatched sentences in my latest manuscript, Plot With Help From Mother Goose (coming out soon at www.createspace.com/4839119). It literally took seconds.
Super simple, "duh" instructions. Yes, I knew it before I researched, but hadn't done it in a long time and the concept must have gotten lost somewhere in the crevices of my mind.
Drum roll please! And be ready to slap your head and go "Duh!" (And, yes, I have totally rewritten the instructions from the original article by Jacci Howard Bear.)
1. Locate a feature in your word processor program that says "find and replace" or "search and replace" or some variation of that.
2. Type a period or question mark or exclamation point or ellipsis (use the . key or the ? key or the ! key or ...) and follow with two spaces (use the space bar key) in the "find" spot.
3. Type a period or question mark or exclamation point or ellipsis (use the . key or the ? key or the ! key or ...) and follow with one space (use the space bar key) in the "replace" spot.
4. Click on the "find" button and the "replace" button for the whole story.
5. Do 2-3-4 again using three spaces instead of two just in case an extra space is lurking somewhere.
6. Repeat 2-3-4-5 with each: period, question mark, exclamation point, and ellipsis.
Now, if you want two spaces and not one space, just reverse what you have in "find" with what you have in "replace."
This feature can be used to change names (i.e. In Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, Scarlet O'Hara was originally named Pansy O'Hara), change spellings (i.e. colour to color), just about change anything all at once in your manuscript ~ including consistently using one space instead of two. Warning: just be sure to check your page design from the title page to the final page one more time afterwards. (And please, do not ask me why that is important!)
Be blessed in The Name above all names, Jesus! I know I am!