Last week I explained some DOs and DON’Ts of manuscript formatting. Today, we’ll take a more advanced look at how you can markup your document for quick, easy, and — best of all — consistent layout.
If you’ve ever looked at HTML — the code behind a website — you’ll be familiar with what markup is. By using a series of simple tags, you tell the web browser (or, in this case, the layout person) how to interpret your manuscript.
Markup for a manuscript may look something like this:
<h1>Chapter 1: World History
A bit of information about the history of <strong>My World.</strong> Here’s a list of some of the cool things you’ll find:
The tags that precede or surround certain elements tell a lot about the manuscript. The <h1> tag, for example, tells us that “Chapter 1: World …
Continue Reading Prepare Your Game Manuscript to Send to Layout Pt. 3
In last week’s post, I showed you how to use Stylesheets to keep a consistent look and feel throughout your document. Using Stylesheets will also help improve your manuscripts’s ability to be cleanly imported into layout software such as Adobe InDesign.
This week, we’ll discuss a few DOs and DON’Ts about manuscript formatting that will further improve compatibility with import workflows. If you follow these tips, your layout artist will thank you. Otherwise, they’ll grit their teeth and, depending on how their day has been going, swear a lot because they have to fix everything manually.
Why This All Matters
Most layout programs are capable of importing documents from various programs such as MS Word and LibreOffice, and they have a lot of different settings available when doing so. Ideally, your layout artist will be able to automate as much of the import workflow as possible, which increases speed and consistency …
Continue Reading Prepare Your Game Manuscript to Send to Layout Pt. 2
It’s an amazing feeling to see your game designs turned into a proper book, complete with complimentary art, typefaces, and all of the other bells and whistles. But how does it get from the stream of text you’ve entered into your word processor to the final product your adoring fans will download (or better yet, see on the shelves at their FLGS)?
After you’ve written your manuscript, it needs to be entered into a desktop publishing program such as Adobe’s InDesign or Scribus, the open source alternative. Once imported into the layout software, the layout artist can manipulate all of the text you’ve written and transform it from a stone wall of text to an elegant sculpture.
To do that, your layout designer needs to have a few cues about what sort of text elements your manuscript contains. Without any sort of guidance, it can be a time-consuming and error-prone process as …
Continue Reading Prepare Your Game Manuscript to Send to Layout Pt. 1