I have this font I like to use when I'm working on my MS on the computer. It's not Times New Roman. I understand that almost every agent or publisher I submit to is going to want the MS in the Times New Roman font, so I switched to it, to get used to using it, and I just don't like it, either in print or on the computer screen. How much shit am I letting myself in for if I send in a MS that's in another common serif font (Lucida Console)?

Yes, I really am this nerdy.


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I have never heard of anyone wanting a manuscript sent in Times New Roman. Most requests I've gotten specify Courier, if they specify anything. I believe as a general rule they want a non-variable font. In Courier, all the letters take up the same amount of space. That makes it easy for the editor to do a word count. Times New Roman is a variable font. I have no idea if Lucida Console is variable or not. In these days of electronic manuscript submission, it might not matter as much.
Actually, I've seen agents ask for TNR or Courier, or specifying TNR because it's easier on the eyes when reading on a computer screen (that's what they've posted on their blogs, anyway.)

MinervaK, write it in a font that pleases you, but switch it over to whatever font the agent requests before you send it. If you don't like it visually, it'll put a crimp in your writing.
Sorry, Minerva--can't help you. I'm more of a Zapf Dingbats guy, myself.
I've always used Times New Roman. I like it. Courier always looks a bit like an easy reader to me. Most of the publishers and agents I have dealt with also liked Times New Roman. Courier is an alternate choice.
Okay, if we're being serious, I use Times or TNR because Courier's too damn big--it creates the illusion of great productivity, and that kind of self-deception is the last thing I need. My editor, agent et al are fine with TNR.
Ouch. That's gotta make spellcheck a real pain in the ass.
As a publisher, Minerva, all I care about is that it be readable.
I always thought this was really a screenplay issue. And in that case it's because there's a generalization that a screenplay written in courier 12pt will play out at about one minute per page.

To stay reasonably close to that, screenplays have a pretty strict structure including fonts and spacing.
Courier, being a monospace font, also makes it easier to line everything up, which I guess would be beneficial for a screenplay which uses a lot of indentation. Is that right? I don't really know much about screenwriting.
Lucida Console is a sans-serif font (like Arial or MS Office's new default font, Calibri). Good alternatives to TNR, in my opinion, are Garamond, Georgia, Book Antiqua, Bookman Old Style, and Cambria.

I've tried switching to another font, but I always come back to Times New Roman. It's not the warmest or softest or most comfortable font (Mrs. Eaves is a personal favorite, actually), but it's unobtrusive and familiar. I've been using TNR literally since first grade; it's the only font that feels right to me.

But I don't see why you don't just use Lucida Console or whatever on your own computer and switch to TNR right before you submit it.
Good advice, John - that's what I do! I tend to write in Arial, then change the text to TNR for submissions that ask for it.
Ditto. I write in Verdana or Arial, then do a Select All and change to TNR. Remember one thing: spacing will change, so it's good to give a quick once over to make sure the chapter breaks are still in the right places on the page, if it matters in your layout.


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