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Tip Tuesday #151

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy New Year's, everyone! Thank you for your continued readership. Natalie and I have a lot of exciting things planned for the new year and hope you'll stick around to see what's in store.

To start off 2013, I have a wonderful tip from Kristin Lenz. Kristin blogs at YA Fusion where she's currently giving away an ARC of Level 2. Interestingly enough, Kristen contributed the first tip of 2012 as well, Tip #113, which seems to me a good omen. Her other tips include #103, #112, #119, #130, and #144.  Thank you, Kristin!

I have an exceedingly simple tip to share. If you prefer to read printed pages rather than on your computer or device, and if you fret about how much paper and ink you waste, this tip is for you.

For my critique group, we email chapters at least one to two weeks before we meet. We each print out those pages, read, mark them up, etc. A new member showed up to a recent meeting with the pages printed like an actual book. She had shrunk the font to 8 point and printed two pages per one sheet of paper, horizontally. The rest of us had thick stacks of paper; she had three sheets. Duh, why hadn’t I thought of that over all these years of printing manuscripts? I’m not alone. Recently, an online critique partner returned my manuscript by mail. It was so thoughtful of her - she spent $7 in shipping to mail my 300+ page manuscript, and I had only expected her to email me a summary of her thoughts. Of course, I’ll reuse the back side of those pages to print something else, but this tip would have saved paper, ink, and mailing costs.

I know, sometimes you need the extra space for comments, and if you’re Generation X like me or older, you’re whining, “But I can’t read 8 point type.” Sorry, I can’t help you with that one. It’s time to put on those reading glasses.

You can also use this "shrunken manuscript" as a revision tool. Darcy Pattison teaches the technique in her novel revision workshops, and you can read more about it here: http://www.darcypattison.com/revision/shrunken-manuscript/ 

Happy New Year!

Kristin Lenz


  1. Great tips to help Mother Nature, thank you! Yes, always set your printer to print on both sides of the paper! :-) And please recycle the paper after too. :-)

    Happy happy New Year to all at Literary Rambles! take care

  2. Funny that I contributed the first tip in 2012, too. Happy New Year, Casey! (And to Natalie - hope you're having a great vacation.)

  3. A perfect post to begin 2013. Merci!

  4. I started printing two sheets to a page a while ago and thought I was the only one crazy enough to do this with the tiny type. It's fun to hear others use this idea as well! Happy New Year!

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  6. At work we can only print two pages per sheet and only recently started doing this at home. I tried reducing the font size and Wow! Amazing how many pages you lose with such a simple trick.

    Thanks for sharing Kristin!

  7. Great tip! I'll have to start doing this. I prefer to edit hard copy but haven't been because of waste of paper and ink.

  8. excellent tip, Kristen. i'll have to try this!
    Great blog, Natalie and Casey!

  9. Great tip! Sometimes you need to see it on the page and that saves paper.

  10. Nice idea and simple to do. Thanks.

  11. Well, huh. Simple but effective!!!

  12. For the longest time I resisted even printing out my manuscript to edit it because I didn't want to waste paper, and I did all my critiques electronically, but there does come a time when a printed version is necessary. I do print double-sided, though.

  13. I totally enjoyed this interview! I struggle with the guidelines of critique and writers groups since I write at wacky times and produce more than my peers. I work better creating the draft and working with beta switching.