Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hey, Baby, What's Your Font?

Check out this article in Slate magazine in which writers discuss which font they write in. I was surprised by how many people chose Courier, which I find totally unattractive. Their reasoning is that they want to keep their draft as far from looking like a polished, published piece as possible so they can remain distant and editorial about it. Makes sense, but ugh. So ugly!

I prefer 12 point Palatino, though if I have to crunch more words in less space to make a page count, I may switch to Times Roman for printing. And some short stories just seem to be Arial/Helvetica, though I couldn’t define why. But I’d NEVER print out a novel in Helvetica. It seems as though I am supposed to be given a font choice on this blog, but no matter what I select, what you see is what shows up.

Recently, a friend suggested changing fonts when you revise to help see your work with fresh eyes.

And one of my favorite remarks about a font was from someone who was approaching a workshop critique with immense insecurity. She said, “I reread my story last night and it was terrible. I hated it. I even hated the font. Why, why, why did I choose that stupid font?”

It’s easy to obsess when one is a writer….


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.