I’ve actually seen some disagreement on what standard manuscript formatting looks like. So, I’m compiling a list of some of the guides I’ve found and making note of their suggestions.
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mslee/format.html this one is very basic, but says not to use italics, which this page disagrees with: http://www.kleineedit.com/standard-manuscript-format.htm
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/16-manuscript-format-guidelines/ mentions psuedonyms, but disagrees how a blank line should be defined.
http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/what-are-the-guidelines-for-formating-a-manuscript here’s what Writer’s Digest has to say.
For my part, I’ll be getting it as close as possible based on what I know, and then come running to an editor to tell me how far off the mark I am. What I can tell you all is this: If you are using newer editions of Microsoft Word you may find that the normal setting places a space between paragraphs. This is bad. Do not do it. Do not simply highlight the document and change it to the “no spaces” setting, however, it will ruin other formatting choices such as centered text which may need to be changed, but which you will also want to be able to find again to do so. Instead, go to paragraph, set your spacing, and then check the box that says “don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.”
Here’s a screencap of how that window will look in Word 2013. If you can use this, it will save you a great deal of grief when converting a document to the right format!