Manuscript Preparation, Copyediting, and Proofreading

Q. I’ve always indented all paragraphs of my work. But some people in my writers’ group take away the first indention at the beginning of a story or chapter. Which is the correct way in formatting a manuscript?

A. Either way is fine. Your friends are doing the designer’s and typesetter’s work in anticipation of typesetting, since most printed texts feature a flush first paragraph. But this is a design decision, and a writer needn’t assume that the decision has already been made.