Should I Use Italics or Quotation Marks? A Style Guide to Formatting Titles

Chicago Manual of Style book cover
When I went to high school, teachers taught us to underline book titles. With the advent of all things digital, that changed. In fact a lot got changed.

What I’m talking about is the stylized treatment of text.

In the world of publishing, there are two style books that pull most of the weight. In the book world, The Chicago Manual of Style is the primary style guide (first published in 1906!). This book contains over 1000 pages and instructs how to [Read more…]

Don’t Make These Mistakes in Doing Research

Today’s my birthday, so I decided to take the day off and have my friend Donna Wittlif guest post. I first met Donna through an online group I belong to and then had the opportunity to edit one of her books—fascinating sci-fi.

She is a retired special education and English teacher who loves writing. Her World Eternal series are science fiction/religious stories for young adults and adults.

Mistakes in Doing Research

When writers are working on a book, [Read more…]

Don’t Let the Em Dash Confuse You, Here’s How to Use It

Punctuation.

I can visualize readers cringing as they read that word.

“I don’t understand all those rules and I don’t want to.”

“Let editors worry about the correct punctuation.”

“I just want to write, not worry about where to put a comma.”

Do you see yourself in the above sentences? [Read more…]

How Much Do You Know About Your Target Audience

Recently, I picked up a book from the library with a main character in her 20s, even though I left that age behind long ago. She was terribly immature—more like a 16-year-old—and that kept me from bonding with the character. I never finished the book.

Has that ever happened to you? You failed to bond with any character from the story and consequently never finished the book?

No doubt the author’s target audience was women in their 20s, not those over 55.

“Target audience?” you ask. “Why is knowing about the target audience important?” [Read more…]

Ask the Editor Day 4 – Will I Ever Be Done Editing?

Today’s our last day for Ask the Editor. I’ve enjoyed this and seems you have too. So I’ve decided to continue Ask the Editor on my Facebook author page via live FB video. Visit today and like my page so you can be sure not to miss those live events.

Ask the EditorNow for today’s questions.

I feel that editing is a process I could literally be in forever with my book. How do you reach the point where you know that the editing process is complete?

I imagine many writers feel like this. But let me bring some distinction to the question. A synonym of edit is revise. So as writers, we edit/revise our own work. And this is where we can get stuck wondering if we’ll ever get past the process. For myself, I can look at my words in an already published form, be it digital or print, and think, I should have written it this way.

When revising your manuscript, you come that point of “it’s done” when you have [Read more…]

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