Editors are never happy. First they throw a fit if you send in a manuscript without page numbers, but once you send them a paginated work, they complain when you try to discuss a sentence on page 67.
When we think about writing numbers, we tend to think of research papers, financial reports, sports columns, and other quantity-laden nonfiction settings. But novelists and playwrights and poets also puzzle over how to style numbers.
Anyone who learned to type on a QWERTY keyboard would be excused for thinking the semicolon is the most important mark of punctuation in English; why else would it be sitting right there on the home row?
What exactly is the past perfect? And what’s wrong with using it?
Now and then, a writer or editor asks our online Q&A whether mentioning a brand name in a work of fiction requires permission or the addition of the trademark (™) or registered (®) symbol.
A few weeks ago at my local library I came across a novel I’d been wanting to read. I didn’t have time for another book, but I took it home anyway.
Recently I read through a book to make notes for a professional voice actor who would be reading it for an audiobook production.
One of the goals of Fiction+ has been to encourage writers and editors to leave the stylebook behind whenever it gets in the way of creative expression.
The other day, I ran across this line in a recent novel by a best-selling American writer (key words are disguised): “His disposition warmed faster than did the gradually dawning day.”
When it comes to punctuation, there’s a difference between formal prose and creative writing.