What Is a Prescriptivist Editor?

If you work with words, you’re probably familiar with the related but supposedly antithetical concepts known as prescriptivism and descriptivism. And people take sides. Either you’re a stickler (you’re a prescriptivist) or you go with the flow (you’re a descriptivist).

A toddler, looking down at the first step, stands at the base of a staircase

How to Start a Novel

Starting a novel is an exceptionally personal affair, so I’m always amazed when someone decides to tell us all the best way to do it. Nonetheless, there are some basic guiding principles a struggling writer might find helpful. If you’ve been burning to begin but can’t seem to type the first word, read on.

8 Tips for Creative Writers on Facebook

I often encourage creative writers to join one or more private Facebook groups where they can post questions and share resources with other writers. There are specialized groups for children’s book writers, romance writers, fantasy—you name it.

A Chicago Style Halloween Quiz

What does Halloween have to do with Chicago style? Not a lot, but that hasn’t stopped us from coming up with ten questions designed to challenge your editorial knowledge and stoke your curiosity about this quirky holiday and some of the words associated with it.

Style and Grammar in Promotional Copy

Anyone familiar with the grammar and style rules and guidelines in CMOS knows they come with a lot of qualifiers: normally, in most cases, in running text, in regular prose, depending on the context—I could go on and on. In life, very few rules are meant to cover every situation. The same is true in CMOS.

Semicolons in Fiction

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?