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).

Pilcrows

Paragraphing in Manuscripts for Submission

In manuscripts of yore (centuries ago), the text would appear in one huge unbroken block. At some point breaks in thought or theme came to be indicated in the line of text with marks of various kinds, which in late medieval times included a pilcrow (¶), essentially the same symbol your word processor hides at the end of a paragraph in your documents today.

Formatting Thoughts in Fiction

There are a few simple conventions for presenting thoughts in fiction, and these overlap with the conventions for setting off dialogue and other quoted speech or text—or anything that might normally take quotation marks.