Showing posts with label editing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label editing. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How can we use Chicago Manuel of Style?

We writers are often confounded by little details that escape us as we write. The Chicago Manuel of Style is where to turn to get our answers.


Today I am sharing with you an example I took from Bobbie Christmas' Network Newsletter. Read the entire page beginning with ellipses, which I always had students ask about in my classes and hardly anyone knows the correct usage.

Bobbie says: This month someone posed the following question to The Chicago Manual of Style Online:

Q. What is the proper way to write the commonly used speech abbreviation “twenty-four seven” (meaning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)? Would one write “24-7” or “24/7” or something else?

To get the answer to this question and many more based on Chicago style, go to https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chicagomanualofstyle.org%2Fqanda%2Flatest.html&data=02%7C01%7C%7Cf842c04569964642962808d72adf4741%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637025010773988034&sdata=nqP4XvleQIbozXaNYewqHXoGxYlERzhm%2BL6DexLnVEw%3D&reserved=0.

THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE sets the standard in book publishing for issues such as punctuation, capitalization, and much more. If you write fiction or nonfiction books, you will want to know about Chicago style or be sure to use a professional book editor intimately familiar with Chicago style.

Where do you go to find the answers to this type of questions?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Seven Deadly Myths Writers Need to Know

I have  worked with authors this summer who want to publish their books, but  are wondering what they need to do first.

This article published by Huffington Post is one of the best I've read on what  to do before you self-publish or even submit your manuscript to an agent or editor. 

He points out the importance of having your book edited by a professional. Did you know there are several kinds of editors and they sometimes do several kinds of  editing, but some do only one kind of editing. Do you want copy editing or content editing or both and more?

David Kudler, author of the article on Huff Post, is an editor and he knows what editors see in the manuscripts sent to them. I have had authors call me on the  night they finished writing their last word in their book and say, "Now I'm ready to publish."

Sadly, their work has just begun. Even professional writers need editors. Even editors who have worked on one manuscript for a long time need new eyes to read it again. I see many books   today that have so many errors in them I can't  finish reading the book. I hear this from other  readers who are amazed at the poorly edited books sold in today's market. 

Don' t let your book be one of them. Don't publish a book that you will be ashamed of in a year or two when you learn the craft of writing. 

Just like I can't decide today that I want  to be a brain surgeon because I have watched videos and I am sure I know what to do, a  person can't sit down and write a good book if  he or she has  not had any education in the craft of writing. People who do that often turn out poorly written books and only their family or friends will buy it. Take writing classes. If none are being taught in your area, take online classes. Be sure you  research and know your instructor is qualified. 

Be aware that you will likely do many revisions before you book is ready to publish. Don't give up. Let experienced editors help you make your book the best it can be.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

What do I need to know to change from writing nonfiction to fiction?


I am a fan of Bobbie Christmas, editor of Zebra Communications, and author of excellent books on the writing craft. In one of Bobbie's newsletters she answered a question by a reader. She has given me permission to post that exchange here on Writers Circle around the Table. Thank you, Bobbie.



From newsletter by Bobbie Christmas
Q: I've been a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers for many
years, but I have a novel in my head, begging me to write it. I'm not
sure I can successfully switch from writing nonfiction to writing
fiction. What are some of the things I need to know?

A: Quick answer: everything.

Let me explain. I worked with newspapers and magazines for the first
twenty years of my writing and editing career, so I thought I knew
enough to write a novel. Boy, was I wrong! The best thing I did was
join a critique circle for novelists, and I quickly saw that I knew
almost nothing about how to write fiction. I knew a great deal about
how to form a strong sentence; I knew grammar, and I thought I knew
punctuation. Quickly I learned, however, that I had been using
punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviations standard in AP style,
whereas novels and nonfiction books call for Chicago style.

As a gift, my son gave me a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, and I
went into overwhelm, because of the volume of the book. I didn't think
I could learn it all. I soon realized that I did not have to learn
everything, but I did need to look up specific things, when I wasn't
sure.

Members of my critique circle had been writing fiction much longer than
I had. I could help them when it came to grammar and strong sentence
structure, but they helped me tremendously with details of Chicago
style as well as the many elements of fiction. They made me aware of
point of view, setting scenes, scene changes, character development,
plot development, exposition, backstory, flashbacks, and much more that
I had never encountered as a writer and editor of newspaper and
magazine articles.

Go ahead and begin writing your novel, but find a good critique group
that concentrates on novels and get feedback and information from
members more knowledgeable in writing fiction.

In addition, pay attention while you read your favorite novelists and
see how they handle openings, chapters, flashbacks, backstory,
exposition, dialogue, scenes, character development, plot evolution,
climax, and denouement.

I also offer a lengthy free report on some of the differences between
AP style and Chicago style. It has good information for anybody not yet
fully familiar with Chicago style. Ask for Report #118 by e-mail
(Bobbie@zebraeditor.com), and I'll send it right away.

The switch from nonfiction to fiction isn't simple, but if your heart
is in writing a novel, you will enjoy entering a whole new world of
writing.    

(Bold fonts in post are mine. Glenda Beall)




Bobbie Christmas

Author of Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing 

(To learn more, click here: http://tinyurl.com/o4trud2 )

Owner, Zebra Communications 
Excellent editing for maximum marketability

Coordinator, FWA Editors Helping Writers

230 Deerchase Drive, Woodstock, GA 30188

(1)770-924-0528 


Sign up for The Writers Network News, my free newsletter for writers, at www.zebraeditor.com.

                                 

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