Although some believe that the subjunctive mood in English is dying, many of us use it all the time, whether we know it or not. And that means the subjunctive is right for fiction, even in the mouth of a character who wouldn’t know a subjunctive from a subplot.
I don’t like to dither over style choices. At the beginning of a sentence, it’s routine to start the next word with a capital letter. But when I type a…
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From our own reading, most of us know that some paperback and hardcover novels have a table of contents page in the front and some don’t. Lurking…
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A great many common abbreviations* behave perfectly well in any fiction or nonfiction context, including dialogue, when the general guidelines in CMOS…
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…
I gave Detective MacSwain $200 and a diamond ring worth $1,000 to keep quiet and make it look like suicide. (Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest, 81) “That’s…
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…
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…
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