Style Guide

The Way I Write

  • I am not afraid of adjectives or adverbs. (I do try to limit adverbs if I can find a better verb/phrasing). If there’s a better way to write something using the noun and verb combination, I’m okay with a substitution if it works.
  • In narration I avoid the use of the words that, just, really. I am less strict in dialogue because that’s how we speak.
  • I love the Oxford Comma. People who don’t or fail to use it in writing should have their pens and keyboards taken away.
  • I love my thesaurus. Sometimes a little too much.
  • Ellipses between words (…) don’t have…spaces…after them.
  • The current point-of-view (POV) character’s thoughts will always be in italics. Because I think it’s really cool. I hate it when authors keep writing (in quotes), “Blah blah blah,” he thought.
  • Quotation marks ” ” indicate speech. They do not indicate emphasis.
  • Italics are used for things like starship names or the POV character’s thoughts.
  • I try not to use semi-colons.
  • I love em-dashes — — —, except between numbers where one uses en-dashes. – – –
  • I avoid phrases like:
    • “started to” verb—just use the verb if it makes sense.
    • “began to” verb—just use the verb if it makes sense.
    • “in order to” verb—just use the verb if it makes sense.
  • I use a lot of dialogue to convey story or character elements to readers.
  • The spoken word different from the written word. This is true in real life, and it’s true when a character speaks. I am okay when the “stuff between quotation marks” breaks writing rules—as a stylistic choice and not a typo/grammar—because it’s spoken and not narrative text.
  • Numbers should be written out, except in the case of time or dollars, mostly.
  • Sometimes I throw commas around like daggers. I usually remove the unnecessary commas during the editing passes.
  • Struck and White’s Elements of Style!
  • CMOS!
  • The Nitraxian Galaxy Saga

    • Space stations and underground habitats have levels, starships have decks, and buildings have floors.
      Characters with an implanted AI Construct may speak to it mentally (and not out loud). The AI will “speak with normal dialogue tags” and character’s speech will “always be in italics with quotes.”