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 (…) 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.
  • Strunk and White’s Elements of Style!
  • CMOS!
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