RARA-AVIS: Style sheets for novelists

From: Joy Matkowski ( jmatkowski1@comcast.net)
Date: 07 Mar 2003

My friend Susanna J. Sturgis, who copyedits fiction, sent this message to a publishing list. She granted me permission to forward it to lists including novelists; the more who read it, she says, the easier her job will be. Joy, who sticks to easy stuff like monographs

> I rarely see usage notes or a style sheet accompanying mss. _now_. An
> astonishing (to me, anyway) number of published novelists don't know what
> style sheet is, or they didn't before I told them. <g> IMO, they're
> especially useful for fantasy, historical, and science fiction, but I
> mentioning style sheets in a discussion on the SFRT (Science Fiction
> RoundTable -- those were the days <g>) on old GEnie, and almost none of
> (mostly experienced) authors knew what they were. (If they did, it was
> usually because they received the CE's style sheet with the edited
> manuscript, but this practice didn't seem to be all that common either.)
> I'm currently copyediting a trade history book. Any proper name that has
> acceptable variations, you can be pretty sure that my author has used all
> them. <g> My style sheet isn't quite as long as the book, but it's getting
> there, and if the guy doesn't like my choices, I don't want to hear about
> it. <snark>
> In my exasperated opinion, agents and acquiring editors ought to be
> suggesting that their fiction authors (and some others as well) include a
> short style sheet with their finished mss., and then this style sheet
> accompany the ms. through the production process.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Mar 2003 EST