Here’s a question – all about style

I’m busy formatting a book.

It’s not something most people think about unless they are a writer or a publisher – and here’s the thing – STYLES CHANGE!  WP_20150922_11_25_22_Pro

I read only yesterday that the guide to use when formatting a book should be the Chicago Manual of Style (which is a paid-for online service) self designated as ‘recommendations on editorial style and publishing practices for the digital age’.

‘Recommendations’ … a style guru for the digital age of publishing that seems to be trying to be the go-to and one and only way to set-up a book.

Today I went to my book shelves and picked up a couple of books, one published in 1998 and one in 2012. What did I find?

The style of speech-marks – 1998 — all doubles “…”   –  the 2012  — all singles ‘…’ .  I did wonder if it was just the ‘House’ style – as the old book was Penguin and the new was Orion.

Not at all, I found a new Penguin on my shelf and that also had single speech-marks. WP_20150922_11_21_56_ProWP_20150922_11_18_51_Pro

 

 

(click on any picture to enlarge)
Then there is the ‘one gap after a full-stop (period) or two?’  This has just about reached the final stage – two seems to have been dropped – though you will still find people citing that it should be used in manuscripts. (Often difficult to tell – as the full-justification of pages evens out all the spaces making it look like two sometimes)

So publishing style is mutable and does mutate over time – and I, for one, am wondering why the idea that all speech should be indented still hangs on. I think, as a reader, that I am perfectly capable of reading the speech-marks and that, alone, telling me that someone is speaking.  I even find some novels with a lot of speech – all indented – annoying to read / look at. Especially the convention that has a line beginning indented but not with speech-marks … because a piece of speech is coming up. NOW that just looks like it is a new paragraph to begin with – and can actually be confusing when the speakers are in a full-flow conversation!

WP_20150922_11_41_08_Pro
from Some Kind of Synchrony

To Indent or not to Indent – that is the question
so … I’m doing something different – I’m missing these speech-indents out on my formatting. What do you think – does this make my books weird or just ahead of the game?

What are your thoughts on this?

Looking forward to your feedback.

Do share – you know I love to hear from you …

Sharing:

Enjoyed this blog? Please share :)