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  1. #1
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Question for Gary

    Gary,

    We have a new member in my critique group, and I'm just reading his first section. I'm baffled how to edit/critique for him and hoping you can help. He's writing a memoir of his life as an actor, and the manuscript is rife with television shows, movie names, nicknames, foreign words, theater jargon -- so many things, often several different types in one sentence. And it's all over the place; a movie title in quotes in one sentence in italics the next, etc.

    I've never dealt with a manuscript convoluted by so many elements that clearly need some sort of consistent style conventions. I assume I should just recommend he apply the Chicago Manual of Style. But I looked through mine (very old now) and was quickly confused on how to apply consistent sytle markers to all these various elements so that it doesn't look weird.

    So the questions:

    1. Is the Chicago what you'd recommend?

    2. Is there a simplified text I could also recommend?

    3. Is there something outside of style rules that I could encourage him to try so that his sentences don't look like strings of italized, quoted, hyphenated, parenthetical gloop? (He told our critque group when he joined that he wants to have a convoluted style, which I like when it works well, and include lots of names, films, locations, foreign elements, insider info. So I want to help him to that, but effectively.)

    Any help appreciated.



  2. #2
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Question for Gary

    I think Chicago can handle most, if not all of that. Titles of movies and TV programs are in italics; individual TV episode titles are in roman, set in double quotes (8.196). Foreign words are in italics the first time they occur, but they don't need to be afterwards unless rarely mentioned. A word found in the dictionary is no longer foreign (7.55). Jargon should be set in double quotes only if the word is foreign to the normal vocabular of the writer or reader. (7.61). In a work on the theater, for instance, no theater jargon needs to be specially handled. Nicknames would just be capitalized (8.36).

  3. #3
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Re: Question for Gary

    Thank you, Gary.

    I guess the best thing would be just to make one mention on this first submission of his that all these elements should conform to the Chicago and then refrain from editing that stuff again. (My first few pages of edits look like a cyclone of red, and it's exhalting. This stuff is not my fortay and I have to look up stuff for my own work all the time. I don't want to do this for someone else.)

    My issue is that so many times, with other critique buddies, I've pointed the way to some style rule I actually know, thinking that will be the end of it, and then been loaded with submission after submission that didn't seem to absorb the style rules. Do you just let it go?

    I guess I should just write a big "C" for Chicago Manual of Style" and let him fiture it out. I just have a feeling from the rest of the prose that he isn't a lets-get-it-right type.

    Sigh...

  4. #4
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Re: Question for Gary

    Eeegads, that's was riddled with even more mistakes than I usually make, but I suppose the meaning is clear. I've been editing this guy's stuff for two hours and have five more critique members to go.

  5. #5
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Question for Gary

    In the work I do, I just keep changing it to the house style as often as it comes in originally or from review not in the house style--unless the house relieves its style for that particular author (which isn't all that uncommon. Authors are pretty pampered by publishers once contracted and able to show a profit).

  6. #6
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Re: Question for Gary

    Thanks, Gary.

    I'm just going to tell him once about Chicago, and relieve myself from such duties. I'll stick with what I do better.

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