It was the Bible for my copyediting class at South Dakota State University: the Associated Press Stylebook. As journalists, we lived and died by the AP Stylebook: spelling out numbers up to (and including) nine, ignoring the Oxford comma and putting quotation marks around titles rather than using italics.
Through the years, the AP Stylebook was my “go to” arbiter for any and all writing I did as a copywriter. But not as an author. Now I have a copy of the massive Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) on my desk. The CMOS provides extremely detailed guidance on editing content and layout. So much detail, that I’m just beginning to become familiar with it. I am fortunate that the professionals I chose to proofread Proving Her Claim (notice the italics, CMOS fans?) were knowledgeable regarding this literary rules book.
Now, the Chicago Manual of Style isn’t a tome that I’ll curl up with and read this winter … but it’s just an arm’s length away when I need it. I have to admit, it still feels weird to spell out numbers up to one hundred (that’s 100 for you journalists out there), but I’ll get the hang of it.
Either way, here’s a big shout-out to my proofreaders and beta readers who corrected my grammar and punctuation, noted when I’d omitted a word or just questioned a turn of phrase in my book. I couldn’t have done it without them — and the Chicago Manual of Style, of course.