For $65 you can now buy the newest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but maybe you also have communed with it for hours trying to figure out the “correct” use of commas, quotation marks, capitalizations, etc.
In college and in grad school, I used APA format (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association) for writing my papers, a thesis, and a dissertation. But embarking on writing creative nonfiction, I had to become acquainted with what the Chicago Tribune yesterday headlined the “nit-picker’s bible.” Luckily, a writing friend loaned me her copy. I spent hours hunting up the nitty-gritty of punctuation. And then if the book gave two possible ways to do things, I’d get exasperated.
And then I got a series of editors from my publisher–Deep River Books. On my. What a joy and relief, if not work, to get every word and paragraph into proper style. But now there was a knowledgeable expert on the other end of email to walk along with me in the process.
I cannot say enough good about having a content editor, a copy editor, and a senior editor in charge. If not for them, my measly editing work would have turned out hundreds of errors that my eye missed over years of proofing. Yes, you read that right. Years. But I wonder how many more years my editors have slaved over this editing guide that the Trib says is so familiar that it’s simply called “Chicago.”