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House style

Most traditional publishers have a house style. It can range from a few pages to the size of a small booklet. It specifies how certain parts of the text should be displayed, thus providing consistency throughout a piece of work.

An editor will refer to this house style as part of the editing process. For instance, the most common entries in house styles are to do with spelling: '-ise' or '-ize' endings; whether to use "double quote marks for dialogue with 'single' within" or 'single quote marks for dialogue with "double" within'; how to display dates; whether or not to use the serial comma; how to display singular proper nouns ending in 's': James's friends, or James' friends...

As a freelance editor, I have my own house-style guide, which is adapted to suit the requirements of the manuscript I am working on, including any author preferences if they have any. Consistency is key.

 

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