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Carol Saller
Carol Saller, a long-time manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, is author of THE SUBVERSIVE COPY EDITOR and a contributing editor at THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE. Her middle-grade historical novel EDDIE'S WAR was a Best Book at Kirkus, Bankstreet, and the Chicago Public Library and a Horn Book recommended verse narrative. Representing THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE, Carol has have given keynotes, sessions, and workshops at international, national, regional, and local conferences. As author of The Subversive Copy Editor and several children’s books, she has guest lectured for the University of Chicago Graham School’s publishing program and DePaul University’s editing degree and occasionally appear on Chicago’s public television news program Chicago Tonight as well as at writer events, bookstores, panels, webinars, and workshops on writing, editing, and publishing.
Recent Activity
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Although some believe that the subjunctive mood in English is dying, many of us use it all the time, whether we know it or not. And that means the subjunctive is right for fiction, even in the mouth of a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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I don’t like to dither over style choices. At the beginning of a sentence, it’s routine to start the next word with a capital letter. But when I type a colon within a sentence, I often have to stop and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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From our own reading, most of us know that some paperback and hardcover novels have a table of contents page in the front and some don’t. Lurking online, I perceive a widespread notion that tables of contents are old-fashioned and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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One of my favorite MS Word tricks allows a novelist (or any book writer) to view and organize their chapters in the Navigation pane (an option under the View tab). Using this feature, I can see all my chapter titles... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Narrators and characters in novels and other creative writing can talk about whatever they want. A character might read the Chicago Sun-Times; they might say they like to sing “Drivers License” while brushing their teeth. A narrator might mention a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Creative writers sometimes mangle grammar on purpose or get creative with punctuation. At the drafting stage, we keep a dictionary and style manual at hand. When slips are unintended, we count on our copyeditors to catch them. But at some... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2022 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Agents and editors want what they want. In an initial query letter, they always want to know your manuscript’s total word count. But if they respond by asking you to submit a full or partial manuscript, they ask for pages, not words. So how do you know whether your pages equal their pages? Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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A piece of bossy advice often given to creative writers is to sweep through your manuscripts before you submit them and delete certain words. “Just,” “so,” “very,” and “really” vie for the top target, but the most popular prohibition of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the great time I had brainstorming about blogging with Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle at their joyful Editing Podcast. Parts 2 and 3 are now available. In part 1 (26:23 min) we... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Yesterday I had a wonderful time brainstorming about blogging with Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle at their joyful Editing Podcast. In fact, we dug into so many aspects of blogging, they decided to break the chat into 3 parts. In... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
Recently, a question that went something like this appeared in a Facebook group for writers seeking help from book editors: Help with this sentence please! “Some advice, for whoever/whomever is interested.” A friend said it should be “whoever” and my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
George, I hear your frustration! Although Word 365's editor has some powerful and useful features, it can't compete with the best third-party apps. A suggestion: To check that new paragraph, copy and paste it into a new (temporary) doc and run the editor. Not ideal, but faster than starting all over.
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Jack Hart has spent five decades helping writers succeed, working shoulder-to-shoulder with journalists in newsrooms both big and small and with students at five universities. Writers who’ve worked with him have written national best sellers and won prizes that include... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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I’ve written before to caution copyeditors against scrubbing voice and character out of fiction manuscripts by adhering too closely to a style manual. Each novel or story is unique, of course. Some feature dialect and colloquialisms, and others pretty much... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
Carol Saller has shared their blog Writer, Editor, Helper
May 20, 2021
Carol Saller has shared their blog Carol Saller
May 20, 2021
Carol Saller has shared their blog Writer, Editor, Helper
May 20, 2021
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Recently, I was listening to the audiobook of James McBride’s Deacon King Kong, and at some point it struck me that we’d been in the middle of a sentence for quite a while. But it wasn’t just long—it was lyrical... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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People sometimes worry about honoring the personal pronouns of those who don’t identify with the gender binary. They’re concerned that using (for instance) “they/them” in place of “he/him” or “she/her” will be complicated or confusing. Some aren’t sure about the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Do you sometimes dither over whether to put a comma between two or more adjectives? a polished, spherical stone or a polished spherical stone? a nice, big check or a nice big check? Although the guidelines for deciding at CMOS... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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When you write a book to send to an agent or editor, you are preparing a manuscript. And even if your ideas, characters, and plot twists are colorful and creative, your manuscript format should not be. Agents and editors almost... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2021 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Starting a novel is an exceptionally personal affair, so I’m always amazed when someone decides to tell us all the best way to do it. Nonetheless, there are some basic guiding principles a struggling writer might find helpful. If you’ve... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2020 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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I gave Detective MacSwain $200 and a diamond ring worth $1,000 to keep quiet and make it look like suicide. (Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest, 81) “That’s nice,” the gray-mustached sleuth on my left said. He didn’t sound sincere. . .... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2020 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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In manuscripts of yore (centuries ago), the text would appear in one huge unbroken block. At some point breaks in thought or theme came to be indicated in the line of text with marks of various kinds, which in late... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Writer, Editor, Helper
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Anyone familiar with the grammar and style rules and guidelines in CMOS knows they come with a lot of qualifiers: normally, in most cases, in running text, in regular prose, depending on the context—I could go on and on. In... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Writer, Editor, Helper