Friday, May 20, 2011

My friends the speech marks.

The past two days I've spent an amusing time changing my manuscript's speech marks. The reason being is that I'm soon publishing my novel, No Wings Attached, and want to make it more eye-friendly for the Americans. Though people I've asked said they don't mind the spelling differences like colour (color), favourite (favorite) and others, they said the single quotes do disturb them immensely.

Since I learned creative writing in the UK, I never really thought about using anything else than single quotes. In fact, I quite like them. But in order to make my book more readable for buyers on the other side of the pond, I change them all into double quotes.

<---with open office

       with an older version of word ---->

There are other things to consider, too. I've been told by an editor who works for an American publisher, that my punctuation is off. Well, it wasn't, I used the BE. A bit embarrassing for the editor, who should've noticed. Never mind, I didn't say anything as I didn't want to do the suggested rewrites anyway. Here is an example for you.

BE: 'She said she was "out".'
AE: "She said she was 'out.'"

The only thing I won't recommend is doing those changes with find & replace. Well not if you don't know how to use it properly.

What I've learned? To ditch the single quotes and use doubles when you want to publish outside the UK.

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