Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).
Today’s Tool: The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)
Platform: browser (and paper!)
Cost: Online: $39/yr ; Book: $60-70
What it does: CMOS is the style bible for fiction (though it’s not all about fiction). Most publishing houses use CMOS rules as part of their house style.
As a writer, knowing the rules and guidelines of writing lets you write stronger prose. It also allows you to decide when it’s appropriate to break those rules and guidelines to their most effective use.
The online version is really simple to use too. It allows you to search within the entire CMOS for whatever it is you’re trying to find. It covers everything from basic grammar and punctuation to citing online sources. In it, you’ll learn that Dumpster should be capitalized, since it’s a trade name (like Kleenex), not a generic name. Didn’t know that, did ya? 😉
But if you’d rather have an in-your-hands version, they also put out a hardcover edition. The 17th edition of CMOS will be published on September 5, 2017, and can currently be pre-ordered either on the publisher’s site or Amazon (links below). If you’re not married to being completely current in your style, you can find the 16th edition for cheaper. The 17th ed comes in at a whopping 1184 pages, so make sure wherever you order it from, you’re getting free shipping!
The online version is currently the 16th and 15th editions (you can choose when you search), but I suspect they’ll update to 17th not long after the hard cover comes out.
Also, here’s something kinda cool. Interested in seeing what the very first edition of CMOS looked like? They’ve got a pdf available for you to check out!
Do you use CMOS?
Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!
All images courtesy of Chicago Manual of Style.