Writing Fluid Fiction: When Should I Spell Out Numbers?

The Sarcastic Muse

Writing Fluid Fiction: When Should I Spell Out Numbers?Do you ever get to a number in your manuscript, pause, and then wonder: what should I do with it? Should I spell it out? Should I leave it in numerical form? Well, the good news is that there are no “official” rules. At best, there are a bunch of guidelines, and most of the time, it will be up to the editorial practices of the publishing house or up to you to make the final decision. But the bad news is that because there are no official rules, the various requirements and advice can be confusing. So I’m here today to give you a general idea of what to do with those pesky numerical decisions.

What’s the general rule for numbers?

As an editor, I am more or less in agreement with The Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS), which suggests “for nontechnical contexts” (aka: fiction) that you spell out…

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One thought on “Writing Fluid Fiction: When Should I Spell Out Numbers?

  1. Really like the blog. Good information on punctuations’ links with music. Did you know, we speak in iambic pentameter? So we also write in that rhythm, and deviate from it.

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