Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, April 19, 2014


A Family Triumph - one First & two Seconds in the Girl Scout Derby

Rockin' Riley, Winner, Brownie Division
Hailey's Comet - Second, Junior Division

SeeSaw - Second, Brownie Division (Cassidy's car)

And a big "muchas gracias" to Daddy who oversaw design, cutting, sanding, painting, balancing, et al!


 I was reminded by an author friend on Florida's Gulf Coast about the little matter of those vital words, north, south, east, and west. So let's tackle that first, quickly adding the caveat that different publishers have different style sheets, and this one can vary. But in general . . .

Directions.  Ask yourself: Am I describing movement, giving driving directions? If so, then it's lower case. But if you're writing about a particular part of the country, then you use an initial cap.

There's a gas station just east of here. You can't miss it.

The ladies in the movie Steel Magnolias are examples of the strength of women from the South.
Canada is the country north of the United States.
I was born in the Mid-West but have lived most of my life in the East.
Here in Florida we see a lot of Snowbirds from Up North.  

Titles of Works 
 Books, Magazines & Newspapers. These items have initial caps and are italicized.
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, Arabella by Georgette Heyer
I used to subscribe to Vogue. My son prefers to read Time magazine. 
I read the Orlando Sentinel every day.  BUT

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
She reads only fashion magazines. Ed prefers getting the news from television rather than reading it in the newspaper.

Musical Compositions.  The names of musical compositions require initial caps for all words but minor articles and prepostions. If a long composition has a specific name attached, it is also italicized. Short pieces, however, such as a single song, are set off by quotation marks, no italics. If, however, you are simply referring to a piece of music, such as a sonata or symphony by its number or key, only initial caps are used.  (A bit tricky, I admit.)

Madame Butterfly, Jesus Christ Superstar 
Beethoven's Sonata op. 8 is more commonly known as the  Pathétique
She belted out the high note in "O Holy Night." 
Sonata in D Minor   BUT

I attended the opera last night.  
The quartet played some sonata I never heard of. 
I could have done without the soprano's last song.

Note:  The Chicago Manual of Style uses lower case for both number and opus - no. & op. 

Plays, Movies, Television Programs. These titles also use initial caps and italics.
A Long Day's Journey Into Night, As You Like It, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Avatar, The Princess Diaries,The Silence of the Lambs
NCIS, Scandal, Person of Interest

Note:  The characters in these dramas, however, must settle for initial caps only, both for their stage names and for the characters they are portraying.

Paintings & Sculpture. These too have initial caps, but only the name of the work is italicized.
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is the world's most famous painting, while Michelangelo's David is likely the most famous statue. A close second might  be Rodin's The Thinker.  

He gazed at the painting for a long time but couldn't figure out how anyone would pay a million dollars for it.
I couldn't believe how many sculptures there were in Lord Elgin's collection of "marbles" on display in the British Museum.

There are, of course, many other places where capital letters are used, but hopefully those in the two parts of "Using Capital Letters" cover most of information needed for authors of Fiction.

If you think of other uses of capital letters that are essential to fiction-writing, please use Comments (below) to let me know. (I keep promising myself I'm going to organize all these Writing & Editing blogs into a book someday.)

~ * ~

SPECIAL NOTE:  My naughty novellas, Cecilia (with Belle) will be available as a "twofer" on Kindle Countdown, beginning Thursday, April 24.
For link to Amazon, click here.

Thanks for stopping by.


For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.

For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here.


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