KING OF THE CAPITAL

Time and again in fantasy novels, authors misuse capitalization in regards to titles, offices, ranks, and organizations. Why? I don’t know—probably a 50/50 mixture of their just not knowing the rules, and an effort to create some kind of emphasis that makes the King so important that he can’t just be the king.

Neither reason is valid, frankly, so let’s discuss the rules for the real world first, as established in The Chicago Manual of Style:

“Titles and Offices

Capitalization: the general rule. Civil, military, religious, and professional titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and are thus used as part of the name (usually replacing the title holder’s first name). Titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name  . . .”

Read the rest in…

Editor and author Philip Athans offers hands on advice for authors of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and fiction in general in this collection of 58 revised and expanded essays from the first five years of his long-running weekly blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook.

 

—Philip Athans

 

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About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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2 Responses to KING OF THE CAPITAL

  1. Bob Fleck says:

    Maybe too many people read German, where nouns are capitalized all the time. 😉 Big pseudo-European fantasy worlds often seem like something out of a Wagnerian opera.

  2. Pingback: PLEASE STOP USING INITIAL CAPS AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR CREATIVITY | Fantasy Author's Handbook

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