Skip to main content

The Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction

A book-world veteran offers the first copyediting guide focused exclusively on fiction.
Although The Chicago Manual of Style is widely used by writers and editors of all stripes, it is primarily concerned with nonfiction, a fact long lamented by the fiction community. In this long-awaited book from the publisher of the Manual, Amy J. Schneider, a veteran copyeditor who’s worked on bestsellers across a wide swath of genres, delivers a companionable editing guide geared specifically toward fiction copyeditors—the first book of its type.
In a series of approachable thematic chapters, Schneider offers cogent advice on how to deal with dialogue, voice, grammar, conscious language, and other significant issues in fiction. She focuses on the copyediting tasks specific to fiction—such as tracking the details of fictional characters, places, and events to ensure continuity across the work—and provides a slew of sharp, practicable solutions drawn from her twenty-five years of experience working for publishers both large and small. The Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction is sure to prove an indispensable companion to The Chicago Manual of Style and a versatile tool for copyeditors working in the multifaceted landscape of contemporary fiction.

240 pages | 27 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2023

Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Library Science and Publishing: Publishing

Reference and Bibliography


“A roadmap that should be on the must-read list of any professional editor who’s serious about the art of copyediting fiction.”

Louise Harnby, advanced professional member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading

"Copyeditors have long wished for a comprehensive and authoritative guide to working with fiction, and The Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction fills that void admirably. Amy Schneider takes you by the hand and provides valuable guidance on approach and fiction-specific style considerations based on her vast experience. New and seasoned fiction copyeditors both will find it useful in their day-to-day work. Authors, too, can benefit from the wealth of knowledge in this book, especially the sections on characters and timelines. This book is a must-read for every copyeditor who works with fiction."

Lori Paximadis, founder of Pax Studio

“A thoroughly helpful resource that I wish had been around when I first began my editing career. Now, years later, after meeting and interacting with writers and editors of all levels, I can say with confidence that Schneider’s guidance is sorely needed for those who don't realize that the world of make-believe is just as specialized and nuanced as any other field.”

Crystal Watanabe, owner and lead editor of Pikko's House

“From the details of building a useful stylesheet to the philosophical depths of the editor's role in fiction, Schneider has transformed decades of experience into an invaluable and engaging resource that will guide wordsmiths for years to come. Veterans of the field will find much of value here, and new or aspiring copyeditors should drop everything and read this book immediately.”

Sarah Grey, development editor at O'Reilly Media

Table of Contents

Part I: The Process of Copyediting Fiction
1: The Fiction Copyeditor’s Mindset
2: The Fiction Copyeditor’s Workflow

Part II: Building Your Fiction Style Sheet
3: General Style
4: Characters
5: Places
6: Timeline

Part III: Editorial Issues Specific to Fiction
7: Grammar and Usage in Fiction
8: Copyediting Dialogue
9: When Fact and Fiction Collide
Appendix A: Style Sheet Templates
Appendix B: File Management
Appendix C: Multiple Monitors
Recommended Resources

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press