21 June 2009

Style Sheet and Guidlelines

Style Sheet and Guidelines for TTZ

What’s a style sheet? Well, for complex publications (like Doctor Who Magazine, for example, or Scribendi) it’s a very long list of rules and guidelines to make the editors’ lives easier. It’s basically where all the style rules are kept so that the editors don’t go crazy trying to figure out whether their publication uses “that” or “which” and reminding people of common grammar mistakes like split infinitives and possessives (it’s = it is, its=belonging to something). For TTZ we’re going to keep it simple because my contributors aren’t getting paid so I don’t want to make their lives harder. Neither, however, do I want to spend valuable editing time changing everything that should be bolded from quotes. Here are just some useful (I hope) guidelines for writing an article in our house style.

1. Titles of books, plays, musical albums, magazines, and the titles of films and TV shows are bolded.
Ex: Vampire Science
The Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150

Doctor Who
The Sarah Jane Adventures

The correct way to cite this magazine is TTZ (+ issue number) or The Terrible Zodin.

2. Episodes of a TV show are bolded within quote marks/inverted commas.
Ex: “Full Circle
They Keep Killing Suzie
For story arcs, individual episodes are still cited in the above manner:
Ex: “Stones of Blood
while the arcs themselves are treated like short story titles below.
Short story titles, titles of essays or articles, song titles, and chapter titles are within quote marks/inverted commas.
Ex: “The Master Vainglorious”
“The Tell-Tale Heart”
“The Key to Time”
“Burning Alexandria” (a chapter in the book Library: An Unquiet History)

3. Citations have not been standardized. In the past, the precedent has been that if you wish to include a works cited/bibliography you may do so; end notes/footnotes may be included in addition or on their own. See Steven Sautter’s “Outside the Conventions and Humdrum Routine of Everyday Life” in TTZ3, Lori Jansen’s “Thoughts on Regeneration” in TTZ2, and Ariann’s “Doctor Who: The Crusade” in TTZ1 for citation examples.

4. Because the editor is American, American spellings and grammar usage have been adopted. This was decided arbitrarily by the editor with the first issue and will continue for the sake of consistency. This means favorite instead of favourite, flavor instead of flavour, epitomize instead of epitomise, etc. Also instead of single inverted commas, “ ” are used in situations described in rule #2.
Sentences should end
One example takes place in “The Family of Blood.”
Rather than
One example takes place in “The Family of Blood”.
Should you prefer to write British-style, that’s fine—but the editor will change the final text—again for the sake of consistency. She is that diabolical.

5. It is preferred that your articles are formatted with paragraphs and indentations rather than blocks of text separated by hard return. Also where possible please justify your paragraphs.

6. The editor prefers the First Doctor as opposed to the first Doctor, and will print it that was regardless of how you submit it. Again, consistency. Likewise TARDIS instead of Tardis or T.A.R.D.I.S. Series/season used interchangeably, though series preferred. Also, series four=season 30 and can be used interchangeably, based on the author’s preference.

7. Your article will not be rejected if you do not follow these rules, but if you can take a little extra time to follow them, your editor will like you more.

If there is any confusion or there is a situation in your article not covered in this style sheet, PLEASE ASK. Email me at: scots_rock_god@msn.com , comment on the blog or the Facebook group.

FYI on fonts: the title font used in TTZ is Beatnik and the body text font is Bernadette. I don’t expect you to use these fonts in your submissions; please just use a legible font, Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.

Thank you for your time and interest.

1 comment:

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