Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ask the Editor: How to Write Numbers

Suzanne C. asked: "What is the rule for using numbers in a fiction manuscript? Should I write them out or is it okay to use the integers?"

I hate to tell you this, Suzanne, but it depends on the number.

When adding numbers to your manuscript, always write out any number under a hundred, any non-specific number, or any number spoken in dialogue:

We met three years ago.”
"Adelaide was twenty-two.” 
"Tom hosted a party for their fiftieth anniversary.”
"Thousands of bees flew from the hive."


"She turned to page 387." 

Time with less than round minutes, telephone numbers, addresses and zip codes, dates, and years can use numerals.

"I woke around ten o’clock."
"Lisa got to work at 6:34 a.m."
"The battle took place on December 3, 1796."
"George parked in front of 11 Elm Street."

Hope this helps and thanks for the question!

1 comment: