While books can be a wonderful way for readers to escape reality for a few hundred pages, books can also help foster learning and provide readers with safe ways to cope with issues they might be facing.
The best way to learn any style manual is to use it conscientiously and repeatedly, but there are a few other ways you can begin to build your skill before busting out that red pen.
Language is important to our everyday lives. Websites like Addictionary® and the Conscious Style Guide provide the tools for editors to be more conscious of their language when writing about substance abuse disorders, but editors must make the first move to ensure that this language becomes more common across literature platforms.
That’s when a beta reader comes in. Beta reading is common in small online communities, from writing clubs to fanfiction groups. Your beta reader could be a stranger across the country hopping onto your Google Doc and looking for grammatical errors, or they could be your best friend crossing out half of your story in red pen.
Ultimately, all of this is done to get that book in the hands of someone who has felt the same passion I’ve felt my whole life.
If it’s safe to say that we’re all aware of the need for greater, more accurate representation of marginalized voices in publishing, then how do controversies like the one around AMERICAN DIRT continue to happen?