What about the rule of the - at the end of a sentence...


(Los Angeles)

Hello Glen!

I'm having a blast writing;however, is there a rule I read somewhere about not having a hyphened word at the end of a sentence {book is fiction} as the number thing, do you have to write out numbers or can you just put the actual number in your work?
Thanks be to you, I have a winner here!

Answer: Generally, you write out numbers unless they are large (over twenty) and precise.

For instance, you would say "a thousand soldiers" but "1,438 soldiers." The first is taken to be a generalization. The second would be too cumbersome to write out in words.

Regarding hyphens, the rule is to not end a line with a hyphen.

In the old days, when a typist saw she didn't have enough space at the end of a line to fit the last word in, she would divide the word between syllables, putting in a hyphen to let the reader know the word was continued on the next line.

These days, word processors will automatically put in the carriage returns for you, so there's no need to hyphenate. Besides, when the manuscript is typeset, the lines will get adjusted in the process. Your hyphens could end up in the middle of a line (which you don't want). Nor do you want to create extra work for the editor by making it necessary for him to go through the manuscript removing unwanted hyphens.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.