8

I am editing a book for a writer who has quotes at the beginning of each chapter. The first chapter has a quote of her own. It's weird, but it's what she wants. Do I just treat it like the other quotes with her own name after it?

Is this something people do in their own books?

  • 1
    Agreed, it's weird. Yes, I'd treat it like other quotes. I haven't seen other people do this in their own books. – rajah9 Apr 30 '19 at 21:23
  • 1
    This isn't really a matter of the nuts and bolts of the English language, though. I think this belongs better on Writers, whose community is far more accustomed to editing and publishing practice. – Andrew Leach Apr 30 '19 at 21:26
  • 2
    Welcome to Writing.SE Elizabeth. I see you didn't actually join us, you just got your question migrated. But I hope you will join and participate. We get some questions about professional editing and we'd love your input. You can also ask other writing questions or answer things on any topic. Please check out our tour and help center. – Cyn says make Monica whole Apr 30 '19 at 22:54
  • Is this quoted directly from some other writing from the author, or is this something newly written that the author wants formatted as a quote? – David K May 1 '19 at 13:04
8

You have two choices:

  1. Write it up in the same style as the other quotes but don't give an attribution. It is common enough for writers to put something poetic or otherwise different from the main chapter text in the beginning of a chapter.
  2. Give a full citation, including the name of the work it came from. If it's unpublished, then it's just the author writing the book. If it's been published before, then it's reasonable to say where it came from. I don't think it will look strange if it's a quote from another one of her books.

The third choice is to do it however she chooses and just let the publisher deal with it (if she's not self-publishing). I think either of those options will work. The one thing I would not do is to attribute the quote to the author without saying where it is from. That would be really odd.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    A downside to writing it without an attribution is that, if the quotes in all other chapters are attributed to someone, readers may think that this one was simply forgotten. – David K May 1 '19 at 13:07
  • @DavidK Very true. It really depends on the context. – Cyn says make Monica whole May 1 '19 at 14:35
2

to quote the great ashleylee..... "a quote from oneself is to cite one's own words.. which begs the question how is the opening sentence different from the rest of the book which requires quotation when the rest of the book doesn't"

quoting yourself makes no sense.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    It can make sense in certain contexts like academic or scientific papers, where self-plagiarism is a potentially serious issue. – nick012000 May 1 '19 at 5:19
  • @nick012000: that's citation.. not quotation. – ashleylee May 1 '19 at 13:54
  • You can quote yourself, then add in your citation. – nick012000 May 1 '19 at 22:34
  • +1 for the sass of this answer – Liquid - Reinstate Monica May 6 '19 at 9:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy