Should I ALL-CAP Character Names in My Synopsis?


Dear All Confused about All Caps…

I get it. This isn’t a do-or-die item, but you want to create the smoothest, most effective submission package possible. As you try to do that, mixed messages swoop in and mix you up. Frustrating! Here’s what I do when I’m faced with formatting choices: I ask myself, “Will this formatting choice distract from the content itself?” When it comes to all-capping character names the first time they appear in a synopsis, agents aren’t likely to be distracted either way. They’ll have seen both styles countless times. I’ve been in publishing almost twenty-five years, reviewed thousands of synopses, and I’d say 40-45% of them employed the all-capping style. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for this. So, if an agent doesn’t specify their preference in their submission guidelines, go with your own preference.

Happy writing!
The Editor


  1. Thank you! I’ve been using bold instead of all caps — saves a little space (my characters have some long names), and bold seems less distracting than (“loud”) caps. But am glad there’s no hard-and-fast rule!

  2. Hahahahahah! This is the reason I tell people they need proofreaders for material they’ve written. It tickled me that an experienced (and super) editor like you would have a “typo.” Shows you are human. Thanks for the giggle.

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