All Caps Character Names

Should I ALL-CAP Character Names in My Synopsis?


Dear Editor…

I’m writing my synopsis for submission to agents. Do I put my character names in ALL CAPS the first time they appear in the synopsis? I looked at several resources and got mixed messages.

All Confused about All Caps

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