Spelling out numbers

by Earleen
(Canada)

In my novel, I have written a prologue where a number of separate scenes involving different characters are being played out with the same radio program playing in the background. The places where the background broadcast bleeds into the ongoing scene, the section is in a smaller font, indented on both sides, to separate it from the "actual" scene.

The radio host says things like:
In 1844, bla bla bla
or
the moving sentiment found in Sonnet 14 bla bla bla

The radio host is speaking live, but it is a radio broadcast. Should the date "1844" and the "14" of Sonnet 14 and similar "numbers" be be spelled out, like you would do with dialogue?

Comments for Spelling out numbers

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Feb 28, 2011
Thanks
by: Earleen

Thanks for your feedback, Audrey. It is much appreciated. Your comments follow my own thinking, but I wanted to have an informed second opinion. :-)

Feb 28, 2011
Spelling Numbers
by: Audrey

In usual cases, numbers less than 100 are spelled out. But dates and names of sonnets would not be included in that rule. You can drive yourself crazy learning all the cases where you spell out numbers and all the cases where you use the numerals, or you can do what I do and look them up in a good style guide. http://www.writershelper.com/booksforwriters.html

In general, you would not treat numbers in dialogue differently than you would any other part of your novel. The fact that you are quoting a radio host does not play into this decision.

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