Zach W.

asked • 5d

Capitalization of a fictional character's title when used in place of their name in a story

I am writing a manuscript, and need help with the certain capitalization of two specific titles in my story. One character is referred to as "the founder" many times instead of saying his name. Would I write is as, The Founder, or the founder. He is referred by his job title inside and outside of dialogue. The same goes for another character "the custodian." When the character introduces himself he states: "I am known as The Custodian." This character does not have a real name in the book, and is always reffered to by his title. I have read the rules on capitalization for normal titles, but I am torn on whether or not to always capitalize The Founder and The Custodian. I know it needs to be consistent, and I want it to be correct to the industry standard when submitting my manuscript

John P.

tutor
The answer to this is simple; ask yourself: is "the founder" a name or a title (the "name of a title"), or is it merely descriptive? It is conventional in English to capitalize names in English. For example, look to the word "god" and the name of the Abrahamic god, "God." "God" is the only modern god in religion that I know of that is named God. Other gods, such as Vishnu, or the Buddha, are gods. In this sentence the word "gods" is merely descriptive. If I were telling a story about the Buddha, and referred to him descriptively as "the god said," then the word god would not be capitalized, since it is not being used as a name. You can refer to characters exclusively by description, and never by name. You can also do the opposite, or some combination. But regardless of which path you choose, always remember that clarity is key.
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