Capitalization as a Creative Writing Literary Device

Using capitalization to improve a creative writing.

Capitalization of words in the middle of a sentence is a form of literary device used by fiction writers to evoke emotional reaction from their reader.

Lorrie Moore is a famous for stylistic use of capitalization, in reviewing her, David Gate of New York Times stated that, she’s “one of the all-time great deployers of the exclamation point,” she does this mostly by using capitalization.

Here is a phrase from Moore’s “People Like That Are the Only People Here”, The New Yorker, January 27, 1997;

“The Oncologist describes the tumor as “fast but wimpy,” which the Mother sees as Claudia Osk from the fourth grade. The Baby likes the hospital. He smiles and waves: “What a little Cancer Personality!”

Critics suggests that Moore’s use of capitalization is imperative because she writes from a second person point of view (Telling the story as an observer; The Mother said…the Father). Notwithstanding, it is undeniable the distinction capitalization gives her writing.



Not many established writers uses capitalization as a writing device, in the article Fiction Writers Review, Anne Stameshkin mentioned a few names with some examples.

As a creative writer, the difficult part of using capitalization as a device is to apply it and still maintain the context of your work, even a creative mind can be subjected to scrutiny in case of misapplication of this literal device.

Read Also: Why use Capitalization as a writing device

At the moment, there isn’t a lot of material on using capitalization as a creative writing device, but I suppose a general understanding of capitalization rules should be the starter for anyone hoping to deploy it as a creative device.

Rules of capitalization is well explained in this online Grammar Book.

The Grammar Book mentioned above should be fine, but if you want to purchase a hardcover, here is a useful list from eBay.

Author: Enplaze

I am an entrepreneur, a freelance writer and an assistant language instructor. Living is beautiful, the challenges it throws at us makes it even more enjoyable.