Rule K: Keep a style sheet for your novel
Linda’s Rules of Writing
We’re onto the letter K in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and the importance of Keeping a style sheet for you novel.
A style sheet is a handy tool I learned about in an editing class. It’s also a tool a lot of writers don’t know about.
It’s is a quick reference to words used in the story, as well as style formatting. It helps ensure that a story is consistent, like spelling a character’s name correctly. A copy editor will use one to make a story is consistent and follows the publishing house rules.
But it’s a useful tool for working on a novel, and especially a fantasy novel. I had a terrible time remember how to spell one character’s name throughout the writing of the first draft. Her name was Phannelia, which is a name that comes out of my family’s genealogy. She’s not even a really a character in the story, since she’s dead long before it start. But she gets mentioned a lot. I didn’t have a style sheet then, so I’d have to scroll back to where I last used it. A pain to do!
After I took the class, I started using it. I put characters names, place names, and event names. It’s been very handy for a quick lookup when I can’t remember the name of an island.
You can make a simple one in Excel, or Word. But if you want a template, there’s a free one from No2 Pen Blog. What other tools have you found useful?
Caption: A to Z Challenge Logo