SimpleMarkup #89 – Style Shields

Oh boy, what a week it’s been. Last week I was battling a flare-up of a medical issue I have, and it was a rough seven days. I’m back to about 80% now, and I just have to be careful that I don’t overextend myself.

Whenever I go through this, I feel utterly useless, despite still being able to get minimal work done, and once I start feeling better, I tend to crank myself up to 150% or more to try to make up for the ridiculous act of lying around trying to get better. Being sick is seriously so much worse than just being sick!

This week, Edie is teaching her client what a style guide is, and then after that, what a style sheet is. The first couple of years I was doing this, I was learning as I went, and I didn’t even know what a style sheet was, and once I learned, I didn’t really feel the need to do one.

Then one day I tried making one, and it helped me so much. I created my own version, and I’ve expanded it over the years to be a bit like a series bible plus a style sheet, and I am really happy to provide this as part of my edits. It helps not only during the production of the current book—it helps for future books as well. I mean, who has the mental capacity to remember the eye color, hair color, build, name spelling, and car of a dozen characters, especially when you edit something like fifty books a year? Not me.

That said, I do find it amusing to sometimes refer to style sheets as a shield instead. It’s something to hide behind when questions come up. Decisions made during editing that you have to stand behind. Details that you later question but don’t want to go digging into a full novel for. It’s a great defense against the Monster of Inconsistency.

Have a great rest of your week!

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