What is a Style Sheet

What is a Style Sheet

What is a Style Sheet

Posted on 03/14/2023 Evan Swensen
What is a Style Sheet

A style sheet is an important tool for a writer with a manuscript of any size. Mainly, it’s an alphabetical list of people, places, and things in your manuscript challenging to spell or remember, as well as any with foreign words or unique spellings.


Once, a publishing house’s copyeditor was the one to develop the style sheet for any particular work. Nowadays, it helps every writer to polish their manuscript and catch errors, whether for independent or traditional publishing.


The style sheet might also include a mini bio for major characters. For example, you can note that the second-most important bad guy has brown hair and blue eyes, not the green eyes of the first bad guy.


It can also have formatting information or other notes for the author and editors who will review the work. This is especially important if you write a science fiction story with names and places you’ve invented.  


Or, if you’re doing a biography of Soghomon Tehlirian, Armenian assassin of Talaat Pasha of the Ottoman Empire, who was instrumental in the overlooked Armenian Genocide, which killed more than a million people during World War One. You and your editor would undoubtedly find a style sheet useful for names and dates.


Nowadays, you can add words to your computer’s dictionary, which helps keep those squiggly red underlines out of your drafts. But your editor won’t have your computer, so the style sheet is still a valuable document that should be attached to each manuscript and grow along with your books.


The computer’s automatic alphabetizing function can help you keep the list organized. It’s a great way to keep track of compound words and whether the ones you’re using are solid, separate, or hyphenated.


Some authors find certain regular words can be confusing, specific things they tend to trip over. So, one writer might have dual on the style sheet, noting that it means two, while duel is a fight. Spell Check can’t catch this sort of thing.


But ultimately, your style sheet is a tool that is only as good as you can make it and only works as well as you use it.


Write and Wrong, < https://amzn.to/2I6hLd8> by Marthy Johnson, will help create your style sheet. It’s probably the only style manual you’ll need to use to perfect your writing.

If you’ve written a book, if you’re writing a book, if you’re thinking about writing a book, or if you know someone who is writing a book kindly download a free copy of Bringing Your Book to Market: <>. It describes the publishing process.

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