Author Style Guide Template
I understand how overwhelming it is to have so many answers available at the end of a google search. Many so-called rules of writing seem to contradict one another! And that’s the thing, as a qualified editor myself, I’ve learned that these frequently quoted rules are more like guidelines and shouldn’t be followed blindly. Language guidelines are there to help readers to understand what they’re reading; guides should bring clarity to a piece of writing, not stamp out author’s voice.
With your own style guide, everything in your book will be clear and consistent. For example:
- When you write a character’s name, it will be spelled the same way through the story.
- When one of your characters is sharing their thoughts with the reader, it will be formatted identically each time, so it’s easy to distinguish from the spoken dialogue.
I collaborate with my author clients to create a style guide for their books as part of the editing process.
“After bathing in a sea of vaguely conflicting advice online regarding punctuation, I emerged with one clear message: there are no Actual Laws in force.” (—Author Holly Bell)
The thing is, once you’ve got all these little “styles” agreed, it’s makes things easier in the future — for both you and your editor.
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