Project December style guide

Standard

In my book Project December, I recommended using a style guide or style sheet to note formatting, spelling, capitalisation and stylistic choices for easy reference instead of having to leaf or scroll through the manuscript to constantly remind yourself. This is the style guide I put together for Project December itself and I thought I’d share it so you know exactly what I was talking about.

A
Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing
ah but ahhing
airconditioning

B
blog posts – reference to Single White Female Writer blog posts encased in quotation marks
bullets – black circles at 0.5 cm and following lines indented 0.5 cm, line space after bullets are completed
back-story
book titles in italics
bestseller
blow-by-blow

C
chapters – each chapter starts on a new page
cliché
catnaps
copy edit
copy editor

D
double-edged
discoloration

E
ebook

F
firsthand
free rein NOT free reign
forgo (give up) NOT forego
foreign language phrases in italics

G
Google – noun and verb

H
headings – initial cap, all lower case following words unless proper nouns
heads-up (early warning)

I
initials of names – no full stops between letters e.g. JK Rowling, EB White

M
master’s degree in writing
Master of Arts (Writing)
movie titles in italics

N
numbers within text – spell out if under 100, over four digits use commas to separate thousands and millions e.g. 1,000 and 1,000,000
numbers when used as bullets – Arabic numerals followed by a full stop at 0.5 cm and following lines indented 0.5 cm, line space after list is completed
nazi – lower case “n” in “grammar nazi” context

O
old-fashioned

P
part time – I work part time
part-time – I’m a part-time worker
page-by-page
problem-solver
pear-shaped
periodical titles in italics
parts – each part heading is labelled with its part number and given its own page
poem titles in italics
practise – verb
practice – noun and adjective
paragraph formatting – first paragraph after heading has no indent, subsequent paragraphs 0.5 cm indent first line only

Q
quotation marks – doubles NOT singles

S
stepmother, stepbrother – no hyphen
sure-fire
Scooby-Doo
symbol to break up paragraphs – ∞, no indent in paragraph following symbol

T
table of contents – no leader lines or page numbers
television show titles encased in quotation marks
to-do
tiptoe

U
um but umming
upfront

W
willy nilly
writer’s block
well written – it was well written
well-written – it was a well-written book
word – where the expression “the word ‘example’” appears, use quotation marks, not italics

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