Murphy, god of strange luck and chaos-for-your-own-good, seems to be sending me mixed signals concerning what I should be writing… I thought I should be expanding a certain short story, since it’s a tie-in with my clone’s current WIP, but the photo accompanying this post from Corey-the-human about keeping a series bible suggests maybe I should be working on backstory for “that novel” instead. An old book and an iron key? Really? On the other hand, the incident this photo reminds me of occurred in Tennessee, which is an important location for the clone’s WIP, too, so… I’m confused. And joking, mostly. But, joking and weirdness aside, if you’re a writer — especially if you’re a writer of SF/F of any flavor — you ought to read this post in its entirety.
Today, I wanted to talk about style guides. No, not the Chicago Manual of Style. I’m talking about self-generated style guides that serve as a bible for your universe(s). I’ve been working with the Human Legion recently, and I’ve spent some time organizing world buildings notes spanning multiple authors. Different authors, writing different series, but in the same universe.
The solution, for me, was apparent — compile the notes and make a style guide to ensure consistency. This was easier said than done. Let’s talk about how to make one, what it can do, and potential information to keep within it.
A style guide, for those of you unfamiliar, is a tool to create consistency throughout a story, world, or universe. It is tremendously helpful to an editor, because it will show them invented words, character information, and world background. We’ve talked about World Builder’s Disease before, a style guide…
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