I did it! I completed my editing course. It’s not an accredited course, but it sure has opened my eyes to the world of editing. To be a more successful editor, I’d probably need to do a more intense course but this has worked fine. And it works for proofreading other people’s work, too.

I have definitely embraced style sheets. These are really handy as you’re writing because it helps you remember the spelling of names – especially important in science fiction and fantasy where a lot of names are just made up words and nothing remotely like any name in English, Latin or any other language.

Mind you, I don’t know how other writers get past the unusual name side of things for Sci Fi and Fantasy. I usually hit a dozen keys on the keyboard simultaneously and then put vowels in where the word seems to need it to sound all right. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard to say, but there are a few names in my dragons’ vocabulary that are downright tongue twisters! Oh, and that’s the dragons in space, not the ones on the Gold Coast – those names are easier.

Style sheets also tell editors and publishers how you want to deal with trademarks – if you use them – and acronyms – again, if you use them. You can also put a rule in on how you want numbers dealt with – I think the old unofficial rule was 1 – 100 were spelled out and numerals used after that. But any writer can decide if they want to break that rule.

Because style sheets are there to ensure consistency. I have people with titles in the Consequences books. The style sheet reminds me how to deal with those titles in today’s contemporary world. For the Clans in Conflicts books? Not so necessary because those are generally feudal titles but I’ll still use a style sheet when I get back to Dark Reign to ensure consistency.

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