Style Sheet

When Folk was published, it was the first time I had seen a style sheet for a manuscript, and I was quite entranced. Really, it’s a set of notes from the copy-editor (in my fortunate case, the brilliant SJ Forder) on the author’s quirks and choices where there might be other, possibly more conventional options. For me, the style sheet is like a hyper-condensed version of the novel itself. As with Folk, reading the style sheet for Mischief Acts was like having what I’d written reflected back at me in a poetic form. So, I thought I’d share again. You can compare (if you are feeling nerdy) with the Folk style sheet here.

A  adrenaline, all right, any more

B  balk, barbecue, bathwater, beech mast, blackout (n), bowstring, bullseye

C candle light, car park, charcoal burner, chez, coach wheel, coolbox, curtsey

dare say, the Devil, dog walker, doorknob, downstream, drawing room, dreamed/dreamt (depending on context, sound), drumbeat, dryad, dugout, dumbshow, dust mote

E  earmark, earth-bound, elf-king, Erl-king

F  fairyland, fairy tale (but fairy-tale creeps), flower bed, focusing, forever, further

G  gluing, godawful, god knows, goodwill, groundbreaking, guest room

harlequinade, hatbox, headgear, heartbeat, heart’s-ease, heart-throb, heron-hawker/heron-hawking, hippie, hot air balloon, house front

I  internet

J  jerrycan

K  keyring, the king

L  ladylike, lantern light, leaned/leant, leapt, learned

M  magick, microclimate, minidress, mischief-maker, mudbath

N  naiad, nightdress, nightgown, nightshirt, no one

O  offcut, oil lamp, okay, on to

passer-by, payout (n), piano-playing, pixilated, plant pot, punchbowl

R  rainwater, reinflate, ring pull, risk-taking, river-bound, river water

S  seawater, shipbuilder, shirtsleeve, sidestep, sir (lc), skydive, smoke ring, South London, steepwater, stream bed, streetlamp, street light, summer house, sun hat

T  tabletop, till (until), ’tis, tool bag, torchlight, treeline, tree stump, treetop, tree trunk, tricorne

U  underwater

W water-bed, water lily, waterweed, wheelbarrow, whirr, window seat, windowsill, wine gum, wolfsbane