Style Sheets The Old Fashioned Way by Deborah J. Ross
Nowadays, you can find all sorts of software to help you keep track of characters, places, names, even geneologies. I still do this the way I learned to when I was first writing. I use both a notebook (handy for flow charts, diagrams, portrait sketches, and family trees) and a file labeled “NOVELNAME Style Sheet.”
I keep this file open as I write, both drafting and revising. I don’t even bother with formal headings; I just start lists, roughly grouped by type. As I go on, I add and change things. For instance, when I introduce a character, I put down their name and any characteristics that are in the text (physical description, occupation, relationship to other characters). If I change my mind about something (eye color, for example), it gets changed in both the text and the style sheet. I’ll use the search function of my word processing program to find the mentions in the text.
If I’ve made significant changes to the style sheet, I’ll keep the old one. One of the benefits of the paper notebook is that it provides an archaeological record of what I was thinking then. The great thing about the style sheet file is that if I’ve kept up with it, all I have to do is tidy the categories and send it off to my copy editor (who will then be eternally grateful and send me chocolate).