Style Summary and Template

If I haven’t been as clear as I could have been in the last few pages, hopefully the style summary here will help. At the bottom of the page is a LibreOffice template based on the advice below, which you can use if you are still stuck (or lazy!)

Paragraph Styles Summary

Style Name Style Description Style Suggestions
Novel-About Used for your bio at the end of the novel. Similar to Novel-Paragraph-Section but with a different font.
Novel-About-First Used to make sure your bio appears on a left hand page. Based on Novel-Paragraph-About but with page break before it and suitable page style selected.
Novel-Chapter-Title Used for the title of each chapter of your novel if it is divided into chapters. A slightly bigger sans serif font, centred. You probably want to set page break before so your chapters always start on a new page, and if you want them to all start on right hand pages (as is sometimes the case) and/or you want to skip the header on the first page of each chapter, you will have to link the page break to a suitable page style.
Novel-Chapter-Title-First Used for the first chapter of each part of your novel if it is divided into chapters and parts and you want the first chapter of each part to start on a right hand page; whereas, normal chapters can start on either. Based on Novel-Chapter-Title, but linked to a different page style so that it is always on right hand pages (not needed if you want all chapters to start on right hand pages), you will have to link the page break to a suitable page style.
Novel-Chapter-Title-Very-First Used for the first chapter of your novel to restart page numbering on this page i.e to make this page page 1. Based on Novel-Chapter-Title (or Novel-Chapter-Title-First), but linked to a different page style and has it page number set to 1 (rather than 0, which means carry on numbering from the last number).
Novel-Footer Your footer, where the page numbers are going to go. Based on Novel-Header-Left but with its text centred.
Novel-Forward-Paragraph Used for a standard paragraph in the forward of your book. Based on Novel-Paragraph but italicised.
Novel-Forward-Section Used to start a section in the forward of your book. Based on Novel-Paragraph-Section but italicised.
Novel-Forward-Section-First Used to start the first section in the forward of your book. Based on Novel-Paragraph-Section-First but italicised.
Novel-Forward-Title The title of your forward. Also used to start the page numbering (usually done in Roman numerals in the forward). Similar to Novel-Chapter-Title but italicised. Page break before set with the page style set to a suitable one.
Novel-FrontMatter-Author This is used for your name on the first page. Use a nice, big, clear, easy to read font.
Novel-FrontMatter-Copyright Used for text on the copyright page (second page). Use a smart and no nonsense font around 12pt.
Novel-FrontMatter-Title This is used for the books title on the first page. Something big and bold, possibly reusing the font from the front cover.
Novel-Header-Left Your base header and footer style also used as the style for the header on the left hand pages, which have the author’s name on them. Use something different from your main body font either a monospaced one or reuse the font from the front cover. Make it about 10pts big and left aligned.
Novel-Header-Right The style for the header on the right hand pages, which usually has the book title or the chapter title in it. Based on Novel-Header-Left but right aligned. (if you want to have the chapter title in the header, you will need a new page style for each chapter e.g Novel-Page-Chapter1, Novel-Page-Chapter2 etc.
Novel-Header-Right Your base header and footer style. Use something different from your main body font either a monospaced one or reuse the font from the front cover. Make it about 10pts big and left aligned.
Novel-Paragraph Used for a standard paragraph of prose or dialogue. Use a 10pt serif font or bigger, depending on age of reader.
Novel-Paragraph-Section-First Used for the first paragraph in each chapter. Based on Novel-Paragraph-Section but starting approx a third of the way down the page and possibly using drop caps.
Novel-Paragraph-Section Used to indicate the beginning of a new section within a chapter. Based on Novel-Paragraph but without the indented first line and with some white space added above.
Novel-Part-Title Used for the title of each part of your novel if it is divided into parts. A slightly bigger sans serif font spaced halfway down the page. It also needs to have a break before it and a suitable page style linked to it to make sure it is or a right hand page.

Character Styles Summary

Next comes character styles. These are applied
groups of characters within paragraphs.

Style Name Style Description Style Suggestion
Novel-Char-First Used as an alternative for drop caps for the first character of a chapter or if you want your drop cap font to be fancy. Bigger than the normal paragraph size and using some fancy font.
Novel-Char-Date Used any time you want to italicise a date. Italicised.
Novel-Char-*something* Any special cases you need e.g. in my book Equilateral I had a Novel-Char-Screen style for text that was shown on a computer screen. What ever you need it to be.

Page Styles Summary

Finally we have page styles. Because of a short
coming in the way LibreOffice handles headers and page counting we need seven different styles for this. If you want to have your chapter’s title in the right hand side header you will also have to add a page style for each chapter.

Style Name Style Description Suggested Value
Novel-Page A standard page in your book. It needs to have its page size set to the size of book you want to create using create space (13.34cm x 20.32cm in my example template), with suitable margins (1.91cm, 1.27cm, 1.02cm, 0.76cm). The layout should be mirrored and you need to turn on headers and footers, headers should have “Same content left/right” unchecked. Importantly, Register-true should be turned on and Novel-Paragraph selected as the reference style.
Novel-Page-About If you want your chapters to all start on odd pages, you will need to use this page style as the first page of each one. Set the page layout to Only left. Everything else is the same as Novel-Page (Register-true is optional).
Novel-Page-First This style is for the first page in every part. It is necessary if you want to turn off the header for this page and/or if you want to make it always be on the right hand side. The same as Novel-Page except that it has Page layout set to “Only right”.
Novel-Page-Chapter If you want your chapters to all start on odd pages and/or you want to turn off the header for the first page of each chapter, you will need to use this page style as the first page of each one. Set the page layout to “Only right”. Everything else is the same as Novel-Page.
Novel-Page-Forward A page style for the forward. This is needed if you want to number the pages of the forward using Roman numerals (as is normal) and/or if you want to turn off headers for it. Everything is the same as Novel-Page except that page numbers are set to Roman numerals.
Novel-Page-FrontMatter A page style for the bits that go at the front of the book, like the title page, copyright page, dedication etc. Everything here is the same as Novel-Page, Register-true is optional though.
Novel-Page-Part A page style for the part titles. This is needed if you want to hide the page numbers and headers on these pages (as is normal). Everything is the same as Novel-Page (unless you want to make sure that parts titles are all on right hand pages, then you would set layout to “Only right”.
Novel-Page-Very-First This style is for the very first page of the first chapter. It is necessary in order to start/restart the page count from this page. The same as Novel-Page-First.
Novel-Page-ChapterX If you want to have the chapter title in the header you will need a page style for each chapter. The same as Novel-Page-Chapter.

LibreOffice Novel Template and Example Book

Here is my LibreOffice template. Opening it will create a new document using the template. You can also import it into LibreOffice, which will enable you to manage it (edit etc.) through the Template Manager. Click on “File->Templates->Manage” and select import. Then, when you want to create a new novel document, go “File->New->Templates” and double click on the template you just imported.

LibreOffice Novel TemplateLibreOffice Writer Icon

And here is an example document that uses that template. Have a play around with it, especially if you are wanting to do anything funky with your headers and footers.

An Example BookLibreOffice Writer Icon

And for good measure this is what the book looks like when exported to pdf.

An Example Book (pdf)Pdf icon

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