Creating a Continuity Checklist—CoronaLife Day 425

I am working on my maternal line genealogy book, as most of you know. I had hoped to be a bit further on in this project by now, but other things came up this week that got in the way. Such is the life of a writer!

I didn’t get into the actual revisions as I had hoped, but I did get the checklist made up. When I write fiction, I am not a super-plotter, I lean more towards the pantser, but not totally. Nonfiction is a bit different, however. I used a Table of Contents to guide my initial writing, and at this point in the process I need to check for continuity. It would be foolish to try to do it all from memory. So I created a checklist in Excel. The first column lists all the chapters, and then the other columns are the things I need to check/fix/revise.

I have 14 chapters in the book, and 6 categories I need to check: Tense, Children, Cross-Lnking, Chapter Headings (& Subheadings), Chapter Title Pages, and Trees. Six categories doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? (*laughs hysterically*)

  • Tense means checking that I have used past tense throughout the chapter. In most cases, I have not, so this is the category that will take the most time.
  • Children is making sure I structured the children’s list for each chapter the same—did I use the same bullet points, did I include birth and death dates, did I highlight the direct ancestor child’s name only or name and dates?
  • Cross-linking is where I mention someone from another lineage within the current lineage, so I then put in parentheses (see [Surname] Lineage). Usually this is at the end of the chapter, when a woman leaves her surname for her husband, or in a subheading under the female’s name. Sometimes, however, neighboring families appear in the same historical events, so I need to mention that someone from another family was also involved, and which chapter they can be found in.
  • Chapter headings is pretty obvious. Did I use the same font, the same font size? Are the subheadings all the same? I also put the chapter name up in the header portion of the page. Did I actually do that? Are they all the same size, font, weight?
  • Chapter title pages precede the actual chapter. I still am trying to design those. Something simple but readable. I’d like to use some sort of graphic or photo, but that’s what I am still stumped on.
  • Family trees that also precede each chapter. I have most of them created, but I need to double-check them as for some families I now have more information on them than I had when I made the trees. And there are several chapters that I don’t have them done yet at all.

Once I get that done, I will compile all the chapters and work on the Indexes. I usually have three: Name, Place, and Cemetery. I know Word has a way to create indexes, because I used it for my father’s book, but I have long since forgotten how to do it and will need to re-teach myself.

That will all keep me busy for a while! I will keep you apprised of my progress.

How are your projects coming along?


  1. So glad you’re making progress on your project. I hope to have a manuscript ready to send to Kathryn in the next weeks. Fingers are crossed. ~Barbara of the Balloons

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