When to Use Commas Between Adjectives

This question comes up often in my editing: should or shouldn’t there be commas between the adjectives in a string? I hate to tell you this but … it depends. Yeah, I know, English is complicated. That’s why I’m here. I swear, we don’t make up these rules just to …

Using a Book Map to Edit a Novel

Last time we looked at how book maps can help in nonfiction editing. Now let’s look at how this technique can help novelists. As I worked on how to illustrate this, I found myself redacting so much information from so many client book maps, that you would get more out …

How to Use a Book Map

If you’ve read the last few posts, you may have decided to make a book map of your current project, whether it’s in progress or in editing. Great! But once you’ve built a book map, what do you do with it? You use it to examine the structure of your …

How to Make a Visual Book Map

Last time I wrote about how to use Excel to create a book map. My friend and editor Travis Perry once declared spreadsheets to be “antithetical to coherent communication,” and maybe you feel the same way, in which case a graphic representation may work better for you. Especially for people …

Use Storybreaking to Edit Your Novel

One of the hardest things about editing your book is keeping all of the information straight and in the right order. That’s one reason I advocate for outlining. A plain outline doesn’t suit everyone during the drafting process, but once we reach the editing phase, having a visual depiction of …

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