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Kristen Stieffel
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Everyone has a story…I can help tell yours.
Everyone has a story…I can help tell yours.

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Q: When referring to a king or lord, when do you capitalize—if at all—for sire and your majesty and such? For example: All we can do now is wait and pray that you and your healers can help my sister, your majesty. I’m so confused. Thanks for your help. A:…

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The Steve Laube Agency is now publishing The Christian Writers Market Guide. I am really excited that this directory is finally going digital! Nevertheless, there will be a print edition, and the deadline for that is next week. So get your listing in now. This directory not only lists publishers, but also freelance editors, designers, author services firms, publicists, writers groups, and conferences.

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Q: I used italics in a scene with a flashback, but my critique partner said I should never use italics. Here’s the part I put in italics: He sat in the cold hospital waiting room, feeling numb. This was just like when Mom died. We did all we could, the…

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Novelists often get carried away with characters. Or maybe that should be, characters often carry away novelists. Either way, well-developed secondary characters can run away with a story if you let them. In one of my sample book maps, I showed how this…

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Once you’ve made your book map, you may find that it reveals a gap or disconnect in the writing — a place where you’ve jumped from point A to Point D without explaining to the reader how you got there. Storybreaking can help you close that gap. Narrative…

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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…

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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 book…

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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…
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