Your Orthodontist (or Insurance Agent) Wants You to Write a Book

Because orthodontists support the arts, that’s why.

In publishing, there’s a handy thing called a “book bible.” Some wonderful copy editor reads your entire book manuscript with exceedingly careful attention and makes an index of…well, everything.

You think you know your characters, your setting, and every detail of your book. But you’d actually be surprised how easy it is to forget so much of it. Book bibles help make sure there are no contradictions in the manuscript. For example, maybe in chapter two you said your protagonist has math during second period. But by chapter fifteen, you’ve forgotten that minor detail, and now she’s at lunch, stressing over her big math test next period. Whoops. A good copy editor catches this, notes it in the book bible, and keeps you from looking like a real doofus.

I don’t make my own book bible per se, but I will share with you one handy trick my now-agent taught me years ago: make a calendar. Write down what happens each day of your book on that calendar. It can even be an out-of-date one (reuse, recycle!) because the actual dates may not matter so much as how much time passes between, say, a protagonist puking on her love interest and the day he asks her to prom. (Yeah, that happens all the time.) Oddly enough, many orthodontists, insurance agents, and Realtors give calendars away all the time. I think it’s probably because, deep down, they know you are writing a book and they want to do their part to help.

It takes a little extra time but it has really helped me keep a timeline straight. Maybe it will help you, too.

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