Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing & Revising & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults was a book I picked up at the SCBWI Winter Conference in January after attending Cheryl Klein’s workshop on revision.
It took me a bit of time to get through it, but that’s because I took my time. I read 5-10 pages at a time and put it aside. I let my mind mull over what I read and how it impacted my manuscript.
Ms. Klein writes in a practical, user-friendly style. You feel like she is speaking directly to you as she guides you through:
- what makes a good book,
- the publisher relationship,
- what a query letter should do,
- character charts,
- techniques for analyzing and revising,
- getting to the heart of your emotional story, and
- the quartet of plot, character, voice, & point.
I appreciated how she broke things down so that I could apply what she said to my own work. For example, when trying to get to the emotional heart of your story, there are four things to consider:
- Conflict, Mystery, or Lack: which model is your central plot and your subplots?
- What does the character want?
- Compulsion vs. Obstacles: The obstacles are the frontstory, but the compulsion is the backstory.
- Problem, Process, Solution: Each chapter should include a process step moving the story toward to the solution.
At the end of the book, she gives you 25 revision techniques and a final word on the author-editor relationship.
Definitely a book worth reading. And rereading.