hits counter Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults

Availability: Ready to download

Whether you dream of writing a book for children or young adults, or you want to take a finished manuscript to the next level, it always helps to get a fresh point of view. Try a little Second Sight. In this collection of talks, a professional editor offers insights from the other side of the publishing desk on a wide range of writerly topics: * Terrific first lines and ho Whether you dream of writing a book for children or young adults, or you want to take a finished manuscript to the next level, it always helps to get a fresh point of view. Try a little Second Sight. In this collection of talks, a professional editor offers insights from the other side of the publishing desk on a wide range of writerly topics: * Terrific first lines and how they got that way * What makes a strong picture book manuscript * Why the Harry Potter series was such a tremendous success * Finding the emotional heart of your story * Worksheets and checklists for building characters and bolstering plot * The Annotated Query Letter from Hell * And an Annotated Query Letter That Does It Right With its wit, intelligence, and practical tools for analyzing and revising your work, Second Sight will be a first resource for writers of children's and young adult fiction. This book has not been endorsed or approved by J. K. Rowling or any of her publishers or representatives, and all thoughts expressed here on all matters, including the Harry Potter series, are solely Cheryl B. Klein's own, and should not be taken as the official opinions, intentions, or interpretations of any of the writers or publishers mentioned.


Compare

Whether you dream of writing a book for children or young adults, or you want to take a finished manuscript to the next level, it always helps to get a fresh point of view. Try a little Second Sight. In this collection of talks, a professional editor offers insights from the other side of the publishing desk on a wide range of writerly topics: * Terrific first lines and ho Whether you dream of writing a book for children or young adults, or you want to take a finished manuscript to the next level, it always helps to get a fresh point of view. Try a little Second Sight. In this collection of talks, a professional editor offers insights from the other side of the publishing desk on a wide range of writerly topics: * Terrific first lines and how they got that way * What makes a strong picture book manuscript * Why the Harry Potter series was such a tremendous success * Finding the emotional heart of your story * Worksheets and checklists for building characters and bolstering plot * The Annotated Query Letter from Hell * And an Annotated Query Letter That Does It Right With its wit, intelligence, and practical tools for analyzing and revising your work, Second Sight will be a first resource for writers of children's and young adult fiction. This book has not been endorsed or approved by J. K. Rowling or any of her publishers or representatives, and all thoughts expressed here on all matters, including the Harry Potter series, are solely Cheryl B. Klein's own, and should not be taken as the official opinions, intentions, or interpretations of any of the writers or publishers mentioned.

30 review for Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Klein

    I wrote this, I'm proud of it, and I'm going to give it five stars, just because I can. I wrote this, I'm proud of it, and I'm going to give it five stars, just because I can.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Second Sight is an instructive collection of blog posts and speeches given by editor Cheryl Klein at writer's conferences. The book offers helpful examples and contains several writing exercises. What sets this book apart from other writing guides is Klein's experience working as a continuity editor on the American editions of the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books; she often discusses J.K. Rowling's narrative style and examines the HP books in order to teach successful storytelling. Second Sight is an instructive collection of blog posts and speeches given by editor Cheryl Klein at writer's conferences. The book offers helpful examples and contains several writing exercises. What sets this book apart from other writing guides is Klein's experience working as a continuity editor on the American editions of the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books; she often discusses J.K. Rowling's narrative style and examines the HP books in order to teach successful storytelling.

  3. 5 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    I found this book to be a little bit of a mixed bag. On the good side: It's absolutely chock full of stellar advice. Klein brings an obvious wealth of experience to the table and she shares in gems of solid detail, instead of the often useless generalities found in similar books. Almost everything she has to say is of worth to writers of all stripes, not just YA writers. On the bad side: I found myself continually frustrated by the lack of organization in the presentation of the material. The chapte I found this book to be a little bit of a mixed bag. On the good side: It's absolutely chock full of stellar advice. Klein brings an obvious wealth of experience to the table and she shares in gems of solid detail, instead of the often useless generalities found in similar books. Almost everything she has to say is of worth to writers of all stripes, not just YA writers. On the bad side: I found myself continually frustrated by the lack of organization in the presentation of the material. The chapters are presented basically verbatim from blog posts and conference talks with little attempt to eliminate redundancies or coordinate subjects. In the end, however, I'll both be keeping the book for my private library and recommending to others, since its insights finally outweighed the aggravation of their presentation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    For writers who really want to understand how stories work and how they can make theirs better, this book is an essential resource. It's a deeply intellectual analysis of many key aspects of fiction, and it's also a practical guide, offering tools such as checklists and spreadsheets you can use to structure your revision approach. I'm planning to use it in a class I am teaching at the University of Washington this spring and am confident my students will benefit enormously. For writers who really want to understand how stories work and how they can make theirs better, this book is an essential resource. It's a deeply intellectual analysis of many key aspects of fiction, and it's also a practical guide, offering tools such as checklists and spreadsheets you can use to structure your revision approach. I'm planning to use it in a class I am teaching at the University of Washington this spring and am confident my students will benefit enormously.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Sometimes it seems like I've read the entire internet on my quest for knowledge about writing. I should have just read Cheryl Klein's book. Second Sight tells you all the things--all of them! This book is a must-have for any writer who is working on their craft, and there are three distinct reasons why. Please note, I'm making a list here because compulsive organizing is something Ms. Klein and I have in common: 1. Concrete examples from real life. Too often, I read articles or even full-length t Sometimes it seems like I've read the entire internet on my quest for knowledge about writing. I should have just read Cheryl Klein's book. Second Sight tells you all the things--all of them! This book is a must-have for any writer who is working on their craft, and there are three distinct reasons why. Please note, I'm making a list here because compulsive organizing is something Ms. Klein and I have in common: 1. Concrete examples from real life. Too often, I read articles or even full-length texts which offer excellent, logical reasoning behind strategies for writing, but with too few examples. That is not the case with Second Sight. Ms. Klein provides examples from books she edited, in real life, with real results. Not just oddly generated fictional examples that do a learning writer little good, but raw, honest glimpses into the writing process for several of her authors. This information is PRICELESS. 2. Careful layering of information. When you're writing, it's so very easy to get lost in the woods. How do you isolate plot from character from theme from sentence structure and keep it all straight? Second Sight leads you down through the layers in a series of easy to consume lectures and articles by Ms. Klein over the years. It is like having a guide take you through the forest. First, she shows you the forest on the map, and then you drive there, and then you walk the main trail, and then you learn about the side trails, and finally you examine individual trees down to their bark and roots. Yes, there are THAT MANY layers to writing. That's why it's so freaking confusing at times. Second Sight will give you a sense of structure in the mess, and help you pull it into better order at each layer, producing something far better than you have before. 3. Ms. Klein is brilliant. I say that not to be obsequious, but because it is a fact. Her intelligence springs from the pages, and the orderly way that she leads your poor brain to an insight about the craft of writing is always well-planned, meticulous, and unparalleled in execution. I'm a great reader. My husband rolls his eyes at how quickly I read, and endures hours upon hours of my theorizing about books, but it was not until I read Second Sight that I had the WORDS to talk about what interested me. Ms. Klein breaks down every facet of writing. She relentlessly categorizes, analyzes and details every aspect of books and writing, until there is honestly no reason NOT to improve your craft, because it is all prepared and broken down in front of you like a delicious buffet of words ready for consumption. Thank you, Ms. Klein, for being wordy and nerdy and unabashedly intelligent. It's my dream to work with an editor as talented as you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    Cheryl Klein is one of the editors at Arthur A. Levine books (famous for taking on Harry Potter when nobody wanted it). I've read my share of books on writing and editing and this one struck a chord with me. Don't know if it is because of the plain, easy to understand language, the great examples of working and polishing a first draft to a final one, or the amount of knowledge this lady has. For example, the issue of Voice. Most agents/editors describe it as "something they are looking for, can' Cheryl Klein is one of the editors at Arthur A. Levine books (famous for taking on Harry Potter when nobody wanted it). I've read my share of books on writing and editing and this one struck a chord with me. Don't know if it is because of the plain, easy to understand language, the great examples of working and polishing a first draft to a final one, or the amount of knowledge this lady has. For example, the issue of Voice. Most agents/editors describe it as "something they are looking for, can't tell you exactly what makes a voice stand out, but they'll know it when they see it". Ms. Klein has five (FIVE!) areas that she has compiled that describe exactly what voice is and how to find your own. Must read for anybody who wants to write for children/young adults.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    UPDATE: I have it now, I love it, it is what I said it would be, and you should get it right now! There. :) === I admit that I have not yet read this book IN AND OF ITSELF. But Cheryl is one of my best friends, and I have been reading her writing for years, and have been party to the very wonderfully painstaking work she put into the production of this book. It only takes knowing Cheryl to know that this is something that does exactly what it claims to do, that it has true value, that it is worth UPDATE: I have it now, I love it, it is what I said it would be, and you should get it right now! There. :) === I admit that I have not yet read this book IN AND OF ITSELF. But Cheryl is one of my best friends, and I have been reading her writing for years, and have been party to the very wonderfully painstaking work she put into the production of this book. It only takes knowing Cheryl to know that this is something that does exactly what it claims to do, that it has true value, that it is worth your time and money, and that she wouldn't have it any other way. So there. Get it. Get it now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Sutton

    SECOND SIGHT is a must read for all writers. I highly recommend this book! I've already found Cheryl's tips and insight a huge help in my current round of revisions. Just be sure to have a highlighter ready. You'll want to make notes on every page! SECOND SIGHT is a must read for all writers. I highly recommend this book! I've already found Cheryl's tips and insight a huge help in my current round of revisions. Just be sure to have a highlighter ready. You'll want to make notes on every page!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin

    NOTE: This review was originally posted at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on March 8th, 2011. If you enjoy it, check out my other reviews there! Several years ago, The Professor (my fiancée) introduced me to children’s book editor Cheryl B. Klein’s blog, where I discovered several years’ worth of thoughtful, analytical, and insightful talks she has given on the craft of writing and its intersection with the craft of editing. Having found her thoughts interesting, I was excited to learn that Kle NOTE: This review was originally posted at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on March 8th, 2011. If you enjoy it, check out my other reviews there! Several years ago, The Professor (my fiancée) introduced me to children’s book editor Cheryl B. Klein’s blog, where I discovered several years’ worth of thoughtful, analytical, and insightful talks she has given on the craft of writing and its intersection with the craft of editing. Having found her thoughts interesting, I was excited to learn that Klein is now releasing a self-published, crowd-funded (via Kickstarter) book on writing entitled Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy not too long ago, and found it be challenging, insightful, and professional in all the right ways. This is a book for people seriously interested in writing as both a craft and a career: people looking for touchy-feely encouragement or platitudes on the “writing life” need not apply. From my perspective, this is high praise. What I look for in books on writing is a serious discussion of the techniques used to construct effective, powerful, and publishable fiction. Whenever I read a new book on writing, I am always comparing it to the books on my “Writing on Writing Shelf,” which is primarily stocked with classics like E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel, John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, Ayn Rand’s (very different) The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, or Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Language of the Night. Klein’s Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults is like these excellent books in many ways. Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults demands a modicum of pre-existing knowledge. Someone still struggling to grasp the basics of writing (figuring out what a plot is, understanding the difference between point of view and voice, etc.) will likely find this book intimidating. An intermediate writer (as I like to consider myself) – who has been working at the craft for several years, who has a finished (though not yet published) novel or two under their belt, and who is looking for helpful ways to think about technique – will derive a lot of value from this book. Like Forster, Gardner, and Rand, Klein flits effortlessly between the high-concept philosophy of writing (the nature of fiction, the nature of art) and the gritty reality of constructing a working novel (building point, character, plot, and voice). It is clear in reading this book that Klein has thought long and hard about what constitutes good writing, and what criteria to apply when judging the written word. However, unlike E.M. Forster, or John Gardner, (and certainly unlike Ayn Rand) Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults is far less didactic. Reading Le Guin’s, Forster’s, or Gardner’s works on writing, I am often reminded of looking at a skyscraper. In Forster’s Aspects of the Novel, he takes 192 pages to walk us through the six pillars on which all novels rest. Each chapter builds on those that precede it to concisely outline the author’s vision of The Novel, like one floor resting atop another. This kind of writing on writing provides immense value, but it is by its very nature broad: it speaks in generalities from a hundred stories above the ground, glossing over many challenging aspects of writing. But if reading Forster is like looking at a finished skyscraper, reading Klein is like looking over an architect’s shoulder. When I finish classic books on writing, I am often left with a feeling of “Whoa,” as my perception of The Novel has changed. Reading Klein cover to cover doesn’t produce that response. Instead, each chapter of Klein’s book leaves me with a smaller sense of “Neat!” that shifts my thinking on a particular facet of the craft. I wouldn’t be able to swallow a book like this in one or two sittings. In the two or three months that I’ve had my review copy, I’ve found that I would read a chapter or two, put it aside, and then return to it repeatedly when running into tough spots in my own writing. And that is its primary value: as a helpful tool for the dedicated writer struggling with the minutia of craft. The primary meat of this book is framed by practicalities. It opens with a series of brief philosophical musings on the nature of good writing, and then dives right into the process of finding a publisher. That fact alone should tell you that this isn’t a book for someone who has never written anything. However, those early chapters are beautiful for their simple, straightforward discussion of the publishing process. The annotated query letters (one “from hell” and one which “gets it right”) are excellent, providing real-world lessons that can be applied by anyone intending to pitch editors or agents. The middle of the book consists of independent chapters on various aspects of writing. The subjects range from a working definition of young adult literature, to techniques for constructing picture books, to the relationship between plot and emotion. There are commonalities across all of these sections, but they are not structured – and should not be read – as laying out a dialectical argument. Instead, they are insightful musings on varied aspects of writing, which may be relevant to some readers some of the time…but not to everyone, and not always. It is only as she approaches the end of the “meaty” section that Klein veers into a Forster-esque mode of outlining a “theory of the novel.” Captured in a sixty-four page quartet of chapters (with their own introduction), Klein discusses what she considers the pillars on which a novel rests: point, character, plot, and voice. While these chapters are insightful and valuable, they represent the book’s one structural weakness: up to this point, the chapters all provided valuable insight without relying on the other chapters. Diving into the quartet on page 186, with its concomitant shift in structure and tone, struck me as inconsistent with the rest of the book’s structure. Without a doubt, the quartet deserves a place in this book, and I understand the difficulty Klein likely had in figuring out how to get it to fit. However, I suspect it could have benefited from either an alternative placement (perhaps earlier in the book, amidst the more “philosophical” chapters), or a better lead-in. But despite the inconsistency in structure and approach, the quartet – and the other independent chapters – still provide great value. The last third of the book returns us to the brutal reality of revising a finished work. Her chapter on twenty-five revision techniques is immensely practical, the type of bare bones heavy lifting that every author should do, but that nobody likes to think or talk about. This section is immediately applicable to anyone who has finished a written work (of any length), and is now embarking on the revision process. The concrete advice given here clearly stems from years of editing books as a career. No shortcuts are given, no platitudes are offered: writing is hard work, and Klein lays out a series of techniques to produce higher quality work. Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults is unlike most of my writing library. In general, that library consists of books that either try to lay out an all-encompassing theoretical framework (Forster, Gardner, Rand), analyze critical genre theory (Mendelsohn, Clute, Suvin), or exhaustively detail a particular facet of writing (Card, Kress, Propp). Some of the books in my library are well worn: the books I return to frequently as I think about my own writing. Since getting my review copy of Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, it has never left my desk. It doesn’t answer the question of “What is The Novel?” but it does answer the question “What goes into an effective novel?” And for someone working on writing new works while revising what they have already written, I suspect this is the most important question. NOTE: As I mention above, Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults is a self-published book, and can be ordered from Cheryl B. Klein’s web site at: http://cherylklein.com/buying-second-sight. Also, be sure to check out her great blog.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    If you've ever scoured Cheryl Kline's website, this book may not be a big surprise. But it is good to have her talks and blogs in hard print so you can dog-ear the pages and highlight her keen insight. Definitely recommend this as a must for your writing craft shelf. If you've ever scoured Cheryl Kline's website, this book may not be a big surprise. But it is good to have her talks and blogs in hard print so you can dog-ear the pages and highlight her keen insight. Definitely recommend this as a must for your writing craft shelf.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    This is hands down the best book I’ve read about writing and editing children’s books, and I’ll forever be indebted to the author, Cheryl Klein. If you’re interested in writing a children’s book, I’d suggest starting here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jody Sparks

    By far the most helpful writing book I've read.I loved this book! By far the most helpful writing book I've read.I loved this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Sabatini

    If you need to revise your writing, you do not want to miss this book. It's inspirational, educational and entertaining. A wonderful read that will make you a better writer. <3 If you need to revise your writing, you do not want to miss this book. It's inspirational, educational and entertaining. A wonderful read that will make you a better writer. <3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This book is not perfect, but I got so much insight and inspiration from it, I think it's worth 5 stars. The book is basically a collection of blog posts and workshop presentations. There is some repetition, and I it could possibly have better structure. I understand there is a new edition of this - it's possible they've addressed these issues. I learned so much from this book and her writing is so conversational, I would still recommend reading this. This book is not perfect, but I got so much insight and inspiration from it, I think it's worth 5 stars. The book is basically a collection of blog posts and workshop presentations. There is some repetition, and I it could possibly have better structure. I understand there is a new edition of this - it's possible they've addressed these issues. I learned so much from this book and her writing is so conversational, I would still recommend reading this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Rodes

    This is a wonderful book on writing for children and writing in general. I am now reading The Magic Words. Its taking a long time because there is so much life changing work to do before hitting the page.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This was so helpful! I now have a clearer idea about what publishing houses do and what agents are looking for. This book is invaluable to hopeful authors.

  17. 4 out of 5

    D

    nice

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    3.5 stars! This was helpful!

  19. 4 out of 5

    First Novels Club

    All you need to do is look at the Table of Contents of SECOND SIGHT: AN EDITOR'S TALKS ON WRITING, REVISING, AND PUBLISHING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS to know it's a worthy purchase. For months now, I've been saying to my FNC ladies that I craved some upper-level writing advice -- like a Master's class instead of a Writing 101. (As if I consider myself a writing Master, ha!) If you've already learned the basics (and then some) of writing philosophy and craft and want that next step up, y All you need to do is look at the Table of Contents of SECOND SIGHT: AN EDITOR'S TALKS ON WRITING, REVISING, AND PUBLISHING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS to know it's a worthy purchase. For months now, I've been saying to my FNC ladies that I craved some upper-level writing advice -- like a Master's class instead of a Writing 101. (As if I consider myself a writing Master, ha!) If you've already learned the basics (and then some) of writing philosophy and craft and want that next step up, you know what I'm talking about. This is where SECOND SIGHT comes in. Scholastic super-editor Cheryl Klein has compiled seven years' worth of her conference talks, blog posts, and web features into one book. As the title implies, the goal of this book is to give you an editor's perspective for analyzing and revising your book. The verdict: It does! The background: I read SECOND SIGHT initially because I was lucky enough to interview Klein for the upcoming 2012 CHILDREN'S WRITER'S AND ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET, and the interview centered on concepts in SS, as well as other topics. I had to frequently remind myself of my impending deadline and the interview questions that had yet to be written, because SS made me want to open up my WIP and get tinkering. Now that's an effective book on craft. (Also, I have an electronic version, but I'm totally buying a printed version, because this book begs for Post-It flags!) The explanation: SS works for me for a number of reasons, namely... 1. It's an excellent blend of philosophy and technique. Klein first explains why and how something works (such as voice or plot/character development), then offers concrete advice or worksheets on how to make it shine in your WIP. Nothing makes me snooze more than a lofty book of 500 pages of theory. This is not that book! 2. The examples she gives for each topic cemented my understanding of the ideas she puts forth. From epic fantasy and dystopian series like Harry Potter and Hunger Games, to contemporary YA/MG books like Marcelo in the Real World and Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Klein pinpoints exactly why these novels are so loved and honored. (I had more than a couple "Ohhhh. That makes sense!" moments here.) 3. SECOND SIGHT can be read cover to cover if you choose, but you can also just dive in to a specific section. Klein acknowledges that parts of the book overlap, but I found it helpful. It reinforced how each element of strong writing builds upon the others, and it highlights the primary considerations for revision. And just in case you want a quick refresher, the book ends with "Twenty-Five Revision Techniques." 4. SS offers more than just craft. There are two heavily annotated query letters (one good, one awful), a section titled, "Finding a Publisher and Falling in Love," and one on the author-editor relationship. 5. It's realistic and practical. For writers who want to revise their novels until they're as strong as possible, and who are willing to put in the grunt work to make it happen, SECOND SIGHT has a plethora of exercises, questionnaires, and worksheets to do so. And if you're like me and are picky about those kinds of things, there's a variety -- find what works for you. The conclusion: In Klein's introduction, she states, "I love reading stories, taking them apart and seeing how they work, then putting them back together with each piece polished and gleaming." Her passion for literature shines in SECOND SIGHT. In my initial post title, I described SS as "must-read," but I switched it to "must-own" because it's the type of book you want beside you as you work, so you can thumb through it when the need strikes. Reading it revitalized my progress on my current WIP; specifically, it made me realize I'd begun to stray from the heart of the story and needed to refocus. I can honestly say that the book lives up to its title: I gained a new perspective on the elements that make a strong novel, and my writing (and especially my revision techniques) are better for it. (Review originally posted at www.FirstNovelsClub.com)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lacey Louwagie

    The market is saturated with books about the craft of writing and the nuts and bolts of selling, publishing, and marketing your work. But in too many of these resources, revision gets relegated to a passing mention, something along the lines of, "After you've finished your revisions," or "Then revise!" For many beginning writers, revision can be a major stumbling block -- they might know it's needed, but where to start? And just as importantly, where to end? Cheryl Klein's "Second Sight" is a wel The market is saturated with books about the craft of writing and the nuts and bolts of selling, publishing, and marketing your work. But in too many of these resources, revision gets relegated to a passing mention, something along the lines of, "After you've finished your revisions," or "Then revise!" For many beginning writers, revision can be a major stumbling block -- they might know it's needed, but where to start? And just as importantly, where to end? Cheryl Klein's "Second Sight" is a welcome addition to the writing canon that fills that gap. It is JUST about revision. In this book, writing the first draft and publishing are relegated to passing mentions. I am a "first-draft" dreader -- I much prefer the process of revision to getting a story out for the first time. So even though I feel as if I'm fairly good at knowing what needs to happen when I go in for a second, third, or sixth draft, this book was full of insights and ideas to refine my process further. And for those who feel at a loss about where to begin with this whole revision thing, this book could be a godsend. It helps that Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur Levine books, prefers to edit the types of books I also prefer to read and write, so at some points it felt like she was "reading my mind" in terms of what was important about storytelling. She is also clearly passionate about what she does and ambitious about doing it well, which is very inspiring. Although the book is tailored to children's writing, I think a lot of its tips could be applied to other fiction as well. But if children's literature is what you write, I strongly suggest adding this book to your arsenal. I look forward to using its techniques to return for a fourth go at my middle grade novel, which has sat "stuck" for years in that awkward place between frequent rejections and me being at a loss about what might be wrong with it. Thanks to this book, I now have a much better idea of what my next steps should be, and I can't wait to take them. Sign of a helpful #writing book (excessive page markings.) #books A photo posted by Lacey Louwagie VenOsdel (@laceyvenosdel) on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:07am PST

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lynley

    I love The Narrative Breakdown podcast, and even though I find narrative theory pretty much on a par with MATHS when it comes to getting confuzzled and befused, I'm a sucker for a book on story craft. So when I learned that Cheryl Klein (co-host of the podcast) had self-published a book about editing I had to read it. At first I was a little disappointed to read in the introduction that there would be quite a bit of repetition -- and please excuse it -- because I thought, 'If anyone can turn a se I love The Narrative Breakdown podcast, and even though I find narrative theory pretty much on a par with MATHS when it comes to getting confuzzled and befused, I'm a sucker for a book on story craft. So when I learned that Cheryl Klein (co-host of the podcast) had self-published a book about editing I had to read it. At first I was a little disappointed to read in the introduction that there would be quite a bit of repetition -- and please excuse it -- because I thought, 'If anyone can turn a series of talks into a cohesive whole it's a professional editor so why didn't she?' but after reading the whole book I can see why she didn't -- some things just bear repeating because it's really important that we grasp them. Before the book arrived I was a little worried that it would be a book on publishing rather than editing -- I've fallen into that trap before. I understand (from the Interwebs) that editors come up against it, and it would be easy to turn into Miss Snark. Fortunately, while there is some advice in here about what not to do to editors and how to work well with them, it's not too much. This book really is mostly about craft. I'd already read Orson Scott Card's excellent book on POV, so got less out of that chapter, and the talk on picture books is fairly light -- I highly, highly recommend How Picturebooks Work co-written by Maria Nikolajeva and Carole Scott. As for the rest of the book, I inhaled it in two days, made a Scrivener template using the notes, and there are so many bits highlighted in yellow that I may as well have just highlighted the other bits, save myself getting high on ink fumes. The book has a nice list of resources, and I can't believe I haven't come across some of them before. Apart from Nikolajeva's various books (which need to be more widely read, imo!) this really is the closest I've come to the book I've been looking for: How Fiction Works (by James Wood), but for writers of children's literature.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Blom

    Honestly, I don't understand the many 5-star reviews for this book. It's not bad, but it's far from brilliant. I'd give it a 3 1/2 star if I could, 3 is just too low, but 4 stars really is too high. My main bief was the fact that it consists of transcripts of lectures the author has given, meaning there's overlap on several occasions and a noticeable lack of structure throughout the book. Ms Klein can write and she can edit, that's for sure. Her advice on editing itself (the so called TRUCK meth Honestly, I don't understand the many 5-star reviews for this book. It's not bad, but it's far from brilliant. I'd give it a 3 1/2 star if I could, 3 is just too low, but 4 stars really is too high. My main bief was the fact that it consists of transcripts of lectures the author has given, meaning there's overlap on several occasions and a noticeable lack of structure throughout the book. Ms Klein can write and she can edit, that's for sure. Her advice on editing itself (the so called TRUCK method) is very useful and those chapters could have been twice as long if you ask me. Her examples of the editing process of a book she edited were great, especially because she showed why they changed certain sentences or paragraphs and added others. In the other chapters there are nuggets of writing wisdom, absolutely, but it's sort of hidden beneath a whole lotta stuff I personally didn't care about (for example the chapter about picture books with the rather amateuristic example) One last thing. Ms Klein's main claim to fame is her editing the Harry Potter books. That's obvious from the many times she refers to these or plain uses them as an example. What was interesting to me, is that J.K. Rowling broke so many 'writing rules' (especially when it comes to adverbs or telling of emotions) and apparently got away with it. I was curious how Ms Klein would explain that. She did by showing (pun intended) that J.K. Rowling uses a mix of telling and showing, her telling is 'allowed' because she also shows it. Interesting to say the least. I think it may have more to do with the fact that the Harry Potter story was so unbelievably high concept and her story telling so good (and Ms Klein does demonstrate this, for instance by explaining the concepts of positive characterization, mystery, etc), that the 'rules' really didn't matter all that much.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kourtney

    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 d 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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Belanger

    I will start this review with a big disclaimer: Most of this book's focus is on YA and children's books, which I neither read nor write. Because of this focus, many of the provided examples didn't quite work for me. For instance, I can really only tolerate the zombified versions of Jane Austen's work. And I never read Harry Potter (nor do I ever intend to), so all the author's praise for that series falls flat, and I ended up skimming and skipping most of her analysis about the excerpts she used. I will start this review with a big disclaimer: Most of this book's focus is on YA and children's books, which I neither read nor write. Because of this focus, many of the provided examples didn't quite work for me. For instance, I can really only tolerate the zombified versions of Jane Austen's work. And I never read Harry Potter (nor do I ever intend to), so all the author's praise for that series falls flat, and I ended up skimming and skipping most of her analysis about the excerpts she used. So, for me, many of the examples actually detracted from the points the author was trying to make. Many times she'd show some excerpt and say something like "who wouldn't want to read the whole book!" and... well, me, apparently. But this is not a fault with the author or the book; I just don't read much YA because very few books in that category appeal to me as a reader. That being said, there is a lot of good writing and editing advice in this book, and if you enjoy YA novels you will most likely get a lot more out of this book and its examples than I did. I considered giving this a four-star rating, but much of the book consists of reprinted speeches and blog posts, which I felt detracted from the material since many statements and concepts are repeated. The final few chapters on character, plot, and voice were presented in a much better format. I wish the whole book was organized and formatted like them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Redfern

    Pile-o-presents day. Remember the anticipation from the night before? Flutters in the stomach and a jump-up-and-down, I-just-can’t-wait-another-minute feeling? I still have those when I learn something new that is going to advance my art or story craft. Cheryl B. Klein’s book, Second Sight An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults contains a broad collection of techniques that fine tune the art of writing. These editing tools are universal – you d Pile-o-presents day. Remember the anticipation from the night before? Flutters in the stomach and a jump-up-and-down, I-just-can’t-wait-another-minute feeling? I still have those when I learn something new that is going to advance my art or story craft. Cheryl B. Klein’s book, Second Sight An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults contains a broad collection of techniques that fine tune the art of writing. These editing tools are universal – you don’t have to be a children’s or young adult author to benefit from them. Second Sight paints pictures in the mind’s eye...and is entertaining to read. “I am a narrative nerd,” says Klein. With each topic (delivered as a transcript from blog posts or lectures given at various writer’s conferences) Cheryl provides examples of how it was used in publishing projects. As an editor for Arthur A. Levine (a Scholastic Inc. imprint), she gives glimpses into the workings of the editorial mind that are as valuable as the mechanical and organizational techniques. Topics Include; Author / Publisher / Editor Relationships, Creating Empathy for Your Characters, Hooks, Flap Copy, Chapter and Story Arc Maps, and Action vs. Emotional Plots. Manuscript editing has always been a dreaded chore. Now, I’m almost as excited about editing as pile-o-presents day. This book is a gift to writers everywhere.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fleur Philips

    A compilation of lectures given by professional editor, Cheryl B. Klein, Second Sight is one of the best craft books I’ve read. It was entertaining and easy-to-follow—I felt like I was having a real conversation with a professional editor rather than reading a “how to” manual. The book was filled with samples from some of Klein’s own clients, addressing the do’s and don’ts of writing children’s and young adult fiction. In addition to providing excellent guidance—from writing and revising tips, t A compilation of lectures given by professional editor, Cheryl B. Klein, Second Sight is one of the best craft books I’ve read. It was entertaining and easy-to-follow—I felt like I was having a real conversation with a professional editor rather than reading a “how to” manual. The book was filled with samples from some of Klein’s own clients, addressing the do’s and don’ts of writing children’s and young adult fiction. In addition to providing excellent guidance—from writing and revising tips, to editor tools, to publishing advice—Klein shares personal tales of her own life’s lessons, allowing her readers to feel a sense of connection with her. Besides a plethora of useful examples, Klein also provides Figures throughout the book to “show” rather than “tell”—from general edits of a first draft and line edits of a second, to the proper format for making a picture book. Klein also shares a handful of excellent writing exercises, making the reading of Second Sight even more appealing. But by far the most important piece of advice I’m taking away from Second Sight is to find those “electric fence emotions” (as she describes the raw feelings of middle school) and pull them forward to connect with my readers in a real, believable way. Don’t be afraid to pour your emotions into your work and see where it leads.

  27. 5 out of 5

    London

    I got more from this book than any other writing book I've read. Ms. Klein's insight into the editing process are priceless and the exercises had me turning to my M.S. constantly. I greatly valued the insight into the writer/editor relationship. Klein is an editor for Arthur A. Levine Books and has worked with some great writers, such as Lisa Yee and Francisco X. Stark (she was the U.S. continuity editor for several of the Harry Potter novels as well). She walks the reader through some sample ed I got more from this book than any other writing book I've read. Ms. Klein's insight into the editing process are priceless and the exercises had me turning to my M.S. constantly. I greatly valued the insight into the writer/editor relationship. Klein is an editor for Arthur A. Levine Books and has worked with some great writers, such as Lisa Yee and Francisco X. Stark (she was the U.S. continuity editor for several of the Harry Potter novels as well). She walks the reader through some sample edits from both Yee's and Stark's books, which I found an amazing relief. Seeing actual submissions gives my internal editor a guide as to where my writing needs to be at the submission phase. Klein's edits show how to address the weaknesses of these drafts—similar to ones most potential readers will have to overcome. I give out five-stars with a bit of reluctance (although I'm not horribly stingy, either). Were the information here not so valuable and inspiring, I'd knock Second Sight for it's one weakness. The book is a collection of essays and presentations Klein had previously presented. As a result, the book doesn't feel as well organized or polished as I'd normally demand from a book on writing and editing. However, given the insights the material has given me into my own writing, I can't knock it below any of my other favorite writing books. I'll call it a flawed masterpiece.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Johnson

    What an excellent reference/craft book for writers of all genres. 1. I am very pleased to hear that your book is carried through emotions and character. So although there are lots of rules you could follow if you want to, the good news is that the most important thing is to pour out your emotions into the story and see where it leads. 2. Following on from that, do it your way but be aware that there are lots of steps you could follow in revising your manuscript to make it submission ready and Che What an excellent reference/craft book for writers of all genres. 1. I am very pleased to hear that your book is carried through emotions and character. So although there are lots of rules you could follow if you want to, the good news is that the most important thing is to pour out your emotions into the story and see where it leads. 2. Following on from that, do it your way but be aware that there are lots of steps you could follow in revising your manuscript to make it submission ready and Cheryl talks about them in depth and summarises the points you need to remember towards the end of the book. You don't need to worry about forgetting anything important. 3. Cheryl uses very popular book series to show you want works. And even if you haven't read one of them, she describes the valid points in such detail that you get the point anyway. 4. There are some fabulous references to take away and learn yet more tips and tools. The style of writing is as if you are in the room with Cheryl, I really feel like I know her now. What a lovely book, I am definitely subscribing to her blog after reading this. Do you need any more reasons to go buy this book? Fabulous!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    I have listened to Cheryl expounding on plot and other publishing issues. She is honest and probably one of the foremost experts on plot development and keeping up the tension. I have before tried to apply her methods given by her through her writings and others who know her and understand her too my complicated nonfiction that I aspire marketing to an adult and YA crowd as one book or two separate books. Because I am not thinking so well I would be deluded to think I could do this without help. I have listened to Cheryl expounding on plot and other publishing issues. She is honest and probably one of the foremost experts on plot development and keeping up the tension. I have before tried to apply her methods given by her through her writings and others who know her and understand her too my complicated nonfiction that I aspire marketing to an adult and YA crowd as one book or two separate books. Because I am not thinking so well I would be deluded to think I could do this without help. Due to the intimate nature of my story -- it's closeness -- my health, and the desire to make a non-fiction read like a fiction I am still looking for someone like Cheryl to run with my story. I have graphed, time lined, cut, rewrote, and went blind trying to adhere to laws of plot and story while never achieving the marketability and educational properties I desire. I have been told that I was too ambitious so I have sat on my work for entirely too long waiting for enlightenment that will not filter into my work...Writers please read and hope you find an editor like Cheryl.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joelle Anthony

    This is a very useful tool. I think maybe more so for a writer who has a few books written than someone just getting started. I have two published novels, and so I've been through the process twice with an editor, and this built on everything I've already learned. I found it sligtly repetitive in places, but she tells you up front it will be as it is a collection of lectures she wrote and there is cross-over. The only part I took issue with at all was some of the voice stuff. While I can see why This is a very useful tool. I think maybe more so for a writer who has a few books written than someone just getting started. I have two published novels, and so I've been through the process twice with an editor, and this built on everything I've already learned. I found it sligtly repetitive in places, but she tells you up front it will be as it is a collection of lectures she wrote and there is cross-over. The only part I took issue with at all was some of the voice stuff. While I can see why an editor may want to examine it to such a minute level, I think examining your voice/writing too carefully can cause you to overwrite or simply lose your grasp on the voice. Overall, an excellent book that I am certainly not done with, as I've just finished a draft of my third novel. I will try some of the exercises and see how they work.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.