So Your Character Walks Into A Plot Hole… And Other Common Traps To Avoid Manuscripts

Originally Published: May 2014

by K. Marcus

Brett Wright, an associate editor at Bloomsbury Publishing, prefaced his May 13th SCBWI Professional Series talk with why books are abandoned.  Wright shared some statistics from (See link below).

“28% [of readers] stop reading within the first 50-100 pages.  It is really important to grab the reader right away and keep them enthralled” and said “most of the story should be in place in the first 30 pages…everything and everyone should be introduced in the beginning otherwise it is like it came out of nowhere.” (more…)

Harold Underdown On Craft: Sharpening Your Re-Vision

Originally Published: April 2014

by Leah Heilman Schanke

Harold UnderdownOn April 8, Harold Underdown began his presentation by introducing the importance of Reader Response Theory in writing and editing children’s books. The theory focuses on the reader’s experience. While editors and writers also have a response, they primarily analyze plot, characters, setting, etc. But what happens when a child reads? It’s simply the response. The response differs individually because of what each reader brings to the story.

Underdown stated that Reader Response Theory is “every bit as important as what literary critics do in analyzing what a story means and how the writer accomplished it.” Underdown demonstrated by reading an excerpt of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats without showing the illustrations. The response was the feeling of wonder and excitement. Underdown pointed out that the illustrations were not needed to “fall into [the character’s] story.” (more…)

Re-visioning Your Manuscript With Cheryl Klein

Originally Published: Nov. 24, 2010
by Emily Goodman

Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, shared “Twenty-Five* Revision Techniques (*Subject to Revision)” to a full house at the SCBWI-New York professional lecture series on October 12, 2010.

“This talk grew from seeing how different writers approach the process of revising their manuscripts,” Klein said. She stressed that not all techniques will work for every writer. For example, although she loves outlines herself, Klein understands that “some people would rather rewrite their entire book than make an outline.” She suggested that authors employ only those techniques from the list that will work best for their own writing style and sense of what their book needs. (more…)