You know what I really love about the Decatur Book Festival? I LOVE that a literary editor like Cheryl Klein comes all the way to Georgia to present a workshop. And that I get to hear her wonderful words of wisdom at a heavily discounted rate. Okay, it was free. How awesome is that?
Cheryl (yeah, we're on a first name basis now) is an editor with Arthur A. Levine (an imprint of Scholastic Books). You might recognize her name in connection with the Harry Potter books. But, she's edited quite a few other notable books. And she shared some stories about editing these top-sellers, as well as what she looks for in a great manuscript.
So, if you want to impress Cheryl, you need to have a story with great characters. Creating real characters can make or break that manuscript. She wants a plot and a theme, and she wants that plot to support the theme. And if you want more details (because honestly, I'm just giving the bare bones here. I mean, Cheryl talked for two hours...) you can visit her website here and read her talks where she expounds on all the above.
Tons of great information from a funny, smart editor, courtesy of the Decatur Book Festival. Seriously, how awesome is that?