Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SECOND SIGHT by Cheryl Klein

Reasons to read SECOND SIGHT:

1. It will improve your work-in-progress. On page 17 Ms. Klein writes, "I am extremely wary of the word "feel" in a manuscript, as in 'Cheryl felt extremely wary.'" I had a lightbulb moment! If I have to tell the reader how my character feels then I haven't done an adequate job showing how the character feels. I'm scanning all of my manuscripts for the F word. There are many other specific tips just like this one in the book.

2. It will make you a better critiquer. Recently, I was reviewing a manuscript for a talented writer in my critique group. Her first page just wasn't working for me. I discovered the reason why on page 39. "If you're using a description beginning, be careful that the description is relevant and intriguing, and that it doesn't go on too long before it gets to some action." I quoted Cheryl Klein in my critique and it provided a dose of objectivity.

3. It will make you a better reviser. There's an entire chapter titled " Twenty-Five Revision Techniques." My personal favorite is #11, which is basically outlining the action of the book chapter by chapter/scene by scene.

4. It will help you write a better query letter. Ms. Klein uses a query letter she received from Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and goes into all of the reasons why this letter works.

5. It will make you laugh! Ms. Klein was brave enough to print her 5th grade picture and to include some other funny photos in her chapter on how to write a picture book.

I marked up SECOND SIGHT with an orange highlighter so that I can refer back to it with ease. Now my plan of action is to delete all the F words and cut the scene where my protagonist is looking in the mirror. Ms. Klein calls that trick a cliche!

Have you read SECOND SIGHT? If so, what tips did you take away from it?


  1. I haven't read this, but I want to. IT sounds great.

  2. I highly recommend it. I think it's a book that I'll refer back to again and again.

  3. Great post, Shannon. I particularly love the tip about "feel." I've been itching to pick up SECOND SIGHT, but now I've got my wallet out. Thanks for this.

  4. This book sounds amazing. Great timing for me to read about it here tonight. I'm heading to B&N with a gift card tomorrow. Jotting down the title now. Thanks!

  5. Stop back by and let me know how you liked the book

  6. I'm looking forward to buying a copy!