Last weekend, I attended a SCBWI Missouri retreat with editor Cheryl Klein. I might come to think of it as the “Toads and Diamonds” retreat. Word gems dropped from Cheryl’s mouth almost every time she opened it during her critiques and presentations.
My notebook is filled with her observations on characterizations, plotting and voice. Many writers and editors become inarticulate when they try to pinpoint what makes a great voice although they know it when they see it. Cheryl was able to break down how voice needs to be consistent, suitable to the scenes, and believable. She also discussed the various enemies of voice.
I’m going to be revising some old projects in the next few weeks or months as I spend some time researching the setting for a new novel. I’ll be keeping her presentations in mind as I work on refining the aesthetic and emotional points of my projects.