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Rules of Engagement
by staff writer, Nov 1, 2005
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Cheryl Klein's At the RMC-SCBWI 2005 Fall Conference one of the speakers was Cheryl Klein, Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic. Klein's talk on The Rules of Engagement: How to Get (and Keep!) A Reader Involved in Your Novel is a rare opportunity to understand, from an editor's point of view, what it is that makes a manuscript work and what keeps it from working.

Klein graciously allowed Children Come First to produce an eBook of her talk. It's divided into three parts.

  • The first part of the eBook talks about how to get and keep a reader involved in your novel. Klein lists the various things she sees in manuscripts that knock her out of the characters' brains or worlds—little tiny things, pacing questions, word choices even, that distract and dislodge her from the story.
  • The second part, How to Disengage Your Reader in Ten Easy Steps, goes through ten different things writers need to avoid doing if they want to keep the readers engaged in the story.
  • The eBook wraps up its third part with a transcript of the question and answer session from the RMC-SCBWI conference.
Feel free to email this article to friends. There's an "Email article" link at the top of this page you can use or you can just send them this page's URL. The eBook was produced by Children Come First and is graciously being offered free of charge by its author.

TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE eBOOK: We've automated the process as requests were coming in faster than we were able to reply to them!

  • Go to our online store. Click "Add to cart" and then "Checkout." You'll need to Set-up your Customer Account unless you're a returning customer. Only name, email, country, state and password are required for us to process this particular order.
  • When you sign up to receive the free eBook we'll sign you up to receive the free CCF-Bulletin. You may unsubscribe at any time after you receive your first one.  [Privacy policy].
  • After you set-up/log-in to your account click "Continue" and follow prompts until you get to the final "Order Confirmation Page," where you'll scroll down and click the "download" button to save the eBook to your computer.

PLEASE NOTE: The eBook was created with Acrobat 7 and should open with Acrobat Reader 5.0 and up. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed in your computer you'll need to install it in order to open the eBook. [Click here to choose your operating system and download this free software.] You do not need to download the items Adobe has clicked under "also download" if you don't want to.

Please contact us if you have questions or any trouble downloading the eBook. It's a great resource and we do not want computer glitches to get in the way. We'd really love for you to have it. [ Click here to order your free eBook ].

Note: If you find Klein's eBook helpful, add a comment to our blog (if you'd rather not blog just send us your feedback via our contact form). We'll collect all the comments folks send in and forward them to Klein.

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