Saturday, August 5, 2023

Revise Like an Editor with Krista Marino

Krista Marino is a VP & Senior Executive Editor at Delacorte Press where she acquires and edits Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. Among her list are bestselling series, like the Maze Runner; literary gems, like Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces; genre-bending classics, like Rory Power’s Wilder Girls; trendsetters, like Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying; and masterful works of fantasy, like Amélie Wen Zhao’s Song of Silver, Flame like Night. Whether it’s an original voice, a unique world, or a compelling plot, she’s looking for stories you can’t stop thinking about.

Krista says that, just like children, every book is unique, and every revision is also going to be unique. Krista will share some tools that can help. Including one from the editorial process: the Title Information Sheet, which includes; 

  • Position Statement
  • Short Description
  • Key selling points

Before you share your manuscript, Krista recommends getting distance--to put your manuscript down for a week, at the very least. Then before you pick it up again, write a position statement. The position statement crystalizes the book you're writing in a sentence or two. It tells who the book is for, the genre and why the reader will want to read it. It's essentially the elevator pitch. Here's a couple examples: 

Next you'll write flap copy (which is the brief summary on the Title Information Sheet). It's essentially a summary of your book, written in a stylized way, which will intrigue the reader, but not give too much away. It should include:
  • What is the set-up?
  • Add your conflict.
  • What are the stakes?

Use these as exercises to help guide your narrative and your focus. 

Next: Map your novel. Make a list of what happens scene by scene. Break it down by chapters. 
Review your map to see: 
  • Can you identify scenes that don't move the plot forward? 
  • Can you identify characters that don't move the plot forward?
  • Can you identify subplots that don't impact the main plot?
  • Can you find plot holes?


If you want to view this session to hear the full content, along with the rest of the conference, register at Replays of the conferences will be available until September 10, 2023. 

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