Welcome to the first Write Reads book discussion! I will break the discussion down by talking about my thoughts after finishing, chapters with the most notes, most beneficial chapter(s) and other flagged notes that I thought was worth mentioning. As you can see, I did not mention a “least beneficial chapter(s),” and that’s because something that may not be helpful for me, may be helpful for someone else.
Please note, I will be paraphrasing anything from the book or it will be italicized and in quotes. If it’s long, I’ll put ellipses in them. Don’t worry, I will be leaving chapter and page numbers if you decide to pick this book up.
Here’s some quick book information:
Deborah Halverson, “Writing New Adult Fiction.”
Writer’s Digest Books (F+W Media imprint), publisher.
First Edition, 2014
15 Chapters; 281 pages total; includes forward by Silvia Day on page 1 and Chapter 1 starts on page 8. The index starts at 278.
Honestly, “Writing New Adult Fiction” was not what I expected to be. I think I went into this book expecting to get more background on New Adult (NA) fiction, but I did expect the “how-to” aspect — it does say “Writing” in the title. Overall, I think there was a balance with the NA publishing background and “how-to.”
The book seemed like it was more geared toward an older audience or someone who has an interest in NA fiction. As someone who is in the age range of a “New Adult,” (18-25), it seemed reflective in some ways; you already know what you do as a “New Adult” because you’re living it. It was sometimes a little hard to get through certain parts because it was something that I knew.
Getting to the back end of the book, I was beginning to like this book more. There is mention of self-publishing, traditional publishing, marketing yourself and other resources, which is helpful to writers at all stages in their careers.
Most Notes From…
Chapter 5, “How to Talk Like a New Adult.” Page 88. /// 3 pages flagged. Why: While this chapter was a chapter that I felt like was focused on an older audience, I do think it’s good to be aware of dialogue patterns to craft authentic characters.
Chapter 9, “Cranking Up the Conflict, Tension and Pacing in Your NA Fiction.” Page 145. // 2 pages flagged. Why: I also felt a similar way as I did when I read Chapter 5, but I specifically got the most from the “pacing” section of this chapter, an area I feel I need to work on.
Chapter 12, “Revising in a Speed Driven Market.” Page 187. /// 5 pages flagged. Why: Prompted questions and techniques are something to keep in general when revising — you can always alter the techniques when moving on to a different genre.
Most beneficial chapter…
Chapter 12, “Revising in a Speed Driven Market.” Page 187. Why: It gives you decent strategies when you’ve reached the end of your book; at the end of the chapter there are prompted questions you can ask yourself when it comes to something you may wish to change.
Chapter 13, “Self-Publishing Your New Adult Fiction.” Page 205. Why: For me, I always been set on going to a traditional publisher, but after reading this chapter, I felt like this is a option I can explore in the future. It would also be helpful to those that want to self publish. Halverson does mention pitfalls of it too.
Chapter 14, “Casting Your lot With a Traditional Publisher.” Page. 261. Why: As I mentioned above, I had always been set to go into traditional publishing. I have read other books that talk about what the process is of getting a book published, I always like getting more information about it.
Secondary characters, from Chapter 4, pages 82-83: “Flesh Them Out: …Do thumbnail sketches and even full character sketches if the characters will have more of a brief appearance…it will help you from falling back on a stock character.
“Don’t Let Them Steal The Show: …that’s a red flag that you’re playing it too safe with your lead character.”
Flashbacks, from Chapter 8, pages 140-141: “Make sure that your flashback transitions in and out well so that it feels organic…create some kind of thematic or tonal link between flashback and regular narrative.”
Revision, Chapter 12, page 192: “When you get your feedback, resist the urge to try and defend yourself….You won’t be there to defend…to regular readers.”