Are You Writing a Breakout Novel?
At that time, a breakout novel was a work that was bigger and better than typical midlist fiction. Since that time, and especially in the past couple of years, I've noticed a distinct and sweeping difference in the quality of Young Adult novels that are being published.
As a librarian who buys almost everything that's published each year, I would have to say that there are very few, if any, "middling" books anymore. If a book was published by any of the big-six New York publishers, they are all quite astonishing in concept and/or quality.
Perhaps what was considered a Breakout Novel in 2004 is the new norm. Anyway, if you haven't read How to Write a Breakout Novel or The Breakout Novel Workbook, they are well worth your time, as well as Maass's more recent, The Fire in Fiction.
I'd bought Maass's How to Write a Breakout Novel Workbook back in 2004, but wasn't writing at that time. I never got around to reading it, although I did read How to Write a Breakout Novel. After a reader commented recently that she was using the workbook to revise her WIP, I pulled it off my shelf and started reading it.
How about you? Have you read one or both of these books? Are you interested in pursuing his suggestions with your current manuscript?