Young Adult Fiction for Adults discussion

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Formatting. When Words Are Pretty.

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message 1: by Tony (new)

Tony Bertauski (jadedreader) | 22 comments I think formatting of the written word is often undersold. It's just words on a page (or screen, if you're ebookin' it), so what's the big whoop? It's all about the story, who cares what the words look like?

Two authors have changed my opinion, where they used creative formatting (font type, font size, etc.) to add a dimension to the ordinary look of a novel.

Wintergirls
The Knife of Never Letting Go

Anyone got a book to add?


message 2: by Bill (new)

Bill (reedye) | 42 comments Surely that's nothing to do with the author? Any author here that can tell us? Glad you brought that up Tony I'm intrigued now. Off the top of my head, I bought the Maggie Stiefvater US hardcovers (Shiver/Linger/Forever)partly because of the coloured text. They looked fantastic and it was quite brave.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine | 25 comments Not YA, but Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer . I personally completely hated the book, but not because of the creative formatting. It seems to be one of those books that you either love completely or hate completely.


message 4: by Theo (new)

Theo Off the top of my head, I think of Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski . It's adult, but has been recommended as a book teens might like. It's told in two points of view, one starting from the front and one starting from the back. Each page has half a page of the POV you are currently reading, and the POV from the other direction upside down on the bottom half. So, the first page of the novel (in one direction) has the beginning of a POV at the top, but it's also the last page of the other POV, upside down at the bottom. Also a kind of timeline runs in a small column along the side of each page to put the story in context. It uses colored inks too. Very difficult to describe, and a little strange to get through.


message 5: by Christine (last edited Feb 23, 2012 04:50PM) (new)

Christine | 25 comments Isn't Never Mind! A Twin Novel by Avi that way too?


message 6: by Tony (new)

Tony Bertauski (jadedreader) | 22 comments Just started reading The Road. He doesn't use any quotation marks and that makes me crazy. But I still love the book, so not that crazy. He uses a LOT of paragraph breaks, which I love, so maybe that makes up for it.


message 7: by ☼Bookish (new)

☼Bookish in Virginia☼  (ren_t) Tony wrote: "Just started reading The Road. He doesn't use any quotation marks and that makes me crazy. But I still love the book, so not that crazy. He uses a LOT of paragraph breaks, which I love,..."

Tony, have you ever read anything by McCarthy explaining why he chose not to use punctuation? I've read conjecture that it had to do with keeping the flow dreamlike and continuous --which makes sense to me -- but I've not seen anything by the author.


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine | 25 comments Plainsong by Kent Haruf does the same thing. For me, it distracts from the story because I find myself re-reading quite a bit. I liked The Road by Cormac McCarthy but I didn't like Plainsong by Kent Haruf . The story did not overtake what I didn't like about the formatting.


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