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Paperback This Year You Write Your Novel Book

ISBN: 0316065498

ISBN13: 9780316065498

This Year You Write Your Novel

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Book Overview

No more excuses. "Let the lawn get shaggy and the paint peel from the walls," bestselling novelist Walter Mosley advises. Anyone can write a novel now, and in this essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom, Walter Mosley promises that the writer-in-waiting can finish it in one year. Mosley tells how to: - Create a daily writing regimen to fit any writer's needs--and how to stick to it. - Determine the narrative voice that's right for every...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Succinct, easy-to-read, and action-inspiring

I read some of the negative reviews criticizing this book as "nothing new" and positive reviews characterizing this as a book for "novices." I disagree with both. This book will NOT make you a bestselling author (and it doesn't claim to), but it will remove your excuses for not finishing that first novel--and, to me, that's PRICELESS. In the sense that I have not been published, I suppose I'm a novice. However, I have been aware of and honing my writing talent for most of my life with formal instruction and practice including writing workshops and classes, editing a college newspaper, and writing my own column. In all of those settings I learned many useful things including the differences between poetry and prose and how and when to use AP style along with a lot of the tips Mosley addresses in this book--but none of them taught me a STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS TO WRITING A NOVEL. I have had an exciting idea for a novel germinating in my mind for over a year. I've created a detailed outline, written a number of scenes, done "research" for the story (which I learned from Mosley is nothing more than procrastination), and shared my progress with numerous people. Nevertheless, I felt stymied by the process of creating my first finished novel. After reading Mosley's book (in less than one day), I was stirred to action and felt like I had an easy-to-follow plan to get through the process of writing my novel. I am supplementing his basic instruction with a guided fiction writing class to help me be accountable for writing everyday and staying on schedule; it will also give me regular critiques from other writers that I believe will speed up the editing process after completing my first draft. If you're looking for a spark to light your writing fire and don't want to get dragged into a long-winded instructional guide, I highly recommend "This Year You Write Your Novel." I intend to purchase it for several friends. Enjoy, and happy writing!!

Mosely's offers unique, cogent, and succinct insights into character driven writing

A common complaint about this book is that it offers nothing new, that all of the topics about writing it covers have been covered elsewhere, and in more depth and detail. If one feels one learns more by reading more words, then other authors offer far higher word counts on all of the topics Mosely covers. Why then, did I find this book so useful? For one thing, it is concise and cogent. It's a quick read, not because he has nothing to say - he does - but because he knows how to boil away the fat. He does leave things out, some of which may be considered essential, but let's face it, just about anyone buying this book will be buying several books on writing fiction. This one is worth having in the collection. Particularly useful are his insights into how to build complex characters. Mosely directly understands how people condition each other's responses to the world and their lives, how we change each other, and how to capture this in fiction. Mosely doesn't spend pages exhorting us to build an interesting character, he teaches by showing, laying out a superb example (the story of the man in the desert). That one five page section was such a gem I would gladly have paid double the price to have it. The greatest tools we need to write good fiction are already present: most of us have absorbed countless dramatic templates, most of us have a facility with language (we are, after all, animals whose chief talent is in language even if we're plumbers or race car drivers), and all of us have lived, loved, suffered, and rejoiced (on the odd occasion, anyway) in the complex, unknowable realm of human relationships. This cogent, concise book seems to get this, it doesn't over teach, it teaches enough to get us tapping what we already have quickly and with depth. One won't sense the stern presence of a master peering over our shoulder making sure we get step 19-a right according to his or her template. One will sense someone saying "yes, you've already got it, just try this one little thing and it will open things up."

Read this and write your novel, don't just read yet another writing book and keep talking about the

The beauty of this book is that it cuts straight to the action - Mosley lays out a clear, concrete plan that he guarantees will work for you. He trains you in only the most essential skills - for example, he introduces just three POVs and most strongly recommends only one of them - so the reader can't get bogged down in all kinds of the dry technicalities that college textbooks feel obliged to include in the interest of completeness. Mosley wants to jumpstart you into action, offering his carefully distilled guidance and suggestions to see you all the way through your first novel. Read other books if you want more about the craft, in all its glorious detail. Read this book if you are ready to park yourself in front of your pc and *write*, no more excuses to feed your procrastination addiction. There's an excellent interview with Mosley on the NPR site that will give you most of the information in the book. But get the book if you're really ready turn the ignition key. And it's a great resource for literature and writing teachers. Incidentally, Mosley's advice applies not only to all kinds of writing styles, but also to other big projects you want to finish before you leave this world.

Quick rundown of the essential tools that any aspiring novelist will need.

In THIS YEAR YOU WRITE YOUR NOVEL, Walter Mosley attempts to tell readers "everything I know about novel writing in less than 25,000 words." He succeeds brilliantly in this valuable little book that should take its place alongside THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE and ON WRITING WELL on the bookshelf of any aspiring writer and those interested in how novels are put together. Mosley is the author of 27 books, including 10 in the acclaimed Easy Rawlins private detective series. But he also has tackled literary fiction in books like RL'S DREAM and THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT, as well as science fiction and nonfiction books about politics and current events. Writing is first and foremost a craft. It's not an art, although great writers like Mosley can raise it to an art form. As a craft, writing has certain rules specific to each genre that must be followed and practiced over and over again by all writers. This book deals with the novel-writing process and provides a quick rundown of the essential tools that any aspiring novelist will need. But this is more than just a guidebook. Anybody who has worked as a professional writer long enough is familiar with the conversation with a stranger that usually begins by them saying, "I have a great idea for a novel..." And the professional writer listens respectfully and nods sympathetically. But in the back of our minds we know that rarely, if ever, will that person write an actual book. Despite popular misconceptions, writing a book is not just something you can sit down and bang out "one of these days when I get the time." The great newspaper columnist Red Smith once said, "Writing is easy. You sit down at a typewriter and cut open a vein." Mosley understands this and knows that writing is more than a great idea for a story. Writing requires discipline. And writers write. It's as simple and complicated as that. Mosley says here, "The only thing that matters is that you write, write, write. It doesn't have to be good writing. As a matter of fact, most first drafts are pretty bad. What matters is that you get down the words on the page or the screen..." Mosley suggests writing 600-1,200 words a day, seven days a week, and spending at least an hour or an hour-and-a-half each day writing or editing. He correctly points out that by doing this you will have the first draft of a 60,000-word book done in three months. Writing is a craft, and the only way you master a craft --- whether it's making shoes or hitting a major league curveball --- is to do it over and over and over again. Even Hall of Fame hitters took batting practice everyday. Mosley points out another key thing: writing a novel is linked to your unconscious. "The most important thing I've found about writing is that it is primarily an unconscious activity...The connections, moods, metaphors, and experiences that you call up while writing will come from a place deep inside you. Sometimes you will wonder who wrote those words." That is the magic of the writing

Stop making excuses and do it!

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (3/07) Many of us readers could - and should - be classified as dreamers as well. We dream of so many different things, but a great percentage of us have one dream in common - we would love to write a book. We think about it, we talk about it, maybe we even write a little bit, but the book never materializes. Oh, we have so many great reasons for that. Nay, of course they are not excuses... or are they? If you are one of us, if you've always wanted to write a book and have never done it, there is a great little book that just might provide that extra minute push you'll need to finally start working on your own masterpiece. Mr. Mosley is author of twenty-five published books, so he is obviously well-qualified to give advice. And advice he will provide - copiously! His book, clad in an attention grabbing orange dust jacket, is deceptively slim - just over a hundred pages. Yet in it he provides some of the best advice on the subject I've read in a long time. He starts with the "general disciplines that every writer needs," continues with "the elements of fiction" and advice on "where to begin," followed by "rewriting, or editing," "miscellany" and "in summation." The last part is brief and very much to the point. This is what Mr. Mosley says in his summation: "That's it - everything I know about novel writing in less than 25,000 words. The work is up to you. I'm sure that if you write every day and take these lessons to heart, you will write a novel that works. This process will transform you. It will give you confidence, pleasure, a deeper understanding of how you think and feel; it will make you into an artist and a fledgling craftsperson. Maybe it will do more." This is advice that should be easy to follow and will undoubtedly result in something more substantial that what most of the dreamers ever wrote... I enjoyed reading "This Year You Write Your Novel" immensely and I would highly recommend it to anybody who has been thinking of writing something him- or herself. As Mr. Mosley suggests, just sit down and write something EVERY day. Good luck!
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