Friday, October 26, 2007

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Are you one of many readers who have dreamed of being a novelist? If you are, Walter Mosley has written This Year You Write Your Novel for you. Why has he done this? Did he do so to help you, or did he do so to take your money?

Evidence of helpfulness #1 - In this small book, which takes only a couple of hours to read, Mosley strips down the process of novel writing to its essentials, making his points clearly. The author says that to write a book you have to be disciplined and write every day, and he lays out a plan that can help you do that in a year. He says to get a first draft written before you worry about all of the books problems. Then he gives advice for rewriting. This may be just the encouragement that you need to rise to the call. He has given you a method.

Evidence of helpfulness #2 - This Year You Write Your Novel is small and attractive. It might work as a nice gift of encouragement to a friend. I would like to give the book to several people I know. Giving it might be that extra statement of faith that would spark a friend to do what he/she has promised/threatened.

Evidence of taking the money - The book is rather small for the price. It is sketchy. It does not refer to any other tools to help the writer. (He does mention using a thesaurus.) Like many self-help books, it is common sense spelled out.

I like to think that Mosley's intentions are honorable. Perhaps a bigger book with more details would be less read and not as influential. Still, I think more people would be better served by a cheap paperback version. This definitely does not need to be hardbound.

Mosley, Walter. This Year Your Write Your Novel. Little, Brown & Company, 2007. ISBN 9780316065412


Bluestalking Reader said...

Sounds like a good book to check out of the library, Rick, rather than a good book to buy. Thanks for this incredibly helpful review. I'm going to see if my library has this one.

Rosalind said...

If Walter Mosley is saying it, then it's probably worth considering. He's one of America's best mystery writers as well as one who has published on numerous topics. Wiki has good info on him including this:

Walter Mosley (born January 12, 1952) is a prominent American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction.

His first published book, Devil in a Blue Dress, became a 1995 movie starring Denzel Washington. Mosley has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles; it is perhaps his most popular work.

Mosley has written over 20 books in a variety of categories, including non-mystery fiction, afrofuturist science fiction and non-fiction politics, and has been translated into 21 languages. Mosley's fame increased in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, a fan of murder mysteries, named Mosley as one of his favorite authors. Two of his books have been made into films or television special. [There's more on Wiki...]