Select one of the keywords
This Year You Write Your Novel    by Walter Mosley order for
This Year You Write Your Novel
by Walter Mosley
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've reviewed several excellent books on writing over the years - from Jane Yolen's inspirational Take Joy to Elizabeth George's practical, hands-on Write On. Walter Mosley gives us something different yet again in This Year You Write Your Novel, which is filled with succinct wisdom focused on the big picture, but which also offers many specific examples to illustrate points.

Mosley begins with The General Disciplines that Every Writer Needs (he emphasizes 'writing every day' to keep a connection with, and momentum in, the unconscious mind, and learning how to write without the usual restraints that limit our creative impulses); advises on The Elements of Fiction ([the narrative voice, showing and telling, character and character development, and plot and story); discusses Where to Begin (first words, and how to fill 'the midlands of the novel'); explains Rewriting, or Editing (determining 'whether the novel has a soul or not', avoiding its being devoured by details, getting dialogue right and in rhythm); and concludes with Miscellany (on genre conventions, writing workshops, and the 'Sisyphean task' of getting published).

What I personally found most valuable in the book was this distinguished author's musing on the role of the unconscious in writing, his comments on the mix of structured and intuitive approaches taken by different authors, and his emphasis of the importance to any writer of understanding and applying the discipline of poetry ('the fount of all writing'). This Year You Write Your Novel is a must have for any aspiring writer's library - a book that will quickly become well-thumbed, multiply bookmarked, and frequently borrowed.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews