Thursday 7 October 2010

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Pages - 99

Published by Hatchette Books in 2007

The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do every day - every morning or every night, whatever time it is that you have. Ideally, the time you decide on is the time you do your best work.

I think from it's title and the paragraph written above, it is obvious what this book is about. Writing, of course. You didn't think I would write cold turkey without a little outside support. This is a rather short book that basically gave me the kick up the rear I needed to put pen to paper and fingers to the keyboard.  It reminded me how important it was to write every day. I know when  I make time to write every day it flows a lot easier and I get my writing quota written a lot quicker. I know that if I write every day, the story will take a life of its own and practically write itself as my mind takes over and plans the story as I do the mundane housewife tasks of ironing,cleaning and cooking.

This book also reminded me that every writer has awful first drafts. The first draft is about getting the bones of the story down. You fill in the meat of it afterwards during editing and rewrites.  The book also gives you a quick low down of the elements that need to be included in the story and then gently holds your hand as you start with your first draft.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting out on their writing path, as it will give you a basic knowledge of what you need to know in order to start. From there on you can progress on to chunkier writing books which will explain the areas you are interested in with a lot more detail. For seasoned writers, this book can act as a quick reference guide to get you in the mood. It doesn't hold any information that you haven't read before in other books, but it might just spur you on to get back into your writing mode.

So not the best writing book that I have read, but a quick refresher book to get me motivated.

Did the book work for me?

I believe it did. I am running wild with my writing and actually feeling like I am getting somewhere. I think what has made the difference is that I make sure I write every day. This is the first time I have committed my self to writing every day and it feels good. Even if I have to sacrifice something else, then so be it. So occasionally I may take a day or two's break from blogging, but that is something I know I can afford to sacrifice, or perhaps I won't read one evening, I can live with that. Writing is important to me, it is something I want to do, something I have to do and I am not prepared to sit back and watch the world pass me by without achieving my goal. It may not get published, but at least I can turn around to people and say that I have written a book!


  1. I will have to see if my library has this book! Although I have read so many books on writing lately, that I know it is just time to start writing instead of just reading about it.

    I have been keeping a writer's notebook every day for about the past month and that has been a good way for me to begin that beneficial habit.

  2. As Molly says I know all my friends who write also keep a writers journal which they all say is very helpful. Good luck with both the writing and tonight.

  3. Molly- I think that is what I need a writer's journal, to keep with me at all times.

    Petty Witter - it does seem like a good idea. Thank you for your ongoing support.

  4. A writers journal is an excellent idea. And you know what else is really helpful? Carrying around one of those tiny voice recorders. When I was writing my novel there were many times I'd be shopping or walking in the woods and see something or hear something that I wanted to make note of, and I'd use the voice recorder.

  5. Beth - that is a good idea. My only problem is I cringe at the sound of my own voice. I absolutely hate it. Hubby has just put an application on his Ipad called Dragon which translates the spoken word. I am hoping to have a play with that as I think I might actually get more words down.

  6. I'm so happy to see you writing so much! And guess what? That snag I told you about on facebook? Well I think last night I finally got it worked out, so I'm off to go plot and plan today, yay!

  7. I have a feeling this is going to be a great writing month for you!

  8. Vivienne, just remember that thought about wanting to achieve your goal and set aside time every day. One day you'll be writing the last word on your first book and you will be so happy, that you prioritised it. Am cheering for you.

  9. I will keep this one in mind, thanks Vivienne!

  10. Vivienne, you sound inspired--I look forward to reading your best-selling novel!

  11. I hope to spot this in my bookstores! Thanks for the highlight, Viv.


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