I'm sure that there are some useful tid-bits in here but right in the first chapter we get: ...they [writers] rely on common-sense measures to improveI'm sure that there are some useful tid-bits in here but right in the first chapter we get: ...they [writers] rely on common-sense measures to improve their writing skills. Which pretty much put me right off wanting to continue. But the title isn't How to Be a Happy Writer, it's How to Get Happily Published. Circling back on the table of contents, it seems that there's precious little to say about getting the manuscript in front of editorial eyes and on to the next phase (instead of into the slushpile).
I'll stick to my revisions and maybe come back to this one if we get that far....more
As an aspiring novelist, this book didn't do much for me. I could tell by the second chapter that it was really more oriented toward the non-fiction bAs an aspiring novelist, this book didn't do much for me. I could tell by the second chapter that it was really more oriented toward the non-fiction book writer. Example: I skipped chapters 7 and 8 all together because they specifically had the word "Nonfiction" in the chapter heading.
That doesn't mean that there was nothing of value in here, just that I was not in the target audience.
Also, many of the tips just seemed like common sense:
* try to get to know other authors * try to get to know editors and publishers * try finding yourself an agent * think of publishing as a business * consider your motivations for writing
I suppose I'll get back to my writing, hone up the product itself, and re-open the publishing question a bit later on. Perhaps I'll come back to this later on, root around in the text to dig out the pearls of useful wisdom....more
If you are an aspiring author, this should be the cornerstone of your library. For a long time, it is likely to be the only book on the subject that yIf you are an aspiring author, this should be the cornerstone of your library. For a long time, it is likely to be the only book on the subject that you will need. Later, you may find that it is the only book that speaks to you at every skill level you find yourself occupying. But that is (in part) because Natalie Goldberg's Zen training informs us (through her) that skill is an illusion and that each act (be it writing or cooking or speaking) is its own independent entity, connected to its kin but each a unique opportunity for crushing successes or blessed failures.
This book will not change your life. But its simple messages, repeated with subtle variations, accessed through each easily digestible chapter will affirm your commitment, will affirm that each time you pick up the pen, you are making yourself vulnerable and embarking on a critical path full of life....more
Somewhere out there is a handbook for writing and the writer's lifestyle; this is more like the "Quick Start Guide" falls out of the box. But if ThisSomewhere out there is a handbook for writing and the writer's lifestyle; this is more like the "Quick Start Guide" falls out of the box. But if This Year You Write Your Novel is the Quick Start Guide of the writer's lifestyle then Writing Down The Bones is the in-depth, O'Reilly-published "Missing Manual".
I did not like Walter Mosley's book as much as Natalie Goldberg's. This one went into some mechanics but didn't seem to speak from the soul, didn't seem to speak to what motivates a writer. Mosley provides us with what seems like a list of definitions; e.g., he elaborates on first- vs. third-person vs. omniscient narratives and the dis/advantages of each. His examples were well-written and illustrative (i.e., to his credit, they were a step above strict definitions) but still, his book seemed targeted at the true amateur. Which perhaps it is.
What perhaps Mosley intended there however, is for you to sit down and read the book in one hour-long sitting on January 1st of your very own Year of the Novel.
One thing that I did like very much here though: Mosley writes that every author (aspiring or otherwise) needs to write every single day. This is no surprise; every book I have ever seen about writing and the writer's lifestyle talks about this. What Mosley acknowledges is that sometimes "write every day" means that you re-write or journal or just read your own work out loud to yourself....more