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That's the word on the street anyway, and once I heard it I started discounting all the nice reviews they have given me over the years. Then I saw this review for The Year Your Write Your Novel, a new book by Walter Mosley [Full disclosure: seven or more books in, I'm still a sucker for how-to books]:

Booklist
It would be nice to report that the veteran novelist packs a lot of useful information into this slim writer's guide. Unfortunately, there is little here that isn't common sense (write every day), or tips most would-be writers will have already read in somebody else's book (the difference between merely telling the reader something and showing him). Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries and several fine stand-alones, sets out to show us how we can write a novel in a year, but instead of insight into the mind of a master storyteller, we are given facile advice ("don't stop writing for any reason") and grade-school English lessons (the difference, for example, between metaphor and simile). While the book is gracefully written, it is almost entirely lacking in any concrete, fresh advice that isn't available in countless other places. One leaves the book wondering why Mosley wrote it if he didn't have anything new to say. A real disappointment, which is not to say that the Mosley name won't generate a certain amount of demand. Buy cautiously. David Pitt


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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
davidlubar
Mar. 26th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
Didn't Mosley recently get slammed for a novel that was somewhat erotic or pornographic?
aprilhenry
Mar. 26th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Hm, would that be Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel?

It seemed like the reviews on that were mixed, not horrible. But it looks like it was more than just "somewhat" erotic.
mcgarcia
Mar. 26th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
I have to say I'm also a sucker for how-to-write books, but it's true that few new books these days offer something new or different. It's always the same show, don't tell story. One book I read recently that I thought was fresh and unusual is Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne and King. The show don't tell is in there too, but there are a lot of other stuff as well.
aprilhenry
Mar. 26th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
I just read a really good one for mytery writers by Hallie Ephron. It had a ton of practical tips that I found useful.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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