Mosley Declares NaNoWriYear, More Advice Follows

By Neal Comment

According to a Reuters dispatch (don’t mind me, I just love saying “Reuters dispatch”), Walter Mosley is joining the writer’s guide brigade with This Year You Write Your Novel, because everybody’s always asking him how they can do it. “Some want to do it because they think it will make them rich, some think it will make them famous, or become a movie,” he explains. “This (book) is for if you believe there is a novel in you and you want to write that novel. It tells you how to write a novel in a year. I am not saying how good the novel will be or that it will ever get published. All I am saying is that you can write a novel.” Publishing…well, for that part you’re on your own.

Meanwhile, at his Goblin Mercantile Exchange blog, Alan DeNiro offers some advice on how you’ll feel while you’re writing that novel. “Any novel is an act of courage,” he explains, “and it gives us, in our ordinary lives, a project of sustained courage.” Which brings us to another metaphor:

“The scale of a novel is that of a supercollider/atom smasher. It’s daunting. It’s supposed to be daunting and difficult. And not only does it have to work—like an atom-smasher—it also has to look pretty. So it has to have an aesthetically pleasing structure and great landscaping and everything. It’s the whole deal: a supercollider where you’d want to get married or have a big party, or send a postcard of which to your grandmother.”

DeNiro’s thoughts spark a lively discussion that brings Jeff VanderMeer, who says the initial premise about novel writing is wrong: “It is an act of endurance. And an act of faith. But not an act of courage.”