From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Mosley offers motivation and instruction, wisely defining success in narrow terms: if writers-to-be follow his advice, they will be able to produce a first draft in only three months, and a competent novel in a year. At first that might seem like a tall order, but there is no mention of penning a masterpiece or best seller, just establishing a good, honest start on the long road to honing their craft. The author covers all the basics in a succinct and workmanlike fashion: narrative voice, character development, metaphor and simile, plot and story, editing, rewriting, research, and more. In addition to his many professional tips and practical advice, Mosley has one mantra: write every day—without fail, every day, no excuses. It doesn't have to be more than a few hours per day, but it does have to be every day. A guide to writing a novel may not be needed by many teens, but some will want precisely that, and this book will serve them well. Far more teens are likely to gain a precise view into the mystery of how novelists go about their work, and how they employ the many building blocks of fiction to produce a polished work of art.—Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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 PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved