Two years into revision, I don't need help getting started, and the basic elements of fiction have been covered more thoroughly in other writing craft books. What I really need is for Mosley to write the next installment: This Year You Shut Up About Everyone Else's Novel and Finish Revising Your Own.
Even so, I marked several passages to reread. If I read it enough times, I may even find a way to spend the hour and a half Mosley recommends working on the novel, every single day. Even if all you do is reread what you wrote the day before, Mosley says, you must stick to the hour and a half each and every day.
The process of writing a novel is like taking a journey by boat. You have to continually set yourself on course. If you get distracted or allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination. It's not like highly defined train tracks or a highway; this is a path that you are creating, discovering. The journey is your narrative. Keep to it and there will be a tale told.The most helpful bit for me, was Mosley's response to the question, When am I finished rewriting? Mosley's answer: Never. Okay, then! Never mind.
Seriously, though. How do you know when to stop?
You find yourself reading through the book for the twenty-fifth time, and as you see problems, you try to fix them, but the attempt only makes things worse. . . . Then you know you're finished. Congratulations. You have a novel. This one is good. The next one will be better.With nearly thirty published books and several awards under his belt, Mosley clearly has a sense for this stuff. It's worth listening to him. My novel's still in that in-between stage, though, so if you could get cracking on that second installment, Mr. Mosley, I'd be much obliged.