Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Successful Novelist, David Morrell, Sourcebooks Inc, 2008, 281 pp

The subtitle of this book is "A Lifetime of Lessons About Writing and Publishing." David Morrell is the author of First Blood, (1972), the novel from which "Rambo" was made. I have never read any of his novels though he's written 19 of them, the most recent of which was published in 2007. In any case, he knows what he is talking about.

I read the book over several months. I am usually reading something about writing as a means of keeping me inspired and reminding myself that it is something one actually has to sit down and do. Morrell touches all the bases and his writing is fine. It moves along, is conversational and even covers a few facts I had not known before. For example, an author should buy up as many copies of any novel he wrote which is remaindered and sell them himself at readings and through his website.

The sections I liked best were at the beginning when he told his life story, how he became a novelist and then how he became successful. There is also a great chapter on how to focus your story. I will be suing this book in my continuing efforts to write some decent fiction.

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