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The Successful Novelist | [David Morrell]

The Successful Novelist

David Morrell, best-selling author of First Blood, The Brotherhood of the Rose and The Fifth Profession, distills four decades of writing and publishing experience into this single masterwork of advice and instruction for fiction writers looking to make it big in the publishing world. With advice proven to create successful novels,
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Publisher's Summary

David Morrell, best-selling author of First Blood, The Brotherhood of the Rose and The Fifth Profession, distills four decades of writing and publishing experience into this single masterwork of advice and instruction for fiction writers looking to make it big in the publishing world. With advice proven to create successful novels, Morrell teaches you everything you need to know about:

  • Plot
  • Character
  • Research
  • Structure
  • Viewpoint
  • Description
  • Dialogue
  • The business of publishing
  • And much more.

©2008 David Morrell (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“I found the acute observations and his narrative philosophy more valuable for the new writer than the contents of any 100 other texts.” (Dean Koontz)

“For anyone interested in the craft of writing, from beginners to seasoned veterans, this is a must read.” (Booklist)

“This is the best guidebook to both writing and the business of writing that I've ever read.” (Peter Straub)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (83 )
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4.3 (70 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-30-11
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-30-11 Member Since 2008

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "REALITY CHECK! Very Enlightening and practical."

    I have been debating on attempting a novel and have no experience writing, other than college papers 15 years ago. What is really good about this book is that the author really seems to care about people who are interested, but not sure where to start. This book really is for people like me, who have this plot in their head and it needs to be written...now what. He includes very practical "getting started" advice, common mistakes, good advice on what seems like every concern to a novelist. He constantly uses himself and his experiences to show good and bad ideas, which is immensely helpful! He wrote First Blood (Rambo movie) and since most people are familiar with the movie, its easy to follow his examples using it. He also includes everything to expect from brainstorming your plot and characters, to actual writing, to organizing, to submitting drafts, to agents, to publishing, to movie contracts...all very interesting. The time spent on "how" to write in perspective was great. It feels graduate school quality. The biggest plus for me is that in all of this knowledge he is sharing, he is constantly writing to me, encouraging me to not write to achieve any of those things, but to write to satisfy myself. Mr. Morrell, this has been such a reality check and informing. It was a pleasure to read it. Thank You!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Brown Deer, WI, United States 11-15-12
    Charles Brown Deer, WI, United States 11-15-12 Member Since 2005

    I make my living as a truck driver. I fill the space between deliveries with audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did Patrick Lawlor write this?"

    Firstly, I really enjoyed this reader. There were times where his delivery was so enthusiastic that I thought maybe HE wrote the book. Lawlor was the perfect match for Morrell's direct, clean, and clear prose.

    This book features lots of advice and tips on writing the types of books Morrell writes -- thrillers. (I don't mean that pejoratively, if it sounds that way.) There's a good assortment of life stories on everything from Morrell's life before publication up to and including his present day success. I was pleased to hear a few real world figures. He includes statistics on how few people actually make a living as a professional writer. Morrell is one of the few writers to tell you honestly what he was paid for one of his projects. He breaks down the sale and history of First Blood for you.

    He has an extended section where he rails against the use of first person point of view in fiction. For a former Literature professor he's surprisingly literal-minded when it comes to a first person story telling. He seems to accept only diary entry or oral history transcribed as the only plausible explanations for how a first person story gets into a reader's hands. I've always taken it as one of fiction's conventions that you were more or less inside the narrators head as the story is laid out for you.

    That minor quibble aside, this book lives up to it's reputation and is well worth a listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl NORTH TONAWANDA, NY, United States 01-02-13
    Cheryl NORTH TONAWANDA, NY, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Sheri

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    "Great Advice"
    Would you listen to The Successful Novelist again? Why?

    I have already listened to this audio three times and I will probably listen to it again. David Morrell, author of First Blood among other books - gives advice I can use every time I sit down to write.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Successful Novelist?

    His advice is down to earth, realistic and usable. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to write a book. It is one of the most helpful books I have ever encountered on writing.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia California 08-23-12
    Virginia California 08-23-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Overall great summary covering everything you need"

    David touches on everything it seems. The book is not boring and perfectly paced. I learned so many facts about being a writer that I'm more confident in my future journey without so many mind clogging questions. He exposes his own personal life which helps tremendously for understanding what's ahead. Great work!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ocean Portsmouth, NH, United States 08-10-12
    Ocean Portsmouth, NH, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Love to read. Love to write.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love, love, loved it"

    I've read too many books to count on the subject of writing so wasn't expecting anything earth-moving when I purchased this other than perhaps "something to remind me to do things that I'd otherwise forgotten about". Boy was I wrong. This was a wonderful book - I enjoyed every moment of. Not only informative - it's always great to hear from someone who has "been there and done that" tell how the real deal is - but it's also full of lots of great tips and motivations AND a fair amount of doses of reality - not always pleasant but heck, that's the real world, right? I loved this book and thank you David Morrell for writing it and for sharing such a wealth of information.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tylor United States 11-29-12
    Tylor United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A must for writers"
    Any additional comments?

    This is essential for anyone who wants to write. The narrator was also superb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 'n Austin Austin, TX USA 06-20-12
    John 'n Austin Austin, TX USA 06-20-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent book on writing fiction"

    A very insightful and practical book on writing (primarily fiction) by a highly intelligent and accomplished fiction author who also loved teaching writing as an academic for many years. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about the fiction writing craft and gain insights into the difficulties of publishing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 07-03-14
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 07-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great advice for writers"

    This is a great book for someone interested in being a writer and even someone interested in just knowing how writers are able to create page turners. David Morrell is known for writing "First Blood," which is often mistakenly referred to as "Rambo." The tone is conversational and even modest for someone who has written bestsellers. Th book is filled with useful advice and humorous stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Visualverbs Bella Vista, AR 02-09-14
    Visualverbs Bella Vista, AR 02-09-14 Member Since 2007

    Visualverbs

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    "This man created Rambo..."
    What did you love best about The Successful Novelist?

    It is an extremely good review of what it takes to become a successful writer from a man who did. It doesn't get much better than that. He is a very good writer (not great, in my opinion, but certainly very good) and he documents much of that in this book.


    What other book might you compare The Successful Novelist to and why?

    Fiction Writing Demystified, by Thomas Sawyer. Sawyer is another successful writer (was the head writer and producer on Murder, She Wrote for many years) and both volumes are similar in the way they document the process (motivation, mechanics, editing, publishing,, marketing, etc.) of fiction writing. Both are no-nonsense journals of being successful and I enjoyed them both equally and learned A LOT from both.


    What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hmmm. Don't know about that, but Lawlor did a very good job in narrating the book. There is not a lot of "performance" on this as it is more reference work which does not require that.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It is very informative and insightful into the professional life of a working, successful fiction writer.


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to be a working, successful fiction writer!! ;-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Toni North TX, United States 10-14-13
    Toni North TX, United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Best in Class"

    So far, I've listened to Sol Stein (Stein on Writing),Thomas B. Sawyer (Fiction Writing Demystified) and this one. David Morrell is my favorite, although Stein covers more craft/style in my opinion. Morrell touches on a bit of everything with practicality, humor and humility. He's easy to relate to. Some of it is far beyond my current skill set or needs (things to watch out for in contracts, etc.), but it's good for future. This book never had a dull moment, and I downloaded the Kindle version as well, to make notes. Narrator was fantastic. As someone else said, it was easy to forget it wasn't being narrated by the author, so great was the narrator's enthusiasm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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