Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft

Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing A Novelist Looks at His Craft Novelist David Morrell provides insights and advice learned during years of writing and selling novels insider secrets to help writers achieve the next level of literary success whether they are j

  • Title: Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft
  • Author: David Morrell
  • ISBN: 9781582972701
  • Page: 333
  • Format: Paperback
  • Novelist David Morrell provides insights and advice learned during 30 years of writing and selling novels insider secrets to help writers achieve the next level of literary success, whether they are just beginning or already published.

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      Published :2021-02-13T19:31:18+00:00

    About " David Morrell "

  • David Morrell

    David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited series The Chosen.

  • 243 Comments

  • This is one of the best books on writing I've read. As a writer with decades of experience, Morrell has much to share about the craft. He begins by asking why one wants to be a writer. We write because we have to. He covers useful strategies on getting focused such as having dialogues with yourself (something I've found valuable for myself). As far as the technical elements, he goes over plot, character, structure, viewpoint, description, and dialogue. As much as I've heard similar information b [...]


  • Advice from a master of the craft and business of writing. I recommend this book to writers for the wisdom shared in it. Practical, inspirational, and brilliant. Wish I'd read it years ago before publishing my first book.


  • Having just finished the first draft of my second novel I did what I always do after a draft: take a little time to consider my craft (and not look at the book). So I pulled this puppy off my stack of books on writing. I've read a lot of such books, and this is one of the better ones in it's category.They fall into a number of broad groups: books on specific components like plot or character, books on sentences, books on editing, books on selling your books, books on summarizing your books, wind [...]


  • I've read a lot of books on writing. Most of them are not very helpful (if at all), but there are a few that I worship. Up until now I've considered the best to be A WRITER'S TALE by Richard Laymon. It has been deposed by David Morrell. Hands down, this is the best and most useful book on writing I've ever read. Not many writers of such books go to the effort of teaching things most people take for granted, like structure and POV. Morrell gets in there and gets the job done. His motivational adv [...]


  • This is an excellent book about the process of writing. It's not as autobiographical and conversational as Stephen King's terrific On Writing. And it's not as prescriptive as The Elements of Style. It falls between those two extremes and offers practical, thoughtful advice for better writing--along with Morrell's own recollections of his own experiences. One of the best aspects is that he has entire chapters that deal with the actual process of getting a book published, and selling rights to Hol [...]


  • I've heard Mr. Morrell speak several times in New Mexico, so I was interested in what his book had to say.In a mixture of memories and precise directives, Morrell describes the writing process as he views it.It's interesting that Morrell decided in 1960 to become a writer because of the TV series Route 66. Those two cool cats cruising the Mother Road in a Corvette--who was writing that amazing dialog, and how could Morrell get a job doing that. A letter to the series' scriptwriter resulted in a [...]


  • Just finished a quick reread of this one (I skimmed most of the chapters, but thoroughly read the chapters on getting focused and dealing with writer's block). The first time I read this book, I was really taken with Morrell's idea of a written conversation with yourself about your book idea, rather than an outline or winging it. I've never tried his method, but the idea feels as fresh and inviting to me today as it did the last time I read the book.



  • It's a great book by professor David Morrell. Although I didn't finish the whole book, but it definitely provides valuable information about writing. The book mostly about writing fiction, but I feel I can use the same techniques to write about nonfiction. The first chapter starts with the writer's story when he was a teenager in a classroom. He decided to be a writer because he was impressed by a tv show in the 1960s. Then we wrote a letter to the writer of the tv show. The writer replied, "If [...]


  • David Morrell gives such valuable advice! This is a compelling and readable mini-course on writing from beginning a draft through the publishing and movie businesses. I predict this book is a resource that will stay on my shelf to be much referred to in the future.


  • David Morrell has written more than 20 books. His best known is First Blood. Yes, as in Rambo: First Blood. I always find it reassuring when the author of a writing book has written books that are still in print years later. Even better when it's a book I recognize or have read. Having written a character that's a cultural icon, I expect him to know his stuff.That said, I wasn't sure what to expect from the title of this book. Was it going to be about his personal journey as Stephen King's book [...]


  • When I first started writing several years back I found this book. The idea that a writer who's work I really liked had taken the time to write about the process of writing and his thoughts on a lot of related topics impressed me.I became the newsletter chairman for a small writing club I belonged to in Texas and in each month's newsletter I tried to add a tips column. Quite a few came from this book.I really liked his conversation about film rights. I think every aspiring writer has dreams of h [...]


  • I have read a lot of books on the craft of writing over the past few weeks and this is definitely my favourite. For me, I much prefer to read an author telling me how they do it, with no assertions that their way is the only way. I also like to know that the person talking about how to write is someone with a proven record of writing and selling multiple works, preferably over several decades. Morrell is one such person, and he has a PhD in literature, to boot! I really enjoyed the way that this [...]


  • This book was given to me by a friend who found a flood-damaged hardcover copy of it in a garage sale. Despite its tortured exterior and crumply pages, I found it to contain good advice (though dated by a dozen years) for writing in general. Specifically, it helped me iron out my internal conflicts on when to choose “first person” for a story’s POV (spoiler answer: very rarely, and you’d better have a damn good reason for it!).Morrell also tosses out several pearls of wisdom with chapter [...]


  • This is a great and inspiring book.I have never read any of Morrell's fiction and I picked this up at the library on a whim. It has great, practical advice and thoughts about the writing life.This is not a "tools" book, however, it was good because it encouraged me to keep writing.He talks about both the craft of writing and the business of writing which was insightful and honest. The only thing that was a little annoying was that when he would address certain writing problems he often addressed [...]


  • I usually don’t read Art of Writing/self help writing books but this one caught my eye with the lighthouse on the front cover. I flipped through and could immediately see that this looked much better than most. Instead of catchy how to get started lessons and weird and wonderful exercises, this has much more useful chapters focusing on structure, viewpoint and research. I found his chapters on viewpoint particularly helpful. I feel this is a very neglected topic and Morrell cleverly underlines [...]


  • I discovered this book after discovering the author's website during Jonathan's writing a book in 9 months class. I related the book to my class mates and they added Stephen Kings book on writing as another valuable writing aid.David Morrel actually answered his own site e-mail and mentioned I might like his book. It was very valuable and I have returned to review it several times.Since then Jonathan (Maberry)has sat next to David at some events and I have discovered this author is a bit more ap [...]


  • This is a great read no matter if you are just writing your first book or if you have been at writing for a while. His lessons on writing and the business are very informative and helpful. I only wish he had more information about life as a writer outside of creation. For example, he briefly discusses contracts and book distributions, but I would have liked to view a little more on the ins and outs of what an author can expect to encounter once a book is published. Even still, it was an encourag [...]


  • If you have any desire to write on a high level, as means of expression or as an aspiring professional, there isn't a better source of information and insight, or a better example to follow, than this work by David Morrell. It's no coincidence that David Morrell is not only one of the most successful andhighly respected authors in the business, but one of my personal favorites as well.


  • This is a good book on writing. The author give good tips on how to write. He also give us a glimpse in the author mind and life as an author. The author is a successful novelist, he knows what works. I am not interested in the kind of novels he writes as they seem to violent for my taste but I enjoyed his view on writing and believe that it can be useful.


  • If you are a writer you should be reading this book - I have now read it two times and use it for reference while I teach and mentor other authors - thanks for all the great books you have done and for this info on how you do it.


  • Good book. Great advice for writers. Some may find said advice harsh. Too bad. Reviewed by, David Feeney, author; Terror on the high seas


  • David Morrell's book on writing is very insightful. He discusses both the craft of writing and the psychology of being a writer. He explains why certain things do or do not work in writing, but he also captures the heart of what it means to be a writer. I highly recommend this book to any writer.


  • Good to read through once, and it's great to learn from someone who's obviously been there and done that. Not good if you want to actually learn a _lot_ (there are better books), but if you're looking for an overview of how a master got where he got, this is good.


  • I liked this book. It gave me some good techinques to think about. I didn't really finish it because I went on vacation and it is due back at the library too soon. But I will probably check it out again at a later time.


  • Loved this book. It gave me more useful information than any ten other writing books I've read, combined. I got this one from the library, but will definitely be buying it. I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you're planning on writing a book, or not.



  • Very real, and very applicable. David gave a lot of great advice and used super examples. I had goosebumps reading the last page.




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