The Successful Novelist

Customer Reviews

124 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    68
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    6

Sorted By Most Useful

4 out of 5 stars
By avoidthelloyd on 30-09-11

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!

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ocean on 10-08-12

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Cheryl on 02-01-13

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Virginia on 23-08-12

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!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Charles Floading on 15-11-12

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.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 29-11-12

A must for writers

Any additional comments?

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

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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