The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing
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"Like listening to a beloved brother. 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
"The Successful Novelist is the vehicle you want if you plan to drive your way to successful fiction."-Joe R. Lansdale
David Morrell, bestselling author of First Blood, The Brotherhood of the Rose and The Fifth Profession, distills more than fifty years of writing and publishing experience into this single masterwork of advice and instruction.
-Succeeding in publishing
-And much more
The Successful Novelist reveals the truth about writing, providing the perspective authors need to write successful fiction that sells.
reduced to a couple of words (Moby Dick being one of them). As a consequence, in the age of high concept they're less likely to attract a studio's attention. Another trouble is that producers eventually want a plot that exactly matches the high concept, that is, one that's dumbed down until there's no subtlety or complexity whatsoever. A glance at the films that Simpson and his partner Jerry Bruckheimer produced illustrates the point. Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Days of Thunder,
sounds, voices, and the feel of the phone, and yet many writers fail to include them. This error is more widespread now that cell phones are commonplace in novels. Which authors impress me with their dialogue? George V. Higgins (The Friends of Eddie Coyle) and Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty) come immediately to mind--because they invent their own vivid slang and use engaging colloquial rhythm. I'm also impressed by Hemingway's lean approach in "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" and James M. Cain's in
of dynamite to blow apart the block. "Change your characters' sexes. Do something drastic to see the plot in a new way and expose the problem. " Change the characters' sexes? I thought. Why, that's the dumbest idea I ever heard. So I thanked my editor for his advice and ended the phone call. Change the characters' sexes? Ridiculous. Look what happens if I make the guy next door a woman. The plot won't work anymore. It . . . Wham! I suddenly realized my mistake. A former mob enforcer
money I lost on this project, not to mention the aggravation? I don't think so," my friend said. "All right, all right, I admit it," the executive said. "My contracts aren't worth shit, but I promise, my word is as good as gold. " Right. When you get the movie money in your hand, then you can think about doing something with it (like putting it in the bank instead of spending it). Unless your agent is an expert in the movie business, whose executives seem to change positions daily, you're
assigned to the project if I could do the screenplay. Such a request is almost always declined because of an industry attitude that novelists aren't good adapters of their work. The prejudice has merit. Most novelists aren't good screenwriters. They frequently can't force themselves to cut favorite but marginal scenes in order to condense their novels into screenplays. Moreover, they're conditioned to using a multi-sensual technique in their stories and can't adjust to restricting themselves to