978-1-58297-143-8 / 1582971439

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

by Morrell, David

Publisher:Writer's Digest Books



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About the book:

Distinctions are often made between writers of "literature" and writers of popular fiction. The two seem to come together in David Morrell, author of Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing. Morrell writes thrillers--lots of them--including First Blood, which gave the world Rambo. But Morrell was also a longtime literature professor. He is as likely to quote E.M. Forster as he is Lawrence Block; Steve McQueen appears on the same page as Henry James. Lessons is a lovely examination of writing and the writing life. To read it is to put oneself in the company of a writerly raconteur. Toward the beginning of the book, he discusses Hemingway's bizarre upbringing, wartime experiences, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Toward the end, he reveals the secret to bribing the dispatchers and drivers who supply airport bookstores (a hint rarely, if ever before, reported in a writing book). With chapters devoted to plot, character, research, structure, viewpoint, and dialogue, Morrell covers all the basics. But this is less a how-to book than a written rendition of an intimate university writing workshop. "There are no inferior types of fiction," Morrell implores, "only inferior practitioners of them." --Jane Steinberg

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