David Morrell's name may not sound familiar, but his works should spark recognition. Rambo. Brotherhood of the Rose. If you haven't read them, you may have seen or heard of the Rambo movies or TV miniseries. Who can forget Sylvester Stallone as Rambo in his black headband with his exposed sweaty muscular chest holding a machine gun with fury?
Impressive background aside, the knowledge that Morrell imparts is educational and constructive. He tells the story of the writer, Sterling Silliphant of Route 66, who influenced Morrell's career in writing. A story like that sounds dull, but Morrell tells it in a simple and gripping way like the rest of the book.
Morrell provides lessons on literary techniques: plots, structure, and voice. His technique of talking to himself and questioning every aspect of a story is a remarkably easy way to ensure the words and story have purpose.
Most writers don't have time to go to a writer's conference or take a class. This book is a class in itself without the annoying "how to" style of writing. I read this book over a period of several months, absorbing one chapter at a time. Reading it slowly was like getting a mini-lesson each reading session.
Not only does he offers tips on smarter dialogue and overcoming writer's block, but he also talks about the business of writing and what to do when a book is published. "Getting Published and the Business of Writing" alone is worth the price of the book. Every writer who publishes a book will benefit from this chapter.
Whether or not one is interested in screenwriting, the chapter on movies is a humorous adventure as Morrell dives into the red tape-like process for getting Hollywood to bring a book alive on the silver screen. Think writers whose books get Hollwoodified are rich? Think again as Morrell walks through the steps of where all the money goes and it ain't in the writer's pocket.
The genre of Rambo movies isn't my thing, but I'm Morrell's fan after spending time with this book. He's inspiring.