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David Morrell quotes Showing 1-30 of 52

“As much as I like it when a book I'm writing speeds along, the downside can be that an author becomes too eager to finish and rushes the end. The end is even more important than the first page, and rushing can damage it.”
David Morrell
“His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew, standing by the pump of a gas station at the outskirts of Madison, Kentucky.”
David Morrell, First Blood
“Before I start a project, I always ask myself the following question. Why is this book worth a year of my life? There needs to be something about the theme, the technique, or the research that makes the time spent on it worthwhile.”
David Morrell
“there are no inferior types of fiction, only inferior practitioners
of them”
David Morrell
“Sometimes life kicks you in the teeth with an irony that a self-respecting fiction writer would be ashamed to invent.”
David Morrell, Fireflies
“You have to follow your own voice. You have to be yourself when you write. In effect, you have to announce, 'This is me, this is what I stand for, this is what you get when you read me. I'm doing the best I can - buy me or not - but this is who I am as a writer.”
David Morrell
“Just because somebody smiles when he hands me a bag of shit, that doesn't mean I have to take it. I don't give a damn how friendly he is. It's what he does that matters.”
David Morrell, First Blood
“What about God? The idea embarrassed him. It was only in moments of absolute fear that he had ever thought about God and prayed to him, always embarrassed because he did not believe and felt so hypocritical when he prayed out of fear, as if in spite of his disbelief there might be God after all, God who could be fooled by a hypocrite. When he was a child, then he believed. He certainly did believe when he was a child. How did it go, the nightly Act of Contrition? The words came hesitantly, unfamiliarly to him. Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for—For what?”
David Morrell, First Blood
“If the passage absolutely demands cursing, be moderate. A little of it goes a long way. I've seen beginning writers pepper curse words through sentence after sentence.

'If you don't -blanking- get your -blanking-blank-blank- in to this house this -blanking- minute, I'm going to -blank- your -blank- and nail it to the -blanking- door.'

Two things happen when I read this junk: I get bored and I get angry. I didn't pick up your book to read garbage. If this is as clever as you can be, I don't want to read your prose. In life if you met someone who spoke like this, you'd want to flee. Then why put this stuff on the page?

As near as I can determine, this abomination occurs because a writer is corrupted by the awful -blanking- dialog that movies inflict on us these days. It's also a sign of insecurity. The writer wonders if the dialog is strong enough and decides a lot of -blanking-blank- will do the trick.

Someone might object that this kind of dialog is realistic in certain situations--intense scenes involving policemen or soldiers for example. I can only reply that in my research I spend considerable time with policemen and soldiers. Few of them curse any more than a normal person would. This garbage isn't realistic. It merely draws attention to itself and holds back the story. Use it sparingly.”
David Morrell, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing
“If he had really wanted to control himself, he could have. He simply had not wanted to control himself. To live his way, he had been determined to fight anyone who interfered. So all right then, in a way he had fought for a principle. But it was not that simple, because he had also been proud and delighted to show how good he was at fighting.”
David Morrell, First Blood
“On every page, confidence fights with self-doubt. Every sentence is an act of faith. Why would anybody want to do it?”
David Morrell, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing
“Except that it was no more home, just the place where he had grown up, and that first day back, touring the once familiar places only made him realize that he had already lived close to half his life.”
David Morrell, First Blood
“The posters and rock-star buttons and banners were valueless without the perspective of the mind that had attached significance to them. Souvenirs have no worth without nostalgia, after all. They're meaningless if a memory isn't linked to them.”
David Morrell, Fireflies
“Don't give in to doubt. Never be discouraged if your first draft isn't what you thought it would be. Given skill and a story that compels you, muster your determination and make what's on the page closer to what you have in your mind. The chances are that you'll never make them identical. That's one reason I'm still hitting the keyboard. Obsessed by the secrets of my past, I try to put metaphorical versions of them on the page, but each time, no matter how honest and hard my effort, what's in my mind hasn't been fully expressed, compelling me to keep trying. To paraphrase a passage from John Barth's "Lost in the Funhouse," I'll die telling stories to myself in the dark. But there's never enough time. There was never enough time.”
David Morrell, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing
“So they spread the paintings on the lawn, and the boy explained each of them. "This is the school, and this is the playground, and these are my friends." He stared at the paintings for a long time and then shook his head in discouragement. "In my mind, they were a whole lot better."

Isn't that the truth? Every morning, I go to my desk and reread yesterday's pages, only to be discouraged that the prose isn't as good as it seemed during the excitement of composition. In my mind, it was a whole lot better.

Don't give in to doubt. Never be discouraged if your first draft isn't what you thought it would be. Given skill and a story that compels you, muster your determination and make what's on the page closer to what you have in your mind.”
David Morrell, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing
“The guitar. Rubbing the gentle polish
On Every smooth contour.
On the lap. Knowing every curve
As the light shines from it.

On stage a planned metamorphosis
Takes places as the hours go by and the
Space is transformed to a concert hall.
The energetic nemesis has struck.

The risers are transformed into a stage
And black boxes turned into powerful
Pieces of sound equipment.
The spring is taut.

Backstage while pandemonium
Sweeps the hall and people
Crowd the arena as ants flow to a cake.

The stage is set, the
Instruments tuned and placed.
The musicians work out last minute
Kinks as the lights dim.

An intense force hits the spectators.
Energy is released in every form.
A power rage beyond comprehension.”
David Morrell, Fireflies
“Fasting is the only method of suicide permitted by the Catholic Church. All other ways imply despair, a distrust of God’s wisdom, an unwillingness to bear the hardships with which God tests his children. An absolute sin, suicide’s punishment is eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. But fasting is undertaken for the purpose of penance, meditation, and spiritual ecstasy. It purifies the spirit by denying the body. It brings a soul closer to God.”
David Morrell, The Brotherhood Of The Rose
“Learn to respect a craftsman’s talent, to realize that a task done well seems easy but is terribly difficult.”
David Morrell, Rambo III
“We act upon assumptions that control our view of reality, even though reality might be quite different... By definition, what is unthinkable isn't part of our reality... your assumptions about what is possible prevent you from accurately seeing the reality before you.”
David Morrell, Murder as a Fine Art
“if people weren't sinners, every intelligence network would be out of business”
David Morrell, The Fraternity of the Stone
“It is impossible to determine precisely how many Victorians were dependent on the drug, but since millions used it on a daily basis, the number must have been considerable. The pallor of many women in the middle and upper classes, their frequent lack of appetite, their tendency to faint and to spend considerable time alone in dark rooms, the ornate patterns of overupholstered and overfurnished rooms, the persistently closed, thick draperies - these are evidence of a national dependency that the restraints of Victorian society discouraged anyone from discussing.”
David Morrell
“For a colonel, the way you're talking, you don't seem to like the military very much." "Of course I don't. Who in his right mind would?”
David Morrell, First Blood
“I fear I am losing my mind. I do not mean “losing my grasp of reality.” I know perfectly well what is happening. But I am powerless to prevent the outcome. Each day, I have less strength of mind to resist.”
David Morrell, Scavenger
“First Blood Rambo knife by Jimmy Lile. It features a saw, a guard with straight and Philips screwdriver heads, holes in the guard for a wrist lanyard,”
David Morrell, The Naked Edge
“Cavanaugh's knife, Ernest Emerson's CQC-7W. The hook at the top opens the blade as the knife is drawn from a pocket. (Emersonknives.com)”
David Morrell, The Naked Edge
“La Griffe, “The Claw.” Simple and small. The index finger goes through the hole near the blade. Favored by climbers and boaters. Designed by Fredric Perrin, manufactured by Ernest Emerson. (Emersonknoves.com)”
David Morrell, The Naked Edge
“Hey, what about you? That monastery didn’t make you soft, I hope.” “The Cistercians?” Chris laughed. “Make me soft? They’re the toughest order in the Catholic Church.” “They really don’t talk?” “Not only that. They believe in brutal daily work. I might as well have spent another six years in Special Forces.”
David Morrell, The Brotherhood Of The Rose
“I suppose none of what I'm saying matters. In a few years a search like this won't even be necessary. We have instruments now that can be mounted on the underside of an airplane. To find a man all you have to do is fly over the spot where you think he is, and the machine will register his body heat. Right now there aren't enough of those machines to go around. Most of them are in the war. But when we come home from there, well, a man on the run won't have hope. And a man like me, he won't be needed. This is the last of something. It's too bad. As much as I hate war, I fear the day when machines take the place of men. At least now a man can still get along on his talents.”
David Morrell, First Blood
“A knife slash with a sharp blade almost never caused pain unless delivered with force. As the skin parted, there was only a stinging sensation. Spinning,”
David Morrell, The Naked Edge
“It's not polite to pass out when you've got company. Conversation,”
David Morrell, The Naked Edge

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David Morrell
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The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis, #1) The Brotherhood of the Rose
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Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey, #1) Murder as a Fine Art
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First Blood First Blood
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Creepers Creepers
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