Spider, Spin Me a Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block

From hard-boiled private eye to burglar-turned-sleuth, Lawrence Block can enchant all varieties of mystery lovers.

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Spider, Spin Me a Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block


  • Paperback: 264 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.74 x 9.20 x 6.15
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (July 1996)
  • ISBN: 0688146902

    The short essays included in Spider, Spin Me a Web were culled from Lawrence Block's long-running monthly column about fiction writing for Writer's Digest magazine. Block, an incredibly prolific mystery writer with more than 50 books to his name (at one point he was writing more than a book a month!), employs a funny, conversational tone in addressing issues of technique, career strategy, and living the fictioneer's life. He uses the analogy of the fiction writer as web spinner to hold the many threads of his book together. "The writer of fiction," he says, "is a spider. Drawing upon his inner resources and shaping them with his craft, he spins out his guts to trap his dinner." Block strikes a realistic balance between writing for oneself ("write what you yourself would most identify with, write honestly and unsparingly and fearlessly") and writing with readers in mind ("I try," he quotes his colleague Elmore Leonard as saying, "to leave out the parts people skip"). Though Block's success has been mainly as a writer of mysteries, his wisdom applies to all fiction writing; in fact, he is suspicious of the whole concept of genre writing. "For all that their guidelines attempt to codify their requirements," he confides, "I have heard no end of editors say that the manuscript they most hope to find on their desks is the one that breaks all their own unbreakable rules--but that grabs them so hard and moves them so much that they have to buy it anyway."

    Reader Reviews
    How To Writers Book, July 21, 2003 Reviewer: iqhope from Virginia Beach, VA USA This book was written by one of the most prolific writers of our age-Lawrence Block. While I haven't read many of his fiction books, I have read a few of his 'how-to write' books. He does have a conversational tone in his 'how to write' books, so you have to plow through a lot of verbage to get to the good points. I think that was basically to flesh out the book to bring it up to 250 pages. If you can read fast and get through the extra verbage, this book does have some very good points to keep in mind when writing a book of Fiction, which if you use, would make your own story more interesting. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

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