Telling Lies-Fun & P 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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Telling Lies-Fun & P by Lawrence Block


  • Paperback: 256 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.82 x 9.19 x 6.11
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (February 1994)
  • ISBN: 0688132286
    It's a good thing Lawrence Block is so friendly and generous with his writing advice. Otherwise, you'd just have to hate the guy. After all, it took him a mere two weeks to write his first novel. He was still a teenager at the time, and he promptly sold it to Fawcett, the first publisher to see it. What can a guy like that tell the rest of us about fiction writing that could possibly apply to our lives? Lots, actually. Telling Lies for Fun & Profit comprises four years' worth of Block's monthly fiction-writing column from Writer's Digest magazine. In it, Block turns his witty, welcoming prose to many aspects of the writing life, including collaboration, which Block maintains he does "largely as a means of avoiding work"; speed writing (surprise: "Sometimes a book or story will be better for having been written more rapidly"); the benefits of using strong verbs; and the importance of good character names.

    As one might expect from a man who seems to have such a facile way with the typewriter, Block can make writing seem a lot easier than it does in real life. "If you write one page a day," he says, "you will produce a substantial novel in a year.... Don't you figure you could produce one measly little page, even on a bad day? Even on a rotten day?"

    Still, just because he's published about, oh, 50 books, don't think Block considers novel writing to be all fun and profit. "Those of us who are driven to produce great quantities of manuscript don't necessarily get any real pleasure out of the act," he says. "It's just that we feel worse when we don't write." --Jane Steinberg

    Book Description
    "I would urge other writers, at whatever point in their careers, to take the time to read this indispensable handbook....Telling Lies for Fun & Profit should be a permanent part of every writer's library."-- From the Introduction by Sue Grafton

    Characters refusing to talk? Plot plodding along? Where do good ideas come from anyway? In this wonderfully practical volume, two-time Edgar Award-winning novelist Lawrence Block takes an inside look at writing as a craft and as a career.

    From studying the

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    Reader Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful: A great book even if you don't aspire to be a writer, January 21, 2003 Reviewer: Mark from Russell, KY USA This book is a collection of monthly columns that Block had written for a writing magazine. They fit perfectly together to make a book that is easy to recommend to anyone who treasures books, especially fiction. I loved this book, even though I am more of a reader than a writer. You will learn techniques that an actual writer uses when devising plots, character names, and even titles. Don't expect a cookie-cutter approach to producing a story. Block instead gives you many chapters that are filled with actual examples of work written not only by himself but by other writers. The discussions that accompany these examples are both educational, easily read, and highly entertaining. I believe the book has made me a much better reader. I can now often sit back and understand just why I didn't like a particular book.

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