Spider, Spin Me A Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers

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9780688146900: Spider, Spin Me A Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers
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The craft of writing is a lot like spinning a web: You take threads and weave them skillfully together, and only you know where this intricate network of twists and turns begin and how it will end. Now, with Lawrence Bloock's expert advice, you can learn this art of entrapping your reader in a maze of facinating fiction.

Spider, Spin Me a Web is the perfect companion volume to Block's previous book on writing, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, which Sue Grafton noted "should be a permanent part of every writer's library." As helpful and supportive as always, Block shares what he's learned over the course of writing over one hundred published books: techniques to help you to write a solid piece of fiction; strategies for getting a reader (or editor) to reaad—and buy—your book; ideas for increasing your creativity and developing an environment that will nourish you and your craft.

Spider, Spin Me a Web is a complete guide to achieving your full potential as awriter.

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Review:

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."

About the Author:

Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.

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Publisher: North Light Books, 1988
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