Monday, December 28, 2015

Lawrence Block Writing the Novel

From Lawrence Block: 
Back in 1978, I wrote my first book for writers, Writing the Novel from Plot to Print. Writers Digest Books published it and kept it in print until three or four years ago, and for the past five years it's been eVailable as well.
But, um, 1978 was a long time ago.
So I've updated and expanded the book, enlarging it from 64,000 to 95,000 words. I've even updated the title (and enlarged it, come to think of it, by two words). The new book, WRITING THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT TO PIXEL, includes new material on ebooks and self-publishing, and brings chapters on technique up to date without deleting any of the original material. (Which, after all, does seem to have stood a test or two of Time.)
And—while I've got you here—let me wish you all the joys of the season, and everything good in the coming year.

Ed here:

Since the Seventies I've probably bought a dozen or so books on how to write good. I've kept two them and they're both by Larry Block. 

First of all, as with most Block, the damned things are fun to read. He shares his stories of writerly failure and success with his usual wit, style (the best sentences in the business as I always say) and genuine wisdom. And he teaches you stuff. Useful, practical, serious stuff. I keep the two books on the shelf right of my desk. I pick them up all the time if only to make myself feel that maybe the piece I'm working on will not, after all, end my career. Larry makes you feel good about being a writer.

You will not find any rules as such, nor suggested gimmicks or formulas, and certainly no from on-high observations about Art vs. Commerce. (I once reading a writing good book that  discussed symbolism and sub text without spending much time at all on telling a story.)

For me Larry is the last of the giants, Donald Westlake and Evan Hunter having passed. Who better, with such a long and varied and amazing career behind him, to share the wealth of his knowledge about writing (and hell, life) than Lawrence Block?

This is must-have material, folks. No kidding. 

1 comment:

RT said...

My how-to-bookshelf is being purged; you've highlighted the exclusive "must read" resource for this over-the-hill (retired) English teacher who now writes instead of teaches. Ah, paradise!