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Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print [Kindle Edition]

Lawrence Block
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Writing lessons from the crown prince of suspense
For more than five decades, Lawrence Block has written novels. He has produced hard-boiled detective stories, taut suspense thrillers, literature, and erotica, and has succeeded in all these genres because he knows how to grab a reader with an opening line, and how to tighten that grip until the final sentence.
In Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print, Block offers neither tricks nor formulas, but straight-forward advice based on the experience that comes with producing more than one hundred books. He explains how to refine an idea, how to study one’s chosen genre, and how to use the novel’s expansive form to find one’s particular voice. And he tells it all in the easy, immediate style that has made his own work so successful.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lawrence Block, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from his personal collection, and a new afterword written by the author.

Editorial Reviews


“Block is one of the best!” —The Washington Post

About the Author

Lawrence Block (b. 1938) is a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and an internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author. His awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers’ Association (UK). Although he is best known for his four main mystery series, Block explored a variety of genres, including thrillers and erotica, and developed an early following as a pulp-fiction writer under a number of pseudonyms. Born in Buffalo, New York, Block has three daughters and currently lives with his wife in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 580 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0898792088
  • Publisher: Open Road (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,034,114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 100 people found the following review helpful
By iqhope
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently ordered and received Lawrence Block's book, 'Writing the Novel From Plot to Print.' IF you are very serious about writing a novel, this small book provides some thoughtful, though verbose information on tips and tricks and should and shouldn't's.
In the same order package, I purchased 'Telling Lies for Fun and Profit -- A Manuel for Fiction Writers.' I was very dissapointed to find that the second book was an almost verbatim version of the 'Writing the Novel...' book.
Keeping that in mind, if/when you order either of the books, go for the cheapest used version you can get of either because Mr. Block tells the same anecdotes, the same thoughts, and information in both books--almost verbatim.
I just wish that on either of the books information, either in Amazon or Printer's Editorial/Description, it would have been noted that the first book was a rewrite of the second (or vice versa).
As to the value of the information that is provided in either book--it's OK, but nothing earthshattering that will help you write a blockbuster novel. The text itself reads easily, as if you were having a conversation with Mr. Block in the same room. Very friendly and easy to understand--nothing you would need a college degree to comprehend.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent companion for the first-time novelist April 1, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been turning to Lawrence Block's books on writing for more years now than I can remember, and I can't recommend them highly enough. However, _Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print_ is more specifically aimed at writers who are attempting (or comtemplating) their first novels than are his other books, and writers who have already faced the start-up questions--like what kind of book is the one for them to write--may find his other books more helpful. Those already familiar with his wonderful _Telling Lies for Fun and Profit_ (my favorite) will also find that _Writing the Novel_ borrows heavily from it, with some chapters almost identical. Nevertheless, if you want a compact, conversational, encouraging, and down-to-earth companion to walk you through your first attempt at writing a novel, this book is excellent: Block even provides support for the post-novel blues you may experience when you've accomplished your goal. If, however, you've already tackled your first novel and still want the benefit of his humorous, sensible know-how, you should seek out the longer, more detail-oriented _Telling Lies_, or _Spider, Spin Me a Web_ (which focusses more on related issues about the writer's life). All are wonderful, but your own needs and experience will dictate which you will find more useful.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Advice May 15, 2000
By oh_pete
As a young writer preparing to write a first novel I was wary of books such as Lawrence Block's WRITING THE NOVEL, but I'm thankful for the impulse that made me buy it. Block writes with a crisp and straightforward conversational tone. He's neither chummy nor condescending, and I find his advice on outlining particularly useful; he always wanted to write, was someone who started by wanted to see his name in print but who also was dedicated to the craft. Block appreciates that what works for him may not work for everybody, and he offers various examples of productive working styles, but he stresses that in all cases the successful writer is dedicated to the PROCESS of writing and understands the importance of writing steadily.
Block considers himself a craftsman. Those with high artistic pretensions would be well served to read this book for a dose of reality. The reality is that you should enjoy the work of writing, accepting the fact that "getting published" may not happen, while realizing that writing a novel is an amazing learning experience that you will always prize having done. One thing the book could use is an update for the computer word processing age. Otherwise, highly recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If writing is your burning desire, read this book. April 23, 1998
Lawrence Block, unlike most of those who write writing books, really has been published, does this stuff for a living, and obviously loves the craft.
Also, unlike most of those who write writing books, he doesn't try to tell the reader how to write. He doesn't attempt to impress the would-be writer with elaborate "methods" or "systems" which are worth exactly nothing when a writer is first starting out. Methods and systems which work for one writer inevitably do not work for another. For instance, I do not outline. Some writers (and instructors of writing) would consider this a failing. I do not.
As Block says so eloquently in his book, "The novel is an organic thing."
It's nice to know that I'm not necessarily doing it wrong. In fact, Block lets us know there is no "wrong" way to write one's novel. That's refreshing.
He goes about the business of talking about writing in terms of the easiest way to get the job done and always with the caveat that we writers each come to that business with our own habits, quirks and methods and the trick is to find the best one for each of us. The writer can't depend upon anyone else to find that "first step" in "the journey of a thousand miles" for him or her. It's hard work, and since somebody's got to do it, it might as well be me . . . or you . . . or the neighbor lady down the street with the manuscript hidden in her closet.
A tremendously encouraging and insightful book. I suggest it highly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars After 35 years, still one of the best books for the neo novelist
Lawrence Block has now been writing and selling fiction for close to sixty years. He started off with short stories for the pulps, spent some time cranking out sex novels (which... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael K. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print is a good book for writers
Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print was a good read for me it gave me a lot of helpful tips
on writing. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Leelee Sheed
4.0 out of 5 stars A Writer's Do-It-Yourself
A companion to Lawrence Block's "Liar's Bible," this guide for wannabe writers and old pros alike is a compilation of his learnings from having done it himself. Read more
Published 14 months ago by S. Rhoades
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a Fan of Block
Lawrence Block always seems to have good stuff to say about the art of writing. Unlike a lot of writing books, this one is written by someone who has made a living through writing... Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Iczer
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn from a fantastic writer
I thought this book was fantastic. As I was reading, I felt like I was having a personal conversation with Mr. Block. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mark Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence Block - the writer's guru
I have added this book to my collection of Block's writing. I am working on my second fiction book and wish I had found Lawrence Block before I even started the first book. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lee Griggs
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Reference Book
This is an excellent reference book for the beginning writer. Lawrence Block hits all the right notes and covers everything. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Michael A. Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for novice writers
This book breaks down the entire process from beginning to end. Mr. Block uses his own examples (successes and failures) as well as examples from other successful writers to... Read more
Published on November 27, 2011 by Adam
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre and Not User Friendly
While I have read only a few books on the topic of novel writing, this was the most disappointing of the lot. Read more
Published on February 12, 2010 by Jeff Sprague
2.0 out of 5 stars Really not worth the paper and ink
If you're a very new writer and need some motivation then this cotton candy fluff might be of some use to you. I'm not understanding the rave reviews for this snoozer. Read more
Published on October 29, 2008 by Courtney Vail
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