Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Writing the Novel From Plot to Print to Pixel

Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel: Expanded and Updated!Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel: Expanded and Updated! by Lawrence Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel is a book about writing by the legendary Lawrence Block.

Lawrence Block sent me this in an email a couple weeks ago, asking me if I was interested in reviewing his upcoming book about writing. Once I changed into pants that weren't as soaked in my urine, I eagerly agreed to read and review it before getting stuck in the holiday quagmire.

I've often said that reading a book about writing is like asking a psychic for lottery numbers. If they can already predict the winning numbers, why are they offering them to me? However, Lawrence Block clearly has had the winning lottery numbers in his pocket for years and his books on writing are the only ones I take seriously.

This particular volume, WTNFPTPTP, is a revised, expanded, and cybernetic version of his writing book from yesteryear, Writing the Novel from Plot to Print. Instead of taking the lazy route and changing references to typewriters and the library to computers and the internet, present day Block tacks his thoughts on the end of his past-self's chapters. After all, the man has learned a thing or two in the decades that have passed since writing the original version of this book.

In addition to old reliable topics like developing plots and characters, rewriting, developing your style, and breaking into the business, Block also addresses the increasingly important topics of self-publishing and all the pros and cons that go with it.

If you're looking for a new book on writing, this is it. The odds are good that none of us are going to be the next Stephen King but Lawrence Block gives you enough tips to at least get a book written, if not published. The man is responsible for the Matthew Scudder series and once wrote a porno novel over a weekend so clearly knows his stuff. Four out of five stars.

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