Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Great Book That Should be in Every Writer's Library

Lawrence Block
When I transitioned from writing non-fiction to novels, I probably read a dozen books on writing fiction. Now, every three months or so, I pick up a book on writing to remind myself about the basics or to pick up an advanced tip or two. I breeze through most of these books because they are pedestrian rehashes of the same basic advice.

Spider, Spin me a Web by Lawrence Block breaks from the pack. Originally written in 1988, it is not only filled with solid advice, it's fun to read. The book is actually a series of magazine articles by Block, which means the narrative is not straight-line, how-to instructions. Nonetheless, the organization, deft editing, and lively writing make it more cohesive than most books of this sort.

Spider, Spin me a Web appeals to me because it is filled with truth and treats me like an adult when it address basic issues. The comments on the publishing industry are out-of-date, but this is a small part of the book. Spider, Spin me a Web talks mostly about the writing craft, and the advice is timeless.


  1. Mr. Best,

    I bought my dad your two steve dancy books and he loved them! He has been begging me to find out when Murder at Thumb Butte is going to be published do you have any time line as to when that would be? My dad sends his regards and well wishes and says keep writing! :) Have a GREAT Day!

  2. I'm working on the final draft, but it will still probably be July/August before it's released. Thank your dad for reading.