Topic of the Night

Topic of the Night: Lawrence Block’s New Writing Book

Last night I went on about how writers need to focus on writing, but not forget about learning.

One great way to learn is read how-to-write books and books about the industry.

When learning, always go to learn from those a long ways ahead of you on the road you want to walk. Simple rule.

And with publishing and writing books, you read it and take what makes sense to you and ignore the rest.

Every writing book should be treated that way, including the ones I have written. Take what makes sense and leave the rest, but don’t give the book away. Put it on your shelf and in a year or so, after more learning and writing, pull it down and look at it again.

You will be surprised at the new stuff you see with the passage of time.

A great example of this is Lawrence Block’s new book Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print to Pixel. Now Kris and I own a couple copies of the first incarnation of this book, so when I got a chance to read this new revision, I jumped at it.

And as with anything with Lawrence Block, I wasn’t disappointed. Not only did I see things I had completely missed in my first readings decades ago, but I saw things in a different light.

Lawrence Block has the credentials to write books like this. He’s written more novels than I have, folks, and like me, can’t even remember some of his pen names. Trust me, Lawrence Block is a great teacher and all of his books are worth reading.

But this new one is special because he has updated it with new material.

I don’t agree with ever detail in the book, but I wholeheartedly think this book should be on every serious writer’s shelf going forward. We are all different. Some of what Lawrence Block says here might jump you forward in your writing. Worth the price.

Here’s a link to it on Amazon.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print to Pixel.



  • Dane Tyler

    OH, thank you for the recommendation, Dean! This sort of thing is absolutely INVALUABLE to people like me, seeking to grow. Finding a book people farther down the road think is great is a boon for the newbs behind you!

    Thanks again!!

  • James Palmer

    Thanks for the book info. What Block DOESN’T know about writing would barely fill a thimble. I read a lot of writing and self-publishing book and have already added this one to my list. Thanks!

  • Bob Mueller

    This should be good. Telling Lies for Fun & Profit was one of the NF books that made the cut when we downsized for our RV trip. And I’ve still got birthday money to spend!

  • Brian J. Jarrett

    I bought this book on your recommendation and wasn’t disappointed. Lots of terrific advice in there. After I finished it I bought one of his novels (The Sins of the Fathers) and loved that too. Just bought the second book in that series this morning. Looks like I’ve become an instant Lawrence Block fan. Thanks for the heads up!