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Spider, Spin Me A Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers

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4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The craft of writing is a lot like spinning a web: You take threads and weave them skillfully together, and only you know where this intricate network of twists and turns begin and how it will end. Now, with Lawrence Block's expert advice, you can learn this art of entrapping your reader in a maze of facinating fiction.

Spider, Spin Me a Web is the perfect companion volume
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Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 17th 1996 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1988)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 16, 2010 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Spider, Spin Me A Web is a collection of Lawrence Block's column about writing in Writer's Digest.

First off, I enjoyed Block's first volume about writing, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, immensely and got a lot of useful tips from reading it. I was not as enamored with Spider, Spin Me a Web. Spider, Spin Me a Web feels like a mixture of stuff that wasn't good enough to make it into Telling Lies, with a healthy dose of rehashing.

It's not a bad book about writing. Block still makes it an engaging
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Bill Phelps
This is a very good book on the craft of creative writing. The book is a collection of essays that come from his column in Writer's Digest. I particularly enjoyed the style of this work, because it had an air of a story to it. I think this lends a great deal more credibility to what he has to say. Through this book and his columns, he is able to weave a narrative tale that instructs the reader on the craft of writing. In no small way, the book is an illustration of exactly the writer does, so it ...more
Craig Childs
Jun 20, 2015 Craig Childs rated it really liked it
Lawrence Block wrote a monthly column for Writer's Digest magazine for 14 years in the 1970's and 80's. They have all been collected now into 4 books:

1. Telling Lies for Fun and Profit
2. Spider, Spin Me a Web
3. The Liar's Bible
4. The Liar's Companion

No subject is off limits for Block. From lofty questions (how do writers get their ideas?) to the mundane (how many pages should you write every day?) to the personal (how often should writers exercise? how should writers budget their money?), the ad
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Elizabeth Allen
Sep 07, 2012 Elizabeth Allen rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-indulgent
While I acknowledge that Mr. Block is a very talented and prolific writer, this hardly qualifies as a "handbook", or at least, my definition of something aspiring fiction writers would find useful. "Spider" is essentially the life journey, experiences and observations of this man's path as a writer. That's terrific for him, but who's to say my path as a novelist (yes, I am one) will be anything like his? So far, except for living in NYC ( which he insists any would-be writer MUST do at some ...more
Vanessa Grant
Sep 25, 2011 Vanessa Grant rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers
A great book for writers and anyone thinking about being a writer! This book continues the collection of gems from Lawrence Block's 10 years as a columnist for Writer's Digest.

Block's style is friendly and casual, often irreverent - and filled with gems for the creator. Definitely a keeper for the writer's bookshelf, and a great read for anyone who is curious about writers and how they do (or don't do) it. I read this book years ago, and ofter return to it.
Elaine Cramer
May 07, 2016 Elaine Cramer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Elaine by: Ron Miranda
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
A product of it's times, still a good resource.

A fair portion of the book is about getting published, and I'm not certain how much of that applies, since I have never been published by a major house, but it seems as though the game has changed drastically since the '80s.

Still, it was painless to read and there were some good sentiments throughout. I'm glad I read it, and it will probably stay on my shelf at home.
Steven
Mar 11, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it
This followup to Lawrence Block's Telling Lies for Fun and Profit is every bit as engaging and accessible as its predecessor. His advice about creativity is valuable, but what most tyro writers need most is guidance on professionalism, and that is where Block consistently knocks it out of the ballpark.
G.C. Neff
Jun 26, 2015 G.C. Neff rated it really liked it
A very inspiring book. This was the second time I've read it (my copy was published in 1988), the first being over 20 years ago. While some information is dated, it still offers a lot of insight on the process of creating with words. A valuable tool, one that will be on my bookshelf to be reread again when my brain needs a boost.
Adam Ross
Jan 23, 2014 Adam Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-writing
A great, wide-ranging collection of columns Block wrote fir Writer's Digest in the 1980s. Amusingly dated in places (using typewriters) that must be translated into the present climate, which has changed dramatically. Some of the advice no longer applies. Still, broadly helpful from a lifelong career writer.
Tom V
Aug 16, 2012 Tom V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LB is just so damn accessible! His group of columns on writing have all the right/write stuff...advice, critique, pump-you-up affirmation; and all in a not too PollyAnna-ish prose.

Just the thing if you're looking for a view from the writer's side.

What's that Arnold? Oh, really?

Arnold says to tell you he's hooked on LB's take on the writer's craft
Ron
Jun 09, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing_books
This follow-up to TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT is more of the same and well worth it. Something for everyone. Block said that his greatest education as a writer was reading amateur manuscripts when he worked at Writer's Digest. A lot of that wisdom is in this book and its predecessor.
Stephen
I like this one better than From Plot to Print. It is made up of columns he wrote for Writer's Digest, so it hits writing from multiple angles and it doesn't give you a whole picture for writing your novel, but that's okay
Ray Charbonneau
May 11, 2012 Ray Charbonneau rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
A how-to for writers, but one that concentrates more on philosophy than technique. And since it's written by Block, it's fun to read.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

From his web site:

I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:

"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne
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More about Lawrence Block...

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“Faith and fear, they tell me, can't coexist. I try to practice by doing what I'm afraid to do, and I manage (now and then, anyway) by means of faith. Faith that I will do myself more good than harm by the risks I am willing to take as a writer. And faith, finally, that the best service I can do myself is to do the best and most honest work of which I am capable.” 1 likes
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