Re: RARA-AVIS: Writers' writings on writing

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 10 Nov 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Etienne Borgers" <>

> Al, you could also look for:
> 'Writing the Novel from Plot to Print'-1979- by Lawrence Block as well;
> numerous reprints after the 1st ed.(the one I have is dated 1993)
> There's a third one by Block, but I never saw it: 'Spin Me a Web'.

"Writing the Novel" is one of the few I've managed to get hold of. I also want to get "Telling Lies", as mentioned by Bill Crider in an earlier post. I haven't heard of "Spin Me a Web" at all. I'll look out for it, though.

> And, a kind of anthology of recommendations including some HB/Noir
> views- IMO, a very interesting book : 'Mystery Writers Handbook' by the
> MWA(1976- but numerous reprints)chapters by Avallone, John D. MacDonald,
> Brown... and more

Sounds like a must buy.

> Then, in the autobiography of Robin Cook (a.k.a Derek Raymond)'The Hidden
> Files'(1993), there are extended parts of his book exposing his
> views about the motivation and behavior of a writer exploring the Noir
> genre in his writing. Very good read, good insight, but do not expect a
> "cookbook". It's more an "impressionist" sketch than a handbook.

Sounds good, too.

> In Chandler's letters you could also find some of his detailed opinions on
> writing a.s.o, but these are maybe more difficult to gather.

Yeah, but worth the effort, I'd imagine.
> Patricia Highsmith's little opus was titled:'Plotting and Writing Suspense
> Fiction'-1966- (revised edition in 1986)

It's now on order from the States.

Thanks a lot for the recommendations, Etienne.


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