Review: Telling Lies for Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block

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Lawrence Block is a prolific writer in the mystery genre.  In his book “Telling Lies for Fun & Profit”, Mr. Block aims to give advice to all would-be writers about the business of being a writer. According to his book, Mr. Block condensed several years worth of columns on writing that he published with Writer’s Digest into this book.  This book is a 47 chapter masterpiece on the life and times of an author.

Mr. Block provides an entertaining account of his personal path to writing in a memoir style narrative and integrates his advice on writing into it. The chapter topics in this book encompass the whole spectrum on writing from the process of writing to the publishing aspects.  Mr. Block covers topics such as procrastination, the use of a pen name and deciding on a genre.  An important piece of advice I took away from this book was that just because you enjoy reading a specific genre doesn’t mean you should write it.  He provides insight into the type of writers there are specifically people who outline and people who don’t. 

One particularly useful aspect of “Telling Lies for Fun & Profit” is that Mr. Block provides us with a glimpse into his own writing tools and routines.  He outlines his routine for writing his novels from start to finish.  He admits to having writer’s block and to not liking criticism.  

Entertaining and useful, “Telling Lies for Fun & Profit” is an excellent resource for any writer to keep in their writer’s tool box. 


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