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Craft book specifically for fantasy genre?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Chessie, May 14, 2015.

  1. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Hi, all. I hope this question belongs here. :) I'm having a hard time finding what I'm looking for so figured I'd post the question. I'd like to read craft books (or any other resources) that specifically explore writing in the fantasy genre, not craft books about writing or grammar. Anything that is informative about the elements necessary of building skill in this genre. If you have any information, please share it below. Thank you!
  2. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    have you watched the Sanderson lectures? They aren't too deep, but they're a good resource.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Umm... how about the book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. I know there's a lot of controversy with the author but if you can get past that the book is actually really good.
  4. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

    I recently read two very, very different fish in this school.

    1. Jeff Vandermeer's Wonderbook, which is heavy on the "letting your creativity flow freely and wallowing in wonder" approach to spec fic. It's not prescriptive, but offers heaps of approaches and tools to help you develop your own craft and method of working.

    2. Lisa Tuttle's Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, which was a pretty systematic and structured approach to rules and considerations of the genre. I personally found it a little basic, but sometimes breaking it back to first principles is a good way to build strongly.

    Personally though, the book I got the most out of and the book I always recommend to people who want to write any sort of "commercial" fiction (as opposed to "literary") is Al Zuckerman's Writing the Blockbuster Novel. Its examples are thrillers and family sagas and big airport novels, but I think every single lesson in the book - and it's full of them - applies equally validly to speculative fiction.
    Russ likes this.
  5. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    I just ordered Al Zuckerman's book, thanks! And one about creating a scene as a larger part of a story.
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

    I think our family collection has over 100 books on writing.

    I agree with the Card suggestion. It is a very good book. There is one caveat, he does it with some co-authors, the stuff written by him is awesome, there is a big drop off in the stuff done by his co-authors.

    I like Tuttle's book as well.

    The Mythic Guide to Characters is okay.

    Imaginary Worlds: the 12 rules is also okay.

    Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy...not bad.

    Salvatore's book was above average.

    The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy vols 1 and 2 good, 3, not so much

    While not books directly on writing craft the book I would recommend all Fantasy writers read is "Wizardry and Wild Romance" by Moorcock.

    In the same vein, I would recommend Rhetorics of Fantasy, I think the author is Mendelhson. I really believe that understanding and feeling a part of the great heritage of fantasy has the potential to elevate your work.

    When it comes to just plain books on good writing there are lots of good ones. Steven James Story Trumps Structure I think is the best of the bunch, while Morrell's book on his writing life I think is under appreciated and worth a read.
  7. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Thanks, everyone! I'll be checking out these titles. :)

    Caged Maiden, I have seen Sanderson's youtube videos and they are great. Some of the first craft research I did. He has other ones on there but they are a recap of his original set.
  8. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

  9. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I might be getting the Salvatore one, actually. I downloaded a sample on my Kindle last night!
  10. Also the writing excuses podcast is very good.

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