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What are some of the best resources for fantasy writers out there?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Lord Hoffenburg of Hoffen, May 26, 2016.

  1. KBA

    KBA Dreamer

    I have to agree somewhat with sandtrout, in that the best resources for writing are the fantasy and science fiction you loved to read. Sure we need the left brain hemisphere to study the components, but the right brain hemisphere can help plug you into a writing wavelength you can kind of float on amidst all the analysis. Might sound like a "well, DUH," but I'm amazed at how many aspiring fiction writers feel that reading great fiction is a luxury they can barely afford to allow, when instead it can be seen as part of the work day.
  2. gia

    gia Scribe

    So...here's a resource probably not listed. I am an energy healer and work with energy protocols. One of the protocols I work with heightens my creativity, connects me to my muse (or wherever the heck the story is coming from), and cuts out mental/emotional doubt, fear, distraction and the dreaded block. You can learn it in a weekend online class. And, yes, I created this protocol but it works great for all creatives! Can't operate without it. It's called Expressing Your Creative Purpose.
  3. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

    Read What You Love

    Rather than a book on how to write, read the fiction you love best, and write like that. I'm into the Maya Indians. I read a scholarly book entitled 2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock, and it was good insight into how the Maya conceived of their written corpus. But even better is reading Popul Vuh, which was the Bible of the Maya people. It's a series of myths and legends, and in here I found how the Maya themselves present their stories. Both books were valuable, and I will be writing more stories about the Maya in the future. You have to find the stories that most interest you, and learn how to write like those.

    My two cents.
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.
  4. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    ^ I definitely agree with that. Once you know the basics of writing (like grammar for your language of choice or story arcs), you start getting into improving your writing in a particular genre, there's really nothing quite like reading stories you love and aspire to write like. Learning theory will only get you so far, seeing it applied in real books / stories / flash will do the rest.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  5. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

    books on craft I think people should read:

    2k-10k by Rachel Aaron
    The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass
    Story Genius by Lisa Cron
    hooked by Les Edgerton
    On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
    Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer

    there's no sense in ignoring a good resource. There are a lot of craft books out there. I've read dozens. All of them carry some value but these are the six I think are the most valuable.

    Fantasy novels I think people should read:

    I think you should read what's coming out NOW. Get current and stay current. Then look to your influences and your peers. The authors who have written books that make you itch for a pen. you should read their work, obviously. but I think you should find out who influenced your influences.

    Fairly recently I realized that a good friend of mine and one of my heavier influences (who i've met and spoken with briefly) are both influenced by a writer I missed entirely, so i'm doing something I never do, these days: read a writer whose most recent title published was more than ten years ago. (actually, it was more like thirty.)

    (why? because there's so much going on in NEW SFF these days, I simply don't have time to read anything but recent work in Adult Fantasy. Yeah. I don't read much YA. I make an exception or two, but YA isn't what I'm writing, so i don't target it unless people are flinging the book at me or it was written by a friend. I think 25% of my fiction reading is Adult Fantasy. the rest is a mishmash of literary fiction, romance, mystery, and historical fiction.)

    Non-Fiction novels I think people should read:

    Seriously, anything you're interested in that could possibly apply to your writing is probably fantastic. I also recommend joining free course sites like Coursera and taking something that interests you for free.
  6. Mike Chara

    Mike Chara Scribe

    The Sanderson lectures on youtube are great, thanks for the other links, I'll check them out.
  7. Ronald T.

    Ronald T. Troubadour

    I hope this will be of help, Lord H of H.

    I've been a devout reader for more than forty years, and deeply involved in the study of writing for more than thirty years. I have subscribed to both WRITER'S DIGEST and THE WRITER for thirty years and have more than one hundred books on the art and craft of writing. But I didn't start writing until eleven years ago. Prior to that, it was all about reading the work of other authors and studying the art and craft of writing.

    I have a few suggestions on writing guides and self-help for writers that might be useful.

    Writer’s Digest has a good series on self-help for writers by various authors that I found highly beneficial and enlightening: Voice and Style; Characters and Viewpoint; Settings; Scene and Structure; Description; Beginnings, middles, and ends; Theme and Strategy; Plot; Dialogue; and Plot vs. Character.
    I have all these books and more, and found them very helpful.

    One of my favorite authors on writing well is Donald Maass. You might find it helpful to check him out. Here are just two of his well-written books: “Writing the Breakout Novel”, and “The Fire in Fiction”.

    Following, I will list just a few more books I found particularly useful:
    — Les Edgerton’s “Hooked”.
    — Robert Masello’s “Robert’s Rules of Writing”.
    — Jack M. Bickham’s “The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes” (and how to
    fix them).
    — William Noble’s “Noble’s Book of Writing Blunders”.
    — Marc McCutchen’s “Building Believable Characters”.

    I have too many to list here. But there is an endless supply of resources. Just keep an eye open for them and do some focused research. What you need is out there.

    But study alone is not enough. You must write every day, if possible. There is no better teacher than experience. So…write, write, write.

    All my best to you and yours.
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  8. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I'd like to add Story Grid by Shawn Coyne to this list, for those who need more of a breakdown on plot points and story structure.
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  9. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    For writing Fantasy, I think best is just a wild imagination, and a love of your craft. For writing in general, I personally like books that are short and get to the point. And better than all of those, is just doing your own writing and learning what works for you and what does not.

    A book I liked, and it has been a while for me, was Noah Lukeman's 'The first five pages'.
  10. yoffi

    yoffi Scribe

    Reading other authors and making notes on their style is useful!
  11. Fëanor

    Fëanor New Member

    Wow, what a to read list has this thread created.

    I knew many of them but will start with the new ones now.

    No one spoke about "The Fantasy Fiction Formula" from Deborah Chester which I really liked and come back from time to time.

    EVERYTHING that Brandon Sanderson shares about his writing is absolute gold. He has lectures, he has a blog on writing advice,etc He even has and I'm not kidding, himself writing real time on youtube and even creating a story from the scratch (this is a 4 hours youtube video).

    Check it out!
  12. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Troubadour

    Wow. Only thirty pages in, and I'm absolutely amazed how it's in perfect sync with my own vague ideas of the craft. It almost feels too easy, like he had written it explicitly to appeal to me and no other reader. Like how he considers the cover, blurb and other packaging as being part of the hook. Or how he talks about tension instead of conflict, to avoid, I guess, the laters inherited suggestion of physical conflict. Or his disdain for physical action prologues.

    I'm sure I'll find something to dislike about this book, like I usually do, but it just feels so fresh, so totally outside conventional ideas about writing. Thanks for recommending this!
  13. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

    oh, now i'm intrigued.

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