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The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Volume One~Alchemy with Words: 1 [Paperback]

Darin Park , Tom Dullemond
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.95
Price: 20.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2002 Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy (Book 1)
Jeanine Berry, FictionFactor.com, author of Dayspring Dawning and Daysprint Destiny The Complete Guide lives up to its name and goes beyond the ordinary. Written by new and established voices of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Alchemy With Words offers something for writers at all levels. Its sage advice will help you avoid many amateur mistakes. Explore World Building, Religions, Food, Fighting & Weaponry and much more, to craft an exceptional story.

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The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Volume One~Alchemy with Words: 1 + The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Volume Two~The Opus Magus + The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: Volume 3 (the Author's Grimoire)
Price For All Three: 62.15

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dragon Moon Press (1 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896944094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896944098
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.5 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 613,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 15 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, highly recommended! Some really great advice on how to create the characters and the fact many people contributed to it does make it more reliable. Made me consider a lot of stuff I never thought of before such as religion, medicine, food, clothing etc..

Worth the money! Buy it! :D
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1.0 out of 5 stars Alchemy? 10 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not at all what I was expecting to find. With the exception of one or two contributions (eg the chapter by Milena Bellini) the book is in general simplistic and superficial, although some interesting lists for further reading are provided . One is left with the impression that the book is aimed at the naive, the inexperienced, and the uncultivated. For those who forgot to study in high school?
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Background Material 2 Oct 2003
By Moira Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've picked up many "genre" writing books that have proved a huge disappointment -- maybe a chapter or two of genre info followed by the usual "how to type a manuscript" stuff. This book is a refreshing change! For anyone seeking to build a "realistic" fantasy world, it's a compendium of expert advice -- covering food, clothing, weapons, warfare, religion, even a fantastic (no pun intended) section on diseases. There have been criticisms of this book based on the fact that many of the contributors aren't "established" fantasy authors. What they ARE is experts in the fields upon which they are contributing, whether that field is medicine, weaponry, or what-have-you. In short, if you were going to look up "experts" to talk to about some aspect of the world you're building, these are the people you'd ask. This book will stay on my shelf! --...
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, but... 9 Jan 2007
By Heather - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great resource for fantasy writers. It draws attention to details that could easily be overlooked by a writer in this genre; details that would make a story richer for their inclusion. It stimulates the imagination as one considers how information from each chapter might work in the world/story he or she has created.

However, it has been poorly edited and is full of typos, spelling mistakes and poor grammar. One occasionally stumbles upon a sentence so poorly constructed that it requires a struggle to understand the author's meaning, and one chapter is so disjointed and full of errors that it is very difficult to follow. This inattention to detail would make me leery of accepting the information on medieval customs as fact, and I would be careful to check any of the information from this novel against another source before using it (though some would say that's a good idea with any research).

Aside from that caveat, I still highly recommend this book to beginning fantasy writers, as it may open your eyes to avenues of world and character creation you never considered before.
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource 5 Oct 2003
By Sheri L. McGathy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy is a great reference guide for the aspiring fantasy author who is bubbling over with all the "How do I" questions. It is also a wonderful resource for those who have been writing in the genre for some time, but maybe need to understand one aspect of the genre more than another.
I personally found the sections on medieval food, medieval clothing and the sections on armor and combat very helpful.
You can't go wrong with this on your bookshelf.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Offers Some Thoughtful Info, Despite Its Drawbacks 14 Dec 2011
By K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good reference guides for fantasy writers are few and far between. I know, because I've pawed through most of the options. I took a shot in the dark in purchasing Alchemy With Words, volume one of The Complete GuideTM to Writing Fantasy. Published by a small press and written by a collection of fantasy authors who haven't much collective experience or acclaim among them, the book has much to recommend it--and much not to.

On the plus side, this is one of the most varied and complete offerings I've seen on the subject (and this is just volume one). Subjects include Roots of Fantasy, Characterization, Race Creation, World Building, Clichés, Plot, Medieval Clothing and Food, Health and Medicine, Magic, Mythology, Religion, and Arms and Armor. Although a few chapters skim by with only basic info, many of them include insightful and detailed explanations of aspects of the genre that every author would be wise to heed. Of course, with only a chapter devoted to each subject, the book can't be considered definitive. But it offers an excellent jumping-off point into further research.

Based on the quality of information alone, I consider the book worth reading. However, the production values offer some serious drawbacks. Aside from general poor editing and typesetting, the lack of professionalism displayed by the various authors--some to the point of out-and-out self-indulgence, in which the authors ramble about their own unpublished fantasy manuscripts or state their subjective pet peeves as if they were rules of the genre--is annoying at best and downright frustrating at worst. If you can get past the writing to access the information, you may find this book a useful primer on the world of writing fantasy.
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Researchers can provide valuable assistance 2 Oct 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Scanning this book, I found it to be a collection of useful and well-researched information. As a librarian, I value the quality of research more than whether I have heard of the author, and the depth of coverage speaks for itself in this volume. Don't be put off if you might not have heard of some of the authors, for the sections are insightful, knowledgable and prompted some very interesting story ideas.
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