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The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Paperback – 22 Jul 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Adams (22 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440501459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440501456
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Philip Athans (Issaquah, WA) is managing editor of novels at Wizards of the Coast, the largest producer of fantasy hobby games in the world. He's worked with R.A. Salvatore, as well as Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, creators of the bestselling Dragonlance series. He has also published his own fantasy novels, including the New York Times bestseller Annihilation, the Watercourse Trilogy, and In Fluid Silence, as well as A Reader's Guide to R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If there's any genre that's guaranteed to have readers thinking "I can write that!!!!" it's the sci-fi/fantasy genre. However the truth is, it's harder than it looks. Firstly you have to build your world, people it, add flora and fauna and devise your magic/science system not including inventing names, establishing your culture and giving it a history.

However, help is at hand. This title not only helps you work on all of that, but also gives great advice and whilst a certain amount of the advice in the title may seem elementary, its amazing how often certain parts are overlooked leaving the author wondering where the hell their world collapsed. Add to the mix tips from established names in the genre, examples of advice backed up with excerpt examples and its pretty damn useful. A great tool and one that can be adapted for Urban Fantasy just as easily.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this along with the Orson Scott Card book, and also 'Myths & Magic, The Complete Fantasy Reference'. I think it works best when alongside these, however if I had to choose one and leave the rest, this one would prevail. Part 1 gives a quick overview of just what the genres constitute (helpful if you're not sure), and then part 2 gets down to the nitty gritty of how to put a book together. Part 3 is probably the least useful for the sort of people who are going to be buying this book (ie mostly wannabe writers), as the nuts and bolts of the business side is probably a long way off for most of us! I could have done without part 3, as there are plenty of other ways to find out about this stuff, assuming you ever get to that stage! BUT the book is definitely worth the cover price for parts 1 & 2, so don't be put off by that.

In short, if you want a quick but pretty thorough overview of the genres then buy this book - if you want a bit more depth then get the other 2 I mentioned too, along with maybe the Sarah LeFanu book for a slightly different slant on things. If you're anything like me, as a writer/dreamer you can never have too many how-to texts!! Good luck, and see you at the conventions!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Full of nitty gritty on the writing process and written with a good deal of credibility by published authors, this is the best book on Fantasy writing I've read recently. My only criticism is that it ignores self-publishing entirely so the last quarter of the book (which focuses heavily on traditional publishing) is not particularly useful. It was written in 2010 when indie publishing was in its infancy but the writing was on the wall even then and it's anachronistic to not mention the method most readers of this book will use to get their work read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great introduction into the factors you should consider when starting out as a writer. Does lack some indepth step-by-step advice, which you could find like I did, by buying this along with The COmplete Guide to writing fantasy: volume 1. These two books together really gave me a great start.

For the price and the content, this is definitely worth buying.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was full of things i hadnt evan considered, i loved its brilliant wisdom. Evan though it could be a little to harsh in some parts, i think it was a massive eye opener. With massive loads of imformation that can help you take your novel from an ideal day dream to a written master peice ready to go. Some parts were a little difficult to understand, since the auther has maybe tried a little to hard to keep it interesting rather than a source of much needed info, but overal i would recommend this book for anyone who, like me, is stuck with lots of ideas but no understanding of putting them down.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really really really useful book. It made me really develop my characters and was extremely helpful in world building! It is also useful for many other subjects in writing a book, but those particularly were where I lacked, so if you need help with these and are just beginning to create a world, this could be the book for you! I thought it wouldn't have much in because it was short, but it is such a useful resource.
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