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The Fantasy Fiction Formula

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There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you're lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go? From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together. Convinced there's no need to shroud the writing process under a veil of mystery, Chester supplies tips that are both practical and proven. They are exactly what she uses in writing her own novels and what she teaches in her writing courses at the University of Oklahoma. Along with explaining story construction step-by-step, Chester illustrates each technique with examples drawn from both traditional and urban fantasy. The technique chapters include exercises to assist novices in mastering the craft of writing fantasy as well as suggestions for avoiding or solving plot problems. More experienced writers will find tips for taking their work to the next level. With an introduction by author Jim Butcher, The fantasy fiction formula provides the information you need to gain skill and proficiency in writing fantasy like a pro.


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There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you're lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go? From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together. Convinced there's no need to shroud the writing process under a veil of mystery, Chester supplies tips that are both practical and proven. They are exactly what she uses in writing her own novels and what she teaches in her writing courses at the University of Oklahoma. Along with explaining story construction step-by-step, Chester illustrates each technique with examples drawn from both traditional and urban fantasy. The technique chapters include exercises to assist novices in mastering the craft of writing fantasy as well as suggestions for avoiding or solving plot problems. More experienced writers will find tips for taking their work to the next level. With an introduction by author Jim Butcher, The fantasy fiction formula provides the information you need to gain skill and proficiency in writing fantasy like a pro.

30 review for The Fantasy Fiction Formula

  1. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah

    Dwight V Swain's TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER is a classic 1960s writing manual that really helped me with many of the nuts and bolts of fiction writing. Swain's pupil was Jack Bickham, who developed and taught Swain's methods in more depth. Bickham's pupil was Deborah Chester, who has now reworked the same method into a new book with a special focus on the fantasy genre. This book is focused on fantasy, but of course, good storytelling transcends genre and while it was helpful to have exampl Dwight V Swain's TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER is a classic 1960s writing manual that really helped me with many of the nuts and bolts of fiction writing. Swain's pupil was Jack Bickham, who developed and taught Swain's methods in more depth. Bickham's pupil was Deborah Chester, who has now reworked the same method into a new book with a special focus on the fantasy genre. This book is focused on fantasy, but of course, good storytelling transcends genre and while it was helpful to have examples of what all the different techniques might look like in fantasy, this book would be a profitable read no matter what genre you're writing. By now, most of the advice in this book was not new to me. If, however, you have NOT read a lot of writing how-to books, this one would be an excellent starting-point. It hits a lot of the basics (though for advice on how to make a story meaningful and resonant, nothing beats John Truby's ANATOMY OF STORY). The most helpful thing in this book was the discussion of what Swain called Motivation-Reaction Units and Chester calls Action/Reaction Units. I didn't understand how they worked when Swain explained them, but Chester's explanation was just different enough to turn the lightbulb on. It was also helpful to get the same scene/sequel progression explained in slightly different terms. I'm applying what I've learned in my current editing project, and once again, while I discover that I'm mostly doing it right, I'm also much better able to spot the places where I've done it wrong. I also found the instructions for how to cut a book down to size extremely helpful. Finally, the book ends with two segments on how to traditionally publish and how to self publish. The section on self publishing is very brief and sketchy (I was shocked that she didn't recommend hiring a professional editor, for instance), but the section on traditional publishing comes with detailed instructions on how to negotiate agent and publisher contracts, plus suggestions for further reading. I don't plan on going that route any time soon, if ever, but I do like to know the basics of how it works.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A great book on the craft of writing. Most of the information in here is relevant and important no matter what genre you are writing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    K. B. Frazier

    Excellent. An invaluable resource -- really an entire class in creating fantasy fiction in a book. Logically, there's a ton of things I understood intrinsically about story structure going in, but it's really helpful to parse and understand and play with these elements in the aftermath. I'm confident that this is going to further my career and craft. Excellent. An invaluable resource -- really an entire class in creating fantasy fiction in a book. Logically, there's a ton of things I understood intrinsically about story structure going in, but it's really helpful to parse and understand and play with these elements in the aftermath. I'm confident that this is going to further my career and craft.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Neuravinci

    This is one of those books that I will likely end up using as a reference for wiring. It beautifully outlines how to write--teaching by showing, not just telling me. And the author does such a fantastic job of doing so. I find myself wanting to read the book ,highlighter in hand, pen and aper beside me to take notes, and considering it is essentially a manual on how to write fantasy, it reads smoothly. Because of this manual, I want to read her fantasy books now. I've read other how-to writing b This is one of those books that I will likely end up using as a reference for wiring. It beautifully outlines how to write--teaching by showing, not just telling me. And the author does such a fantastic job of doing so. I find myself wanting to read the book ,highlighter in hand, pen and aper beside me to take notes, and considering it is essentially a manual on how to write fantasy, it reads smoothly. Because of this manual, I want to read her fantasy books now. I've read other how-to writing books, but this one is the best I've come across, especially as it pertains to fantasy. It can be used for non-fantasy fiction, however, as characters are characters, plot is plot, world-building is...etc. I can't recommend this book enough. I wish there were more like these, though simultaneously, I probably don't need anything but this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I bought on Jim Butcher's recommendation and I am glad I did. I was 15,000 words into a book and struggling to find my way. This book has really helped me focus the story and plan it all better. As other's have said, the word "Fantasy" in the title might put some people off, but the bottom line is, this is a great manual for writing fiction period! There is some great advice for every stage of writing from plotting, outlines, character biographies all the way to conflict, scenes & sequels up to ed I bought on Jim Butcher's recommendation and I am glad I did. I was 15,000 words into a book and struggling to find my way. This book has really helped me focus the story and plan it all better. As other's have said, the word "Fantasy" in the title might put some people off, but the bottom line is, this is a great manual for writing fiction period! There is some great advice for every stage of writing from plotting, outlines, character biographies all the way to conflict, scenes & sequels up to editing and even publishing. All in all I highly recommend this book for any would be author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    Use this a lot for reference in editing and writing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    Not just fantasy. This one has good info for all writers who write genre fiction and want to learn more about the craft.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    Not long ago, I launched into the rough draft of my very first speculative fiction story. I started with great gusto, but after a few chapters I realized that I had a problem. For some reason my characters seemed to jump from scene to scene like fleas and were equally hard to relate to. I knew the story wasn’t working correctly, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. After perusing internet resources, I found the problem. I was writing my novel like it was a screenplay, looking at the ch Not long ago, I launched into the rough draft of my very first speculative fiction story. I started with great gusto, but after a few chapters I realized that I had a problem. For some reason my characters seemed to jump from scene to scene like fleas and were equally hard to relate to. I knew the story wasn’t working correctly, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. After perusing internet resources, I found the problem. I was writing my novel like it was a screenplay, looking at the characters and their reactions from the outside only, ignoring the key strength of the novel format by never exploring the internal reactions and thought processes of my characters. I had scenes but no sequels. I had studied up on structure, character arc, and theme, but like so many of the writing books I had read, I entirely skipped over how to create a page-to-page and scene-to-scene flow for my story, or as the fancy people call it: narrative drive. To remedy this oversight, I read this book, in parallel with Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer. Both Chester and Swain served as writing professors at the University of Oklahoma, although in different generations. Both books cover scene/sequel format and other rubber-meets-road practical fiction writing techniques. This book focuses on writing fantasy, but the principles apply and can be easily adapted to any genre. The section on writing effective climaxes was also quite helpful to me. Although they share some common material, this book is easier to read than Swain’s dated delivery. It is also easier to digest, lacking the casual sexist overtones noted by many reviewers. All in all, it is a useful and valuable resource.

  9. 5 out of 5

    A.M. Bochnak

    **2nd Read** It just keeps getting better. This is my second read of this book. I've picked up on so many new little tidbits of info that I didn't get the first time around. I will pick this book up as a refresher before every book I plan to write. It's a goldmine of a resource! **1st Read** To date the best book about writing I have read. This book will be a reference book I call upon often as I write. Deborah's approach is clear and concise. She makes writing sound easy. This books is a must for **2nd Read** It just keeps getting better. This is my second read of this book. I've picked up on so many new little tidbits of info that I didn't get the first time around. I will pick this book up as a refresher before every book I plan to write. It's a goldmine of a resource! **1st Read** To date the best book about writing I have read. This book will be a reference book I call upon often as I write. Deborah's approach is clear and concise. She makes writing sound easy. This books is a must for any level of writer. Whether you're working on your first novel or your tenth, this book is full of fantastic advise.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ErinE

    This is an excellent book on the finer details of crafting a novel, not just those in the fantasy genre though that is the focus. Chester focuses on not just creating a story, but structuring it in a way the reader finds compelling and moves the plot forward. The early exercises focus on creating writing elements, but the later ones focus on published work analysis. I only wish that Chester had continued the "create..." prompts so the exercises could walk a reader through a finished draft. Great b This is an excellent book on the finer details of crafting a novel, not just those in the fantasy genre though that is the focus. Chester focuses on not just creating a story, but structuring it in a way the reader finds compelling and moves the plot forward. The early exercises focus on creating writing elements, but the later ones focus on published work analysis. I only wish that Chester had continued the "create..." prompts so the exercises could walk a reader through a finished draft. Great book on the craft of writing well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Cook

    I loved this book! It was chalk full of helpful information, and many questions I had were answered. It cost a pretty penny, to be honest, but I don't regret it; it was so worth it. I'd recommend to any fantasy writer and even beginner writers of any genre. I think there's enough info inside, it'd be worth your time and money. A few things talked about: spinning plates, action and reaction, chapter structure, plot, characters, dialogue, hidden story, backstory, etc. The list goes on and on. G I loved this book! It was chalk full of helpful information, and many questions I had were answered. It cost a pretty penny, to be honest, but I don't regret it; it was so worth it. I'd recommend to any fantasy writer and even beginner writers of any genre. I think there's enough info inside, it'd be worth your time and money. A few things talked about: spinning plates, action and reaction, chapter structure, plot, characters, dialogue, hidden story, backstory, etc. The list goes on and on. Glad I found this gem.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    By far the most useful writing book I've read up to this point. Gives tons of concrete instructions with examples, as well as examples of what doesn't work as well. These are techniques that will still take a lot of practice to get used to, and I may not end up using 100% of Chester's suggestions, but it's so helpful to have it spelled out very clearly what makes a fiction story effective and why. By far the most useful writing book I've read up to this point. Gives tons of concrete instructions with examples, as well as examples of what doesn't work as well. These are techniques that will still take a lot of practice to get used to, and I may not end up using 100% of Chester's suggestions, but it's so helpful to have it spelled out very clearly what makes a fiction story effective and why.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Graham Bradley

    A six-star book. This one will always be in arm's reach of my writing desk. Can't wait to put it in practice. A six-star book. This one will always be in arm's reach of my writing desk. Can't wait to put it in practice.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    If you've thought to yourself "I'd like a go at writing a novel," this is the book you're going to want to get. While I hate formulaic writing, I always teach my students that in order to break the rules, you have to know the rules. And as much fantasy fiction as I read, I was unaware of some of the conventions of the genre. This book lays it all out for you with examples from works of fiction with plenty of exercises to practice the skills Chester teaches you. As I read this book, I felt inspir If you've thought to yourself "I'd like a go at writing a novel," this is the book you're going to want to get. While I hate formulaic writing, I always teach my students that in order to break the rules, you have to know the rules. And as much fantasy fiction as I read, I was unaware of some of the conventions of the genre. This book lays it all out for you with examples from works of fiction with plenty of exercises to practice the skills Chester teaches you. As I read this book, I felt inspired to write and came up with many good ideas for fiction of my own. I found the sections on publishing and revision especially valuable, and I appreciated her making the reality of the long slog that is novel writing evident for the amateur writer that I am. The only issue I had with it were the examples weren't very engaging or known. Every time she referenced Harry Potter, I rejoiced because it was familiar, but the prose examples I found myself skipping if I understood the concept.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Scot Parker

    This book is an utterly invaluable tool for the speculative fiction writer. It is crammed full of practical advice presented clearly with concrete examples. Chester herself is quite an accomplished fantasy author, and she clearly knows what she's talking about. There is a lot I could write in this review, but the bottom line is that if you are a speculative fiction author or wish to become one, you need to read this book. This book is an utterly invaluable tool for the speculative fiction writer. It is crammed full of practical advice presented clearly with concrete examples. Chester herself is quite an accomplished fantasy author, and she clearly knows what she's talking about. There is a lot I could write in this review, but the bottom line is that if you are a speculative fiction author or wish to become one, you need to read this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lyndon Hardy

    Please see Lyndon Hardy's Blog for my review Please see Lyndon Hardy's Blog for my review

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mauro Vincenti

    Made me start writing again, reason enough to buy it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    A solid, easy-to-read writing book. Most of it was widely applicable, but some was indeed fantasy specific.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kutsua

    Definitely the best book on writing I have read so far. I left this book on my desk and I think I am going to consult it a lot in the writing process. I do not agree with everything that is presented as obligatory in this book, but I think the instructions are intended as a sort of a recipe for a cake which you can modify according to your tastes (to a degree). The best part is about action/reaction units and the "dark dismal middle". Suprisingly, many how-to-do writing manuals go to a great leng Definitely the best book on writing I have read so far. I left this book on my desk and I think I am going to consult it a lot in the writing process. I do not agree with everything that is presented as obligatory in this book, but I think the instructions are intended as a sort of a recipe for a cake which you can modify according to your tastes (to a degree). The best part is about action/reaction units and the "dark dismal middle". Suprisingly, many how-to-do writing manuals go to a great lenght when talking about beginnings and endings - but Ms Chester is the only one who really deals with the middles, the most problematic part of writing. Her insight was really inspiring. However, looking into the mechanism running the story, I found that genre fiction is actually quite trivial - though it masks this fact quite skillfully. What I didn't like is the concept of "formula". If all the writers followed it strictly, we would get very similar novels, shelves and shelves of novels with similar structure in the bookstores. I have no illusions that fantasy novels differ so much from one another, however, what meaning would there be for an aspiring writer to write more of (basically) the same? A computer could do that (and perhaps will in the near future). This is a clear 5-star book and I am happy to have had the chance to read it. Last impression: though there is the word "fantasy" in the title, it is not for fantasy writers only, but for any genre-fiction authors. Ms. Chester does not deal with fantasy-specific topics, such as worldbuilding and various magic systems, she is really talking about the mechanics of a story, which is basically the same regardless of genre.

  20. 4 out of 5

    E.A. Copen

    Finally! A book on the craft for modern fantasy writers from a master! Deborah Chester lays out in easy, comprehensive terms how to write a fantasy or urban fantasy novel in this how-to book. She touches on everything from building scenes to how to negotiate contracts with agents and publishers to avoiding predatory services when self-publishing. Every fantasy writer, whether the seasoned veteran with 10 books under her name or the ones just beginning their journey can benefit from what Chester Finally! A book on the craft for modern fantasy writers from a master! Deborah Chester lays out in easy, comprehensive terms how to write a fantasy or urban fantasy novel in this how-to book. She touches on everything from building scenes to how to negotiate contracts with agents and publishers to avoiding predatory services when self-publishing. Every fantasy writer, whether the seasoned veteran with 10 books under her name or the ones just beginning their journey can benefit from what Chester has to say. She beautifully deconstructs how to write scenes and the sequels that follow. In this book, she also addresses one of the biggest issues fantasy writers face today: keeping the momentum of the beginning up all the way to the end. As if she were drawing an easy to follow road map, Chester lays out a way for solving almost every problem the modern fantasy/urban fantasy author is likely to face. This is a book of building blocks. From the very first chapter, Chester outlines methods that work with examples from her own work and other best selling modern authors. Solitary writers will find the book full of new ways to approach difficult writing elements. Writing workshops will be pleased to find and engage in all of the activities Chester leaves at the end of each chapter. If you don't have an idea of where to go with your fantasy novel by the end of this book, go back to page one and read it again! This is THE source for anyone who wants to write fantasy today.

  21. 4 out of 5

    A.M.

    Last night I was curled up in bed reading, as I do, but I was reading a craft book. Have I reached peak writer yet? Lol When I picked it up it wasn’t available on kindle but it is now, and it’s worth reading the sample just to see Jim Butcher’s Forward. She is the woman who taught the professional writer class at OU that he attended. I saw some comment he made when people asked him what craft book to read and he said to get this one. I own a hundred craft books. My theory is that if I learn one thin Last night I was curled up in bed reading, as I do, but I was reading a craft book. Have I reached peak writer yet? Lol When I picked it up it wasn’t available on kindle but it is now, and it’s worth reading the sample just to see Jim Butcher’s Forward. She is the woman who taught the professional writer class at OU that he attended. I saw some comment he made when people asked him what craft book to read and he said to get this one. I own a hundred craft books. My theory is that if I learn one thing from each one then I am ahead. I learnt WAY more than one thing from this one. It is covered in post-it notes, blue pencil marks and book marks. [they come in every UK book depository order and I have dozens of them] I have read whole books that try to explain how to write your one paragraph summary - your elevator pitch- and Debbie does it in a page. With an easily remembered acronym. Whoa… I finally get the scene/sequel thing, and the A/R/AR thing. [Confession: I downloaded a Scrivener template from a writer website (sadly gone now) and it had that code built into the meta data and I had no idea what it meant. Now I do.] Action - reaction - process- decision. You have to show your character doing this or you’ve lost your reader. It’s marked as a ‘fantasy’ guide but that’s just limiting. It has valuable advice for any genre. 5 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Hands down the BEST novel on the craft of writing I have ever come across. There are tons of books about how to keep motivated and how to complete your first draft and how to multi-task and still fulfill your dream. Deborah Chester clearly and precisely details how to write an exciting, well thought out, cleverly crafted fantasy novel. At the time of this reading, I have two manuscripts complete. Well, I thought they were complete until I opened THE FANTASY FICTION FORMULA. Since beginning the n Hands down the BEST novel on the craft of writing I have ever come across. There are tons of books about how to keep motivated and how to complete your first draft and how to multi-task and still fulfill your dream. Deborah Chester clearly and precisely details how to write an exciting, well thought out, cleverly crafted fantasy novel. At the time of this reading, I have two manuscripts complete. Well, I thought they were complete until I opened THE FANTASY FICTION FORMULA. Since beginning the novel, I have rewritten the beginning and ending of my epic fantasy, refined the character development for both the protagonist and antagonist, rearranged my scenes, and added sequels. She fixed problems I sensed but could not identify with my amateur writer talents. I am left with a tale infinitely better constructed than when I thought I had already done the difficult work. I will use her guidelines from the very beginning for my next project. I am so grateful that Deborah Chester wrote this guide. I will read it again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I'm glad I discovered this book. It's very practical and offers concrete tips on how to come up with a complete idea (the SPOOC method), and the middle section on A/R units and scene structure is particularly instructional and illuminating. Chester largely uses examples from her own books to illustrate her points, but considering she's written over forty novels and has won awards for her Ruby Throne trilogy, it's not so bad. I'll be keeping this one close at hand and I'll try to plug in Chester' I'm glad I discovered this book. It's very practical and offers concrete tips on how to come up with a complete idea (the SPOOC method), and the middle section on A/R units and scene structure is particularly instructional and illuminating. Chester largely uses examples from her own books to illustrate her points, but considering she's written over forty novels and has won awards for her Ruby Throne trilogy, it's not so bad. I'll be keeping this one close at hand and I'll try to plug in Chester's formulas and structures into my own works to see how things pay off. It worked for Jim Butcher, so there must be some truth in these pages. Finally, don't get this book if you're looking for world building ideas or a glossary of armour, fashion, and warfare. This is strictly a book on the nuts and bolts of genre writing, and it goes into a level of detail that other writing books don't touch. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa-Marie Wilson

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this read. Chocked full with a lot of really useful and actionable advice, I believe this book would be helpful to a great number of budding authors, or those that want to take a harder look at their structure. It delivers the lessons in easily digested language and a very matter of fact tone that I think amateur authors would find comforting. I disagreed on quite a few points, vehemently in one or two cases, but that doesn't negate the benefit the other les I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this read. Chocked full with a lot of really useful and actionable advice, I believe this book would be helpful to a great number of budding authors, or those that want to take a harder look at their structure. It delivers the lessons in easily digested language and a very matter of fact tone that I think amateur authors would find comforting. I disagreed on quite a few points, vehemently in one or two cases, but that doesn't negate the benefit the other lessons provide. It does feel a little shoehorned into the fantasy genre, but that was the point! It certainly can't be faulted for doing it's intended job well. So, fantasy writers out there, you may want to pick up this book to hone your craft. It shouldn't be your bible, but then again no one book on "how to write" should. It really couldn't hurt your library.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    Every aspiring author should read this. Incredibly helpful in understanding how to compartmentalize a story. However, I wouldn't recommend this as a first read. This is a necessary read for someone who has read a lot of books (especially fiction and fantasy) and wants to begin writing a story. Once you get an organic understanding of storytelling, then move on to this book when you want to write your own story. For the money, this is an extremely good deal. You essentially get an entire high lev Every aspiring author should read this. Incredibly helpful in understanding how to compartmentalize a story. However, I wouldn't recommend this as a first read. This is a necessary read for someone who has read a lot of books (especially fiction and fantasy) and wants to begin writing a story. Once you get an organic understanding of storytelling, then move on to this book when you want to write your own story. For the money, this is an extremely good deal. You essentially get an entire high level English class consolidated into one book. As something Jim Butcher would say: LISTEN TO DEBBIE, SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex Khlopenko

    Very straightforward and practical, especially on the sentence and paragraph level. Chester provides clear examples from her own work and that of her peers and students, with a deep understanding of the fantasy genre and its canons, tropes, and, more importantly, - problems. Any beginner fantasy writer should definitely delve into the book and study it religiously, while those writing for some time might find it over-detailed and too focused on the micromanagement and forgetting about the big pi Very straightforward and practical, especially on the sentence and paragraph level. Chester provides clear examples from her own work and that of her peers and students, with a deep understanding of the fantasy genre and its canons, tropes, and, more importantly, - problems. Any beginner fantasy writer should definitely delve into the book and study it religiously, while those writing for some time might find it over-detailed and too focused on the micromanagement and forgetting about the big picture - character development, dramatic structure, themes, and symbolism.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Though the title and examples in the book all relate to fantasy the contents applies to all good writing. If you want to write a novel then everything you need to know is here. You will note she doesn't waste space on stupid advice like don't use adverbs. She will teach you how to write a story that works every time. She makes writing a novel sound easy. It's not. I will be studying and re-reading this book for a long time to come. Though the title and examples in the book all relate to fantasy the contents applies to all good writing. If you want to write a novel then everything you need to know is here. You will note she doesn't waste space on stupid advice like don't use adverbs. She will teach you how to write a story that works every time. She makes writing a novel sound easy. It's not. I will be studying and re-reading this book for a long time to come.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Stroiazzo

    Homework isn't the most enjoyable read but it was valuable. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to tackle the writing craft. However cynical Sam wants to believe there isn't Debbie's way or doom. The formula is sound but I want to rebel. Break the tried and true for something new. Still I happy to have read the book. Homework isn't the most enjoyable read but it was valuable. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to tackle the writing craft. However cynical Sam wants to believe there isn't Debbie's way or doom. The formula is sound but I want to rebel. Break the tried and true for something new. Still I happy to have read the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Knight

    My go-to book for when people ask me what books I recommend on how to write a novel, fantasy or otherwise.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Williamson

    Some good information but rather boring. Would be good for SUPER beginners, but a lot of this stuff I learned in middle school.

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