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The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: Alchemy with Words (The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
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, Relig ...more
Paperback, 361 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Dragon Moon Press (first published 2002)
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K.M. Weiland
Dec 14, 2011 K.M. Weiland rated it liked it
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’v
...more
Grace
Feb 04, 2011 Grace rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-help, how-to
It took me practically forever to work my way through this book. In this case, it was a good thing for it gave me many ideas on how to develop my world, story, and characters.

The Complete Guide To Writing Fantasy vol. 1 was a really good introduction on the sorts of things that go into writing. The topics the authors covered were a bit about writing (6 chapters worth) and details of a typical fantasy world setting, such as clothing, food, fighting, etc. (9 chapters). At the end there was a chap
...more
Jenn
***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
I found this book to be excellent. It brings together a variety of writers with different takes and views on how to write things. Most of the writers are entertaining and make you want to keep reading as you learn more about their ways of doing things.

I only found fault with one chapter in the book, that by Milena Benini in which I felt she wrote in a condescending manner, contradicted other sources on her topic and included absolutely no source list
...more
Michelle Roberts
It's a good book, and it would be a higher rating except for the plethora of typos.
Jay Ant
Aug 22, 2015 Jay Ant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Complete Guide" is a reaching title for a book in a trilogy. Introduction to Fantasy Concepts, would be a more accurate title. I was disappointed, so Volume One did not inspire me to get the rest. Not much here for veteran gamers who have read books on writing. It looks like small press magazine articles from 2002.

In my opinion, Gary Gygax's Living Fantasy, Insidae, and Nation Builder, have more to offer in a brainstorming, world building sense. I'm going to reread this and see if my opinion
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James
This is the kind of book on writing that I find most useful. It has chapters on quite a few specific aspects of writing (e.g. world-building, plot construction, research, designing religions, etc.), a few that apply to any fiction but most specific to this genre; the content is concrete and down-to-earth without being formulaic. Although there's a fair amount of overlap between fantasy and science fiction (and some stories fall into both categories at once), they are distinct and this book is de ...more
Marta
Oct 10, 2011 Marta rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring writers, I guess
So. It took me a long time to read this so called complete guide of fantasy writing, mainly due to taking huge breaks while reading something more entertaining.
Nothing really bad to say about this book, really. It covers all the basics, I guess. Has some tips and tricks, references all around internetz that may be outdated now, but still good start for one's research.
Some things I did know already, some seemed rather from Captain Obvious arsenal.
Some of the authors wrote in an annoying style, ma
...more
Ann
Jun 23, 2008 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
I wish I could give half stars... this is really a 3 and a half book rather than a 4 star book.

There is a lot of good information between the covers, but some of it I found trite, like the entire humor section. The religion section makes the fallacy that religion isn't rational and that its either/or when it comes to religion and science/rationality.

I also got tired of the "And we did this in our novel..." bits.

But when it was good, it was *very* good, and is certainly a decent book for the begi
...more
Chamaree
Apr 09, 2014 Chamaree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
When I started writing fantasy a few months ago, I thought it would be super easy. Well, I'm just going to come right out and say it, just because you read a lot of fantasy doesn't mean you will be great at writing it. That's where this book came in.

I've been eyeing this book for a long time, so naturally, it was the second place I looked (after google!) when I was struggling with world building and magic. I bought the book for those two chapters but I ended up reading the entire book in an hou
...more
Nic
Jul 04, 2009 Nic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is fan-freaking-tastic. It has great broad basics, like a chapter on world-building and one on race creation, plus a focus on medieval techniques, technology, food, and so on that was quite helpful to me, though it might not apply to everyone. It also has nice tips on writing combat, magic systems, and even some plot advice - and it's a really fun read.
Abigail
Mar 16, 2008 Abigail rated it really liked it
Generally speaking authors should stay away from "craft books" and instead read their genre. I found this book quite handy in terms of day to day life in midevil life. I especially liked the list of diseases, described the cause, how it was transmitted and the symptoms.
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