Jenn's Reviews > The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: Alchemy with Words

The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy by Darin Park
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Feb 25, 15

bookshelves: review-written, own, writing-books, e-book, replace, reference-research, paperback
Read in February, 2009

***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 for her chapter, basically informing the reader there was nothing in writing beyond her opinion. Fortunately her work was only used for one chapter of the book.

The rest of the book is highly entertaining and each chapter included a source list giving you the option to both double check facts included and have more sources available to you if you wanted to go further in depth with researching a topic.

What's great about the book is it's both a compendium on writing and a place to start for basic research on writing a fantasy novel set in medieval times. I especially liked the chapters on combat and the method of planning out fight scenes so that they're choreographed to seem more realistic.

I learned many things about weapons, food, fighting styles, religions and various other topics in reading this book. It includes multiple methods on character creation and goes extremely in depth into world building. I would definitely consider it a must read and were it not for that one chapter would have given the book 5 stars.
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