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A Fantasy Writers' Handbook

4.87  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  20 reviews
They say write the book you want to read. When I first started writing fiction, with nothing but ideas and enthusiasm and an ignorance of the elements of storytelling, this is the book I would have wanted as my guide.

Over the years I’ve spent countless hours studying the craft of writing and practising and honing that craft. I’ve learned many lessons, often in the harshest
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published June 12th 2019
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4.87  · 
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 ·  23 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jessica Belmont
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some of you know, some of you don’t, but I’m currently writing a fantasy novel. So, when Richie Billing contacted me about reviewing A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook, I knew I had to accept, and I’m glad I did!

Richie Billing wrote this in such a conversational, upbeat way, that I didn’t really remember that I was reading a “how-to” book. It was more like have a chat with a friend on writing, and it was really unique.

I love how this flows from chapter to chapter. Sometimes, books like this are dry, bu
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A Fantasy Writers' Handbook, which was kindly sent to me for an honest review! Thank you Richie Billing for sending me an advanced copy! A Fantasy Writers' Handbook was released just yesterday, June 12th, 2019! Not only did I want to accept the book for myself in the hopes of bettering my writing, but also my brother who has always wanted to be a writer and doesn't know how to start.

I wasn't sure what exactly to expect from this since this is the first book I've read on writing for any genre. Su
Beverley Gullon
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just started reading an advanced copy of this and thoroughly enjoying it! I've already found a tonne of new and useful information on character. I particularly loved the tips on writing antagonists. The style is accessible and fluid and at times funny and always positive and encouraging, which is just the thing I need sometimes. There is a welcome focus on fantasy with lots of helpful examples from the genre. I don't think I've ever encountered a book focused on the subject like this before. And ...more
Helen Gould
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Novice and improver writers
Recommended to Helen by: I follow Richie Billing's blog so I knew it was coming out soon.
Much of the content of this book started off as blog articles, which has allowed Richie Billing to research people’s views on a range of subjects related to writing. The book is laid out in three sections: The Pillars of Storytelling; Writing in the Fantasy Genre; and When the Writing is Done.

Billing starts off with a look at the factors that would make readers abandon a book. This is an analysis which should help writers look closely at their work and ask themselves pertinent questions, and is
Charles Remington
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found myself binge reading A Fantasy Writer’s Handbook in the same way I would a great thriller. Written in a friendly, uncluttered style, Richard Billing has managed to accumulate and present a huge amount of useful information in a way that perhaps a favourite lecturer might do. It reminded me a little of Richard Feynman, a man who could write about the complexities of quantum mechanics in an entertaining and accessible way. I felt the main strength of the book was the fact that information ...more
Stanley McShane
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
No, I don't write fantasy. What would I want with a fantasy writers' handbook? Well, I'm glad you asked! Sooo many reasons from simplicity and ease of use to all the plot and character ideas, resources, definitions, conflict and tension building, dialogue hints, and the no-no's of writing: info dumping (one of my pet peeves), as well as show--not tell.

Then he swings into what to do with it after you've finished your manuscript along with an explanation of the new and upcoming industry standard,
Eric Wirsing
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard about "A Fantasy Writers' Handbook," I thought 'why not?' After all, the few times that I have tried my hand at writing fantasy it has not gone so well. So I accepted a free copy in exchange for a review.

But it turned out to be far more useful than I initially thought. Far from being just for fantasy writers, authors from all genres would find this interesting. He goes into character, plot, premise, and even prose. Each of these categories turns out to be a fairly deep dive.

May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Richie’s book, ‘A Fantasy Writer‘s Handbook’ is a comprehensive analysis of what consists good writing, an insight into the mechanism of the craft and an instrument to use for writers and future writers.
It is detailed about how to construct characters, with many examples that tight their particulars to the story, (good, bad, villains and saints etc. – motives). It explains about structure and plots, (series of events, characters’ motivation and conflicts) and it quotes from successful authors ad
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Full disclosure: I received a free ARC of this book.)

If I had to recommend this book with one word, it would be ‘Scope.’ If you’re trying to find your way writing fantasy, this book should be in your toolbox.

Richie Billing has managed to write a book that almost certainly touches upon one or more of the topics that every burgeoning fantasy writer needs to learn more about. He has done his homework and walked the walk, and this book condenses his study and experience into a no-nonsense guide.

I t
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad that Richie wrote the book he would have found helpful when writing - because it really is informative. Writing Fantasy is never easy and the handbook helps in so many ways to steer authors in the right direction covering all the difficulties around plotting, characterisation, dialogue, world building - pretty much everything to help produce a page turner.

The sections are well thought out, research is explained, shared and credited and overall is written in a way that is straightforw
Amber  Christiansen
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the most comprehensive book I've read on the subject. And unlike most nonfiction books, the tone of it was light and interesting, where I've come to expect dry and boring. I'd recommend this for anyone that's interested in writing, not just fantasy writers. And I think the worldbuilding and character portions would also be great for role play.

I received a free advance copy, but my thoughts are my own.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's really well structured, informative and engaging and for those who enjoy writing and want to hone the craft it's an incredible tool to have in your arsenal, full of techniques and theories to help inform your writing. Enjoyed the fascinating addition of the surveys in dicussing the opinions of writers in terms of "the rules". Some real gems of insight and lots of humour along the way. A fun guide and a good time! I couldn't recommend it ...more
Tamra Trabanino
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm done with this book yet, but so far it has been really helpful.
It covers a wide range of topics that any writer will use.
I like that it is easy to understand and comprehend - not like a texbook.
I can't wait to finish it and get on with writing my own fantasy novel!
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's so much insight into writing fantasy contained within these pages. I've been a follower of Billing's blog for a while now because his articles have impressed me time and again, and his book is just how I hoped--full of gems and his signature humour.
Eric Bolt
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that should be within reach of any aspiring writer. Richie Billing has found a way to communicate a vast amount of information in a way that is easy to understand. His writing style not only makes this an informative read but a fun one. I can easily recommend this book to anyone that is interested in taking there craft to a higher level.
Moa Olsson
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven't finished the book yet, but I find it very well structured with good explanaitions and examples. Many other writing handbooks I've read can use a language which (at least for non-native english readers like me) is too advanced so one must look up the words to understand what their point is, or they never even reach the point. I haven't had that problem with this book.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re in the process of working on your manuscript, A Fantasy Writers' Handbook is for you. Helpful and thorough, Billing’s tips on premise, how to fully expose your characters, designing your villains, and plotting devices (to name a few) were on point. Perfect if you’re in the revision stage.

The parts about creating tension and using friction and detours were tools I needed to read for my current WIP.

The rest of the book focuses on Fantasy genre specifics. But no matter what type of ficti
Anda Todoran
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book should be in the library of every single writer/reviewer out there.
Written in a no-nonsense style, accessible, to the point, it is packed with precious information on characters, world building, premise, etc., information that is useful to all writers, whether you write fantasy or not.
For reviewers, this book helps you understand the work that goes in writing a book, it makes you see the mechanics behind and it helps you see your reads in a different way. Personally, it definitely made
Raymond Cory
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win this book in a contest from the author. I was very excited as I am a new writer focusing more on short stories while I iron out a bigger story later on. This book has everything a writer could want. When it comes to writing a book, I feel like this has everything I need from the writing part to the publishing/marketing parts. It is a toolbox for the writer. The title is Fantasy, but most of this book would be useful for any writer.
Keith Croteau
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great. Just great.

This book is well written, thoughtful, and at times funny. Richie gives great advice on writing in general in part one and excellent fantasy specific advice in part two. Part three was also great but I haven't finished a manuscript yet so....

Highly recommended.
Rex Manley
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Richie Billing
May 29, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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My middle name is Edward, so my name is also Dick Ed, though I much prefer Richie (although Dick Ed is sometimes warranted). I’m from a city called Liverpool, known for football and The Beatles. I like Neil Young, The Allman Bros, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Tess Parks and more, and most nights I’m up till the wee hours either scribbling away or watching the NBA.