'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Review: Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

The cover of this book couldn't more wonderfully depict the interior landscape--one of magical interpretation and imagination-fostering. Written by the author of The Steampunk Bible, writers (or readers) of fantasy and its related sub-genre, will openly drool over Wonderbook's content and the possibility it enables.

This lucidly visual guide to writing imaginative fiction uses original drawings, maps, renderings and exercises to inspire written work beyond the perceived constraints of the alphabet.

Although the book features practical and informative techniques to improve writing, it also provides a whimsical visual collection that will truly enhance understanding of what comprises the creative fiction genre.

Reading through this book was like attending a world-class conference on imaginative writing. The layout and design is superb, with pockets and snippets of information akin to both a series of saturated 45-monite conference sessions, and then a five-minute chat with a master writer during morning tea.

Sections include Inspiration and the Creative Life, The Ecosystem of Story, Beginnings and Endings, Narrative Design, Characterisation, Worldbuilding and Revision--and packed between these evocative chapter headings is true joy, enlightenment, and best of all--first hand knowledge and experience from some of the biggest names in fantasy writing, including George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente and Karen Joy Fowler.

Writers of fantasy and general imaginative fiction--oh hang it, writers of any kind of fiction--whack this book on your expenses tab. It's a priceless investment.

Title: Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction
Author: Jeff Vandermeer
Illustrator: Jeremy Zerfoss
Publisher: Abrams, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 December 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781419704420
For ages: Adult
Type: Writing Guide

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