Book: Lesson is writing a new world

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

By Jeff VanderMeer

(323 pages, nonfiction, 2013)

Looking for some advanced fiction writing techniques? This book has everything from worldbuilding to properly using beats. All packaged between wonky illustrations that will make you wonder if you ended up in one of Tim Burton’s stories. Written for authors by authors with all the twisted imaginings you would expect from the crazy minds of writers. Even with amazing advice from George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman, this book doesn’t take itself too seriously and is super fun to read.

There is so much content in this book. It will answer any question you have about crafting a story. And the best part is, it’s good information. Secrets that will propel your writing right to the bestsellers list and make your readers think you’ve got a creative writing degree.

I especially love the famous author commentary. Like Neil Gaiman on how American Gods began and was shaped. George R.R. Martin on how he tackles writing. Lauren Beukes on writing outside your experience and culture. How Lev Grossman handles revision. Or how Karen Joy Fowler creates stories that leave room for interpretation by using messiness. These snippets into the minds of successful authors give the book a warm, conversational aspect to it.

So maybe you’re struggling with the role of time in your story. Or maybe you need to revise your ending to deliver on your promise to your readers. Or maybe your characters are rebelling against your original plan for them. This book will give you all the tools you need to tackle your story and create something you’re proud of. Something that’ll make your readers say, “Aha!” So pick up this book and enter a world unlike one you’ve ever imagined.

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Amy Cornwell

Author: Insider Staff

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