Big List of Fantasy Writing Resources and Help!

Whenever anyone asks for non-fiction books, or tips about writing in the fantasy genre I always find that there’s a few key texts/tips that people come up with but inevitably there’s new ones that are useful that someone has stumbled upon. So I thought I would try and bring together a nice list of loads of books/resources that are for writing in general but also for us speculative fiction writers more specifically.

I can’t verify how good all of these resources are, and of course advice is based on opinion and what works for that author and that varies wildly from wordsmith to wordsmith. But, I hope that you find some of these useful!

General Writing Books

Fantasy Specific Writing Books

Online Fantasy Resources

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Essays On Writing:[15]

Brent Weeks’ Writing Advice[28] :

  1. General Writing Advice[29]
  2. Writing Fantasy: Tools & Techniques[30]
  3. Understanding the Business of Publishing[31]
  4. Writing Questions Brent Frequently Has to Say No To[32]
  5. Writing Interview[33]

Ten Tips from George R R Martin[34]

> Darren Shan’s Writing Advice[35]

Table of Contents:

PART ONE – GETTING STARTED

  • One – Age.
  • Two – Education.
  • Three – Ideas.
  • Four – Risky Business.
  • Five – Writing Habits.
  • Six – Daily Page Count.
  • Seven – Family And Friends.
  • Eight – Seeking Feedback.
  • Nine – Defining Success.

PART TWO – THE NUTS AND BOLTS

  • Ten – Beginnings.
  • Eleven – Plotting.
  • Twelve – First Drafts.
  • Thirteen – Seeing It Through.
  • Fourteen – Editing.
  • Fifteen – Editors.
  • Sixteen – Hard Work.
  • Seventeen – Unpublished Work.
  • Eighteen – Writer’s Block.
  • Nineteen – Rejection.

PART THREE – BITS AND PIECES

  • Twenty – Attention To Detail.
  • Twenty One – Surrendering Control.
  • Twenty Two – Style.
  • Twenty Three – Limiting The Shocks.
  • Twenty Four – Audience Expectations.
  • Twenty Five – Series Stuff.
  • Twenty Six – Titles.
  • Twenty Seven – Public Events.
  • Twenty Eight – Other Business.
  • Twenty Nine – Hollywood.
  • Thirty – Think Big!

Holly Black Writing Advice[36]

David Brin Writing Advice[37]

Trudi Canavan Writing Advice[38]

Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Authors[39]

Shawn Speakman gives advice to his younger self[40]

Jan Yolen’s Advice for Writers[41]

Fantasy Faction’s Writing Articles[42]

China Miéville’s advice on Novel Structure for Beginners (on /r/writing)[43]

Dan Harmon’s Story Structure 101; Super Basic Shit (as on /r/writing)[44]

Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories and 8 Basics of Creative Writing via /r/writing[45]

Margaret Atwood’s Happy Endings and 10 Tips for Writing via /r/writing[46]

Write About Dragons resources that pull together two years of Brandon Sanderson’s writing lectures[47]

Brandon Sanderson’s 2014 Lectures[48] with extra bonus links for older lectures!

Limyaael’s Rants[49] – “a wealth of advice, warnings, and witty commentary on just about every aspect of constructing a story – from character design, to worldbuilding, to avoiding cliches.”

Medieval Style Fighting: A Quick and Dirty Guide[50] from our very own /u/Azincourt [51]

A Guide To Travel in a Fantasy Setting: Travel by Foot & Horse[52]

Writing Podcasts

Fantasy and Sci Fi Writing Podcasts

  • Writing Excuses[56] with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, and Mary Robinette Kowal (average of 15-20 minutes runtime)
  • The Dead Robots Society[57] (approximately an hour runtime, give or take 10-15 minutes)

And for full disclosure this is pretty much exactly the same post that I made on /r/fantasywriters! If you’ve got anything that you think should be added, let me know!

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