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Writing Resource Highlight: Fantasy Author’s Handbook

August 12, 2012

Today’s post is going to be another resource highlight, because I’ve been using this resource extensively as of late, so I feel obligated to share. First, however, a brief update.

  1. My advice column has gone live in the Insomnia Press literary magazine monthly publication. See my post on writing horror here: (A free Issu account is needed, but it’s quick and worth it.)
  2. Guild Wars 2 ships at the end of this month! Exciting!
  3. My writing class, of which there are only a couple of sessions left, has done exactly what I wanted it to do: I’ve broken that barrier that prevented me from writing short stories.
  4. August’s NaNo got off to a bad start. I didn’t enjoy writing it at all, which is, of course, always a bad sign. I decided I don’t want to waste 30k or 50k or even 10k on that story. Instead, I’m focusing on the short stories I have sitting on my plate for various publications with submission due dates coming up.

Fantasy Author’s Handbook

I’ve linked to the Fantasy Author’s Handbook blog a number of times in the past few weeks, but I know better than to assume you lazy bums have actually clicked on the link. I’m glaring at you all right now. I look very intimidating, I promise.

The guy who runs this, Phil Athans, is teaching the class I’m taking. I’ve said that probably eight times now across various posts, but just in case you missed it, there it is again. But I’m not touting him because he’s something of
Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction
a celebrity. I’m touting him because taking his class is one of the best things I’ve ever done.

One thing I love about writers is that so many of them, once they become successful, want to turn and lend a helping hand to others aspiring to follow in their footsteps. Phil is one of those people, and he’s gotten the “helping hand” part down to an art. He knows what you’re trying to do, where you’ll likely trip up, what you probably don’t know, and what problems you’re going to face. His class, Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, is a general overview of writing in the genre, but it’s got so many juicy details and sage advice that, despite my years of research and writing, I’m learning a lot. And he’s a great, approachable guy. I’m not intimated by him. In fact, I feel encouraged by him.

But you’re not taking this class. Well, at least, I assume you’re not, since that would be quite the coincidence. But he’s got his blog for just that reason. And he’s got a book, one that I’ve mentioned, which was written specifically to help you with your writing. Don’t be fooled by the cheesy “6 Steps to Writing and Publishing Your Bestseller” on the cover. There’s some good, meaty material in there.

And, most importantly, it’s not all just for fantasy and science fiction. Like any good genre writing resource, there’s a lot in there that could help writers of any variety.

So, there’s my recommendation. Take it, or don’t. I hope you take it, though. It could help you. It’s certainly helped me.


From → General Advice

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