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The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester (2016-02-01) Paperback – January 1, 1781

4.8 out of 5 stars 399 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01F9Q6EPO
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Manchester University Press (January 1, 1781)
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 399 ratings

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Since beginning my professional career as a novelist in 1978, I've had over 40 books published, including Regency romances, young adult, science fiction, and fantasy. Some of my early science fiction was published under two pseudonyms -- Sean Dalton and Jay D. Blakeney. More recently, I wrote a fantasy young adult trilogy under the name C. Aubrey Hall: CRYSTAL BONES, THE CALL OF EIRIAN, and MAGE FIRE. Currently I hold the John Crain Presidential Professorship at the University of Oklahoma, where I teach novel and short story writing in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
399 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Editor's #1 Recommended Resource Book for Writers
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2017
I am a freelance editor with over 12 years of experience. I specialize in fantasy and I've edited for NY Bestselling authors such as Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells. If I could only pick two books that every writer should read, this would always be one of those two. It's great for genre people who work in fantasy AND science fiction (because a lot of the rules and formulas are the same), but it's also excellent for writers of any genre because it teaches overall storytelling techniques that I haven't found covered quite as well in any other singular book. This is the first book I recommend to any client that I have, and I have over 2 shelves full of writing craft books. THE FANTASY FICTION FORMULA is great for beginners, who can treat it like a 101 class, but it also teaches excellent advanced techniques so that even highly-skilled writers with so much talent and a lot of writing classes under their belt will learn things.

It's one of those books you will find yourself referencing and re-reading--as you can see from my photos, I've marked my copy really well. (I'd recommend you make sure you have a highlighter when you start reading, or you might soon regret it.) Of those of my clients who have bought the book, every single person has come back raving about the things that they've learned and how it has helped them. It's helped solve their climax. It's helped with their outline. It's helped with description (a problem I've found most writers still don't quite understand). It's helped with ... insert problem area here. For those who might not be fans of Deborah Chester as an author or feel that she doesn't sell well enough to merit writing a good craft book, Deborah Chester does more than write. She has years of teaching experience under her belt, so the things taught here in the book have already undergone a lot of testing in the classroom, which is probably why this book is so easy to follow and builds on its own teachings very well. I've often quoted from this book in the editorial feedback I give to writers because the explanations are so clear.

For those interested, I also recommend watching Brandon Sanderson's 318R class on youtube for writing speculative fiction, because it's a free 300-level college class where you can also learn a lot. You can also find Dan Wells's story structure class on youtube.
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Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2016
76 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

Dan Saunders
4.0 out of 5 stars A good guide to fantasy writing, but I didn't agree with everything.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Connor Caple
5.0 out of 5 stars No idea why anyone complains about this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for first time fantasy author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2020
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2018
One person found this helpful
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Robert Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to me, and now I recommend it to you...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2020