First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!
It’s day twelve of this great event. This blog will have reviews and tour stops on February 4, 8, 18, 19, 21, 27, and 28.
Today I’m featuring a fellow book-about-creating-settings author:
We’re talking about the book The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch. First up, my review:
Author I Haven’t Previously Read
Writing Craft book
This book is dedicated to the A to Z Challenge bloggers of 2014. I was one of those people! So, though the author and I do not know each other, we have participated in the same (very large) blog hop, and in the same book tour. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of it.
I enjoyed the book very much. I have a reference book out on a related topic (Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters), so I know quite a bit about this genre. The A-Zs of Worldbuilding is a very well written and comprehensive book. It’s informative and has a strong author voice. And, because of the subject matter, it even covers the importance of diversity. I would recommend it to any writer who is building a world from scratch, and also to those who are writing a story using a setting with which they are not very familiar. The book has a definition of Speculative Fiction because that is the core reader audience.
Some of my favorite parts include:
“Is there any reason why a society would only construct square buildings, or even round ones?”
“The government’s agenda is to spread their own versions of, well, everything. They will actively destroy knowledge that contradicts their agenda.”
That’s so true. It really hit home for me. My parents told me stories like that, how much of the Lenni-Lenape history was taken away.
“Additionally, in some cultures, receiving a name is a rite of passage, and people may change their names at different points in their lives.”
This is another quote to which I could relate.
There’s also a mention of how ridiculous revealing armor is, something which happens in fantasy, that made me want to high-five the author.
I read this book cover to cover, and will reread it, because it’s well done and very useful. I feel the book is an excellent reference tool. I can use it when I’m writing fantasy stories. I feel that it’s beneficial to the writing community.
Genre: Fantasy, Reference – Craft of Writing, Science Fiction
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask ‘what if’ and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.
In THE A-ZS OF WORLDBUILDING, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.
Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.
What motivates you to write book reviews? Or, if you don’t write them, what deters you?
I occasionally write book reviews. What most motivates me to write them is either a connection with an author (someone I’ve known for a long time who finally has a debut novel, for example), or the story itself touches my heart. I’m also more likely to review a book from an indie author, since those traditionally published have more help with exposure overall. What deters me is the time often involved. I am not as avid a reader as I used to be in my childhood, sadly, and some chronic health challenges often necessitate that I prioritize certain tasks and projects far ahead of others.
Why did you start blogging?
To create a platform for my writing and connect with an audience.
Do you have any other books coming out soon?
I will have a fantasy short story in an anthology this spring, but release date has not been settled yet.
Never stop looking for inspiration – it’s always there. Even if you don’t have time to write it, always keep looking for that magic ‘what if’.
Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?
I love worldbuilding. When I was looking for ways to learn how to worldbuild as a young writer, I was always disappointed by the lack of true worldbuilding workbooks, so this was born out of that desire.
What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?
Draft a second volume of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding on creating magic systems. Establish a true writing habit for my fiction, which I’ve let be overrun by ‘real life’ the past several years. Finish revising at least one of my set-aside novels.
As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
A fascinating summary, followed closely by a stunning book cover!
What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this post to answer or remark on in the blog comments?
What about worldbuilding most inspires or hinders you, either as a reader or writer?
Find this author at:
There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway over at the Blogging from A to Z blog