Book Review – The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester

Author: Deborah Chester

  • Title: The Fantasy Fiction Formula
  • Pages: 264
  • Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Nook … podcast…
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press; 1 edition (February 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719097061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719097065
  • Availability: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble
  • Website: DeborahChester dot com

Book Blurb

“Listen carefully to what Debbie has to say about telling stories, aspiring writer. She knows exactly what she’s talking about.”
— Jim Butcher

There’s more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you’re lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go?

From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together.


The concept:

You’ve read enough Fantasy to know how the stories are put together.  You have good intuition (or you don’t) and you want to take your story and move it from being a good idea to being a great book.


What I liked:

First and foremost, Deborah knows what she’s talking about.  She is an accomplished writer and teacher and she takes that knowledge and shares it.

I don’t normally review a book until I’ve finished it, but just from what I’ve learned in the first two chapters… I have to share this.  After reading the first chapter, I had enough information that after the first exercise, I had my blurb and a tag line.

The second chapter (which I just finished) has me backing up a little on my writing but only to give the world, the magic and the people the depth they need.  I’m good at designing characters, but some of the questions she tells you to ask yourself are more geared towards the audience… Oh yeah… I tend forget that I’m sharing these stories with actual people and I want to keep them in mind.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in writing fantasy fiction… heck, I’d recommend it to non fantasy fiction writers.

What I didn’t like:

When I found out about this book, the Kindle version wasn’t available and I still have a hard time bending and marking up books and I want my notes right *there*.

I also didn’t like how long it took me to get off my butt and start reading it, which was, of course, my own fault.


If you’re interested in writing and aren’t already a best selling author… get this book… put it on your wishlist,  oh, and don’t be like me… start reading it as soon as you can!

I also found out that Deborah has a series of PodCasts about the Fantasy Fiction Formula, links are on her site.


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