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I just got a whole bunch of writing books. So many, in fact, that I haven’t had much time to read all of them yet. It’s always great to have new tools to learn from. My favorite thus far is Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake, and the Editors of Writer’s Digest.

One of the things I’ve tried to piece together over the years of my writing is questionnaires. It’s helpful to have a standard set of information to go to for things like characters and places, but also for magic and even the cultures in my books.

This book will help with that immensely.

It’s not about giving a specific process to follow as much as it is giving an overlay of the elements found in sci-fi/fantasy works. It gives information on such things as magical practices around the world and in mythology, gives lists of terms (such as the various types of divination) and then has questions on how to develop my own system of magic for the book I’m writing. That’s just to name one. There’s also a list of the different ways that time travel might affect a timeline, and a glossary for medieval era clothing.

It’s the tools and basic information necessary to create a living, breathing world in each book. Which is what every writer wants. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be reading.