Making Myths and Magic

A Field Guide to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels

By: Shelly Campbell and Allison Alexander

SFF Guide Cover - ebook

So you want to write speculative fiction?

It’s time to get that fantastic world that’s been stuck inside your head for years, complete with dragons and androids, onto paper! Whether you’ve written several novels already and need a resource to refresh your storytelling or you’ve got a single idea that’s ready to be transformed, Making Myths and Magic was written for you.

Fantasy author Shelly Campbell and executive editor Allison Alexander have teamed up to provide a comprehensive resource for speculative fiction writers, distilling the information they’ve learned from years in the publishing industry. To keep you inspired and engaged as you grow in your craft, they take a deep dive through your favourite media, including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, The Hunger Games, and more, 

In this concise, friendly guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Brainstorm and outline.
  • Structure your novel.
  • Hook readers from the first sentence,
  • Add tension and conflict.
  • Play with familiar tropes from sci-fi and fantasy in new ways.
  • Write within your sub-genre and for your target audience.
  • Create three-dimensional, diverse characters.
  • Write myths, songs, riddles, and prophecies.
  • Craft unique societies.
  • Design creatures and monsters.
  • Create magic systems and imagine futuristic science.
  • Describe clothing, weapons, and armour.

Take your imagination beyond the expected and use this book to bring readers into the wondrous worlds you create.

"There is no 'right' way to write."
Allison Alexander and Shelly Campbell
"At Dawn... We Plan: Brainstorming and Outlining"

Check out some of the quotes from the book below, taken from various chapters. The book is divided into four sections: Building the Novel’s Skeleton, Hooking Readers, Character Creation, and Worldbuilding.

"The word myth comes from the Greek word mythos, which means “story, narrative, or utterance.” These sacred tales have some serious staying power, memorized by countless storytellers, passed on by word-of-mouth for generations. Why do such stories resonate and remain common knowledge thousands of years after they originated? What makes them stick?"
Allison Alexander and Shelly Campbell
"I Find Your Lack of Myth Disturbing"
"If you are looking to break away from the traditional bow and sword, there are some fantastic ranged weapons you can use instead. Atlatl (spear throwers) and spears were used for 20,000 years before humans fired their first arrow. Slings and Bullets are accurate and deadly at a range of up to 400 meters! Plumbatae Lead Darts—deadly predecessor to lawn darts—can be lobbed in volleys at close range."
Allison Alexander and Shelly Campbell
"Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight: Weapons and Armour"
"A well-written song doesn’t need notes for you to hear its music. Songs and poems add a subtlety to your narrative that you can’t always get away with otherwise."
Allison Alexander and Shelly Campbell
"So Sing We All: How to Include Lyrics and Poetry in Your Novel"

Coming 2022

Making Myths and Magic will be available online from major booksellers. You can also order it from your favourite local bookstore or request it from your library!

ISBN: 978-1-989423-38-7 (hardcover)
978-1-989423-39-4 (softcover)
978-1-989423-40-0 (ebook)
978-1-989423-41-7(large print softcover)
Publisher: Mythos & Ink
Publication Date: 2022
Dimensions: 5.5″ x 8.5″

Shelly Campbell

At a young age, Shelly Campbell wanted to be an air show pilot or a pirate, possibly a dragon and definitely a writer and artist. She’s piloted a Cessna 172 through spins and stalls, and sailed up the east coast on a tall ship barque—mostly without projectile vomiting. In the end, Shelly found writing fantasy and drawing dragons to be so much easier on the stomach.

Shelly‘s tales are speculative fiction, tending toward literary with dollops of oddity. She enjoys the challenge of exploring new techniques and subject matter, and strives to embed inspiring stories in her writing and art.

Allison Alexander

Allison Alexander (she/her) is a chronically ill editor, author, and geek. She loves working on books with diverse characters, and though she is ruthless about cutting unnecessary words, she cheers authors on with undying loyalty. She makes her home in Hoth, a.k.a. Winnipeg, with her husband and their giant collection of tabletop RPG manuals. Find her at aealexander.com.

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