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’re starting your first or tenth novel, Making Myths and Magic was written for you.

Fantasy author Shelly Campbell and editor Allison Alexander have teamed up to provide a comprehensive resource, 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 science fiction and fantasy novels, movies, and TV shows.

Within these pages, you’ll learn how to tackle structure, dialogue, tropes, diversity, mythology, riddles, prophecies, fantastic creatures, weapons, technology, magic systems, languages, and more!

"Comprehensive yet concise! Unlike other worldbuilding books that merely present advice in a vacuum, Making Myths and Magic shows the practical way to take foggy ideas and turn them into concrete action. This is an easy pick up for all speculative fiction authors and writers out there."
"Making Myths and Magic is a thoughtful and in-depth guide that covers everything the aspiring fantasy or sci-fi author will need, and then some. Not only does this field guide provide the building blocks for a book, but it offers suggestions on how to do so with care and originality. This guide is perfect for beginners, and as a welcome reference for more experienced writers."
"Making Myths and Magic is a master class in storytelling. Using accessible examples, we get concrete direction on how to shape everything from characterization to worldbuilding in order to write an immersive book that, above all else, embodies an author's voice authentically."
"Making Myths and Magic is an indispensable resource for every storyteller. This book encourages readers to have fun with their stories first, and then it equips them to send those stories into the world. It's relatable and uses familiar worlds and narratives to teach new and veteran writers alike how to take the tropes of genre fiction and turn them on their heads so that they can craft refreshing, unique tales that engage audiences. Whether you're writing for yourself or publication, Making Myths and Magic will keep your writing fun while honing your craft."
"Whether you're an aspiring speculative fiction writer or a multi-published author, you'll find Making Myths and Magic an invaluable resource! From structure to characterization to worldbuilding, all the essentials are here, broken down with such clarity and freshness, it all clicks into place. Replete with diverse examples from classic and contemporary sci-fi and fantasy, Making Myths and Magic will guide you as you translate your vision from your head to the page."
"This book is a must have for anyone considering the path of a fiction author; it contains everything you need to know, from brainstorming methods to story structure, character arcs, and developing cultures. This book alone can cut years from the learning curve to writing high-quality fiction."
"Making Myths and Magic has all the tools, tips, and tricks beginning writers need-and some for veteran writers too! I wish I'd had it when I was starting out."
"What I loved about this book is that it was nonjudgmental about the writing process. It explained the ins and outs of all levels and types of storytelling-from plotting to pantsing, from the hero's journey to the seven-act scene structure... It doesn't try to drown you with verbose language that leaves you yearning for the point, nor does it bury you in superfluous narrative. AND it comes complete with examples! Many other books tell you how to improve your writing but this one has a great balance of both show and tell... Highly recommend if you want a no-bullshit guide to writing."

Order Now

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: February 18, 2022
Dimensions: 6″ x 9″

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 an editor, author, and podcast host. She’s fascinated by the intersection of geek culture (in particular, science fiction and fantasy), disability, and faith. And she loves talking about worldbuilding. Her book Super Sick: Making Peace with Chronic Illness is part memoir, part research, part pop culture analysis and documents her experience living with a painful condition. She makes her home in Hoth, a.k.a. Winnipeg, Manitoba, with her husband and their giant collection of tabletop RPG manuals. 

During her free time, you can find her chasing chocobos in Hyrule, traipsing with kitsune in Middle-earth, or piloting the Normandy in a galaxy far, far away. Learn more about Allison and her books here.

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