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Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2013


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Book by Jeff VanderMeer


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34 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
How about six stars? 2 novembre 2013
Par John L. Kerr - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I bought this book at the recommendation of an English professor at a local community college, who I happened to bump into at Barnes & Noble. Yes, I paid list price for this book, and it's paying off more than I ever expected. I'm not sure what is more valuable, the ideas that Jeff shares himself, or the other authors he brings in to offer thoughts on a specific aspect of writing. It doesn't matter at this point; I'm getting more ideas about my own book and I haven't even finished chapter 2.

if the number of PostIt notes one writes as the result of inspiration from a book is a valuable to metric to anyone, I think this book has more PostIt's per page than anything I've ever read. I stopped putting them in the book because it was a distraction of its own.

If there is any complaint I would lodge, it is that the glossy pages reflect a lot of light if one is sitting at a desk to read the book. Maybe I need a different desk lamp, so the problem isn't the book. But I'm spending several hours a day, moving at a glacial pace because I get so many ideas. If you think you are an idea person, and you want to write fiction, then get this book to help you organize your ideas. If you don't think you are an idea person, get this book and see if it doesn't help you unlock the part of you that your peers made you hide under a mattress when you were young.
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Marvel-ous. 22 novembre 2013
Par sophistre - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is the most useful book about writing that I have ever bought.

Don't be fooled by the whimsical cover; much like attempting to describe with gorgeous precision the inner workings of a fantastic setting for a novel, what is going on on the inside is much deeper and more complex than you might think.

I've read a lot of books on writing at this point in my life, but most of them haven't addressed the questions that linger with me while I'm sitting down to write. So many choices that a writer can make seem to 'depend' on one thing or another that it's difficult to set out examples with hard and fast rules (or, if it isn't, a thousand other books already exist which contain those few inviolate rules, and therefore those aren't the questions that stick with me). It's a difficult beast to wrangle, especially in useful specifics. On top of that, I think that many of the processes involved in describing those choices or the results of those choices from a reader's perspective are abstract, more a question of what is sensed than something easily articulated.

Wonderbook comes the closest of any instructive book I own to digging down into the nitty-gritty of those many abstract questions. It exhaustively discusses the particulars of a written work's moving parts, and does this from many different angles whenever possible. If a novel is a deck of cards, Wonderbook seems to spread the deck all around the floor into the thinnest layer, so that you can see everything clearly, shuffling things around to have a look at the particulars in as much detail as you'd like.

For me, the 'wonder' is that doing this so acutely and with such precision did not make the book any less a joy to read. It is stunningly gorgeous to look at, but the art is not superfluous to the learning. It's often very funny. Jeff VanderMeer is a master at espressing clearly the nebulous feelings and impulses that come along with both reading and writing stories, and thoroughly examining their place and scope, and relation to everything else.

tl;dr: Wonderbook is a comprehensive, intuitive look at the craft of writing. It's gorgeous to look at. (I don't actually watch Dr. Who (please don't kill me), but that catchphrase about the Tardis does come to mind. "It's bigger on the inside." So I think it goes with Wonderbook.)
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction" by Jeff Vandermeer 21 octobre 2013
Par J. Flickinger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I purchased this book after reading an interview with Vandermeer on one of my favorite blogs (Terribleminds). I am totally blown away by this book. It is a visually stunning collection of some of the most imaginative art I've ever seen but to have that in a book about writing....it's nirvana! Many of the ideas are presented through visual art rather than all words which is a total stimulating match made in Muse-heaven. You owe it to yourself to have this in your library.

Everytime I open it, I find something I didn't see the first time. You willnot regret taking a chance on this.
23 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Writing For Non-Dummies 18 octobre 2013
Par L. Columbus - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book was purchased on a whim, after reading a Facebook post by an author I admire, who is featured in it. The book is a large format 10"x7" softcover, nice quality binding and heavy stock pages that do justice to the beautiful illustrations. Since it only arrived yesterday, I haven't had the time to fully digest it, but I have read the Introduction and scanned through the sections. If you investigate the sample by clicking on the "Look Inside" cover image on the Amazon page, you'll find a generous preview. What I can tell you right now is, I am VERY HAPPY with my purchase! The layout, glorious illustrations and sheer volume of information crammed onto every page, tells me that I will spend a significant amount of time exploring every nook and cranny of this book. It's incredible how the artwork provides visual stimulation, that combines with the text, to inspire and enhance what you are reading and learning. At the very beginning of the book there is a two page spread titled "The History of Science Fiction". It's an illustrated flowchart composed of tentacles that sprawl across the pages, with titles of famous books, magazines and films throughout history. In the margins are further quotes and anecdotes. I must have spent about 15 minutes, just initially perusing it and cheerfully following along, looking for my favorites and discovering works I wasn't familiar with along the way. I consider myself a short story writer and have no doubt the information contained here will help me improve and have FUN along the way. If you write in the fantasy or science fiction genres and especially if you are writing novels, you will LOVE this book. There is a 10 page interview with author George R.R. Martin on "The Craft of Writing", an essay from Neil Gaiman on "The Beginning of American Gods" and various other essays and advice from other writers of note. Also, there is a fantastic website (wonderbooknow.com) to accompany the book and it has even more info and exercises. The book not only serves its purpose as a guide for writers, but is also an entertaining and informative read for anyone interested in the craft of storytelling.
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautifully executed and different, but for beginning writers 10 janvier 2014
Par Desert Mambo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I really struggled with how many stars to give this. If I evaluate it on its usefulness to me--which is, after all, why I bought it, I would give it three stars, because it is much too basic for me. But I also find that it is beautifully done, and I found some things to like about it, so I decided to go with the four stars because I'm probably simply not the right audience of this book. That said, I'm still glad I bought it!

I've taught creative writing for 20+ years, and have books published in another genre. But I am new to writing speculative fiction, and am a bit stuck on a novel I'm working on, so I hoped to be "jump-started" by this book, or at least get some help on plotting and what to do when you get stuck in the middle. This book, unfortunately, did not help me with that. In fact, my only real criticism of the book (leaving aside for a moment that this was simply not aimed at someone like me, which is really more my mistake than the author's) was the section I most looked forward to, Middles, was virtually nonexistent. As in there was a cool image, but then it seemed to be over. A page or two which seemed more about endings but did relate to middles too, and then, nothing. I actually went back several times to see if I had missed something, but I did not. This is probably my most serious criticism of the book--what happened to the "middle" section, the section I suspect most new novelists struggle with?

If you're an experienced writer or have had good basic creative writing classes, a lot of the information in this book is going to be old hat for you. It explains scenes and exposition, use of dialogue, what constitutes a good opening, etc. There is some information on plotting which was too basic for me, but was well done. In fact, all the information on scene, exposition, etc. was succinct and well done, so I applaud the author for his ability to write about the basics of craft and to do it well and also, to apply it to speculative fiction, because he's absolutely correct--there are few basic books that go over this but use examples from speculative fiction. In other words, the basic information in this book is very strong and engagingly presented, and I was delighted to see all the concerns I have as a teacher covered in this book. If I ever get to teach a class in writing speculative fiction--which I'd love to do someday!--then I would use this book in heartbeat. It really is quite good in that way.

It's also a beautiful book. I sat down with it last night and basically went through it straight through, not reading everything, but most of it. I enjoyed reading it--which can't always be said of regular guides to creative writing. The images are lovely, and while I didn't actually think having visuals of some of the information in the text was necessary, it certainly was enjoyable, and perhaps more visual learners would find some of the diagrams very useful for them. (By then I was reading as teacher, not writer, because it was clear the book would be of more use to me using that lens). I also loved the brief interviews with a variety of writers, and I got a bunch of new names of writers to read, which is always a plus for me. I also really liked that Vandermeer used part of his own novel, Finch (which I must read!), as an example. I find it very useful to have writers talk about the choices they made, and why, and he dissected his own work very well. This was also a part that was useful for me as a writer (rather than a teacher) and some of the discussion on revision did, I think, work well for more advanced writers. Some readers may think the book is worth it just for the parts written by George R.R. Martin and Ursula Le Guin, and I did very much enjoy those parts!

I see that the book is aimed at beginners/intermediate writers. I'd say it's more for beginners, but there are gems to be found for more advanced writers as well. It also would be an excellent book for teaching creative writing, and it is so beautiful a book, so that anyone who collects guides to writing or who loves speculative fiction might find it an enjoyable book to have, even if you are not a beginning writer.

If, however, you already know the basics of fiction, and are looking for more of a "how-to" aimed at more advanced writers, this probably is not going to be the book for you. However, I applaud the author for doing something so different, and so beautiful, and I think a lot of people will really enjoy this book!
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