Monday, August 17, 2020

Review: Worldbuilding for Fantasy Fans and Authors by M.D. Presley

Worldbuilding For Fantasy Fans And Authors (Forging Fantasy Realms #2)
Worldbuilding For Fantasy Fans And Authors (Forging Fantasy Realms #2) by M.D. Presley
Publication Date: August 15th, 2020
Ebook. 442 pages

About Worldbuilding for Fantasy Fans:

"Worlds can exist without stories, but fantasy stories cannot exist without a vibrant and enthralling world. But what makes a good fantasy world? 

Be you a top-down planner, a bottom-up pantser, or a fantasy fan experiencing the worldbuilding from the inside-out, this comprehensive guide has you covered. Adopting a “tools not rules” approach, you will discover dozens of worldbuilding strategies, including: 

Ineffective, effective, and inspired worldbuilding. 
Designing comprehensive magic systems. 
The four Cs of worldbuilding and how to use them. 
The ins and outs of immersion. 
Enhancing the audience experience with fantasy conceits. 

Also featuring: 
Case studies from famous worldbuilders. 
Map design 101. 
Survey results showing what audiences want. 
Answers to these questions and more were once scattered throughout the realms, but have finally been compiled and synthesized for fantasy fans and authors alike."

I'll preface this review by saying that I'm not currently much of a writer (well, outside of academic writing, but I'm not really considering that as something that fits with this topic) so I'm coming at this book from the 'fantasy fan' angle (and hey, maybe I'll actually try my hand at writing some fantasy of my own one day!). I found Presley's Worldbuilding for Fantasy Fans and Authors to be insightful, informative, and entertaining on the topic of what exactly goes into worldbuilding and what to expect when creating and exploring your own (or others') worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding has always been one of the most fascinating components of any fantasy to me because it's one of those things that, when done well, can easily blow me away and leave me wondering how an author can go about crafting something so complex and unique. I think something that particularly stands out to me about this book is that it didn't feel like a "guide" or "how-to" on worldbuilding, necessarily. It absolutely gives great ideas and insight into world-building, but it's not written in a way that felt like I was a reading a guide, but rather an in-depth discussion about worldbuilding and all the details and ideas that should be taken into consideration when crafting your own world. Presley provides plenty of great examples of fantasy worldbuilding that he draws from in order to explain ideas, concepts, and what can be done with worldbuilding.

It was a fun experience getting to explore more about fantasy worlds and everything that goes into them from a nonfiction perspective that takes a more analytical approach. Presley utilizes a very casual tone that retains an air of professionalism that gives added authority to his discussions in addition to his background as both an author and screenwriter. I found it easy to follow along with the discussion and his explanations, and I appreciated how much personal experience and effort mixed with examples from outside sources Presley included in order to make this a well-rounded and thorough exploration of worldbuilding. 

Lastly, I really loved Presley's exploration of different worldbuilding terms. I feel like those alone sparked a lot of new thoughts from me, and I found it really helpful to go through them in depth in the beginning of the book in order to get the most out of the rest. Presley maintains a strong structure throughout the book by laying out some foundational ideas before moving into more topics.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading through Worldbuilding for Fantasy Fans and Authors! There was a lot of really great content and exploration of the worldbuilding process and everything that goes into it, as well as providing more ideas to spark discussion around the topic.  I would say that if you're a fantasy fan who appreciates worldbuilding and is curious to know more about what goes into it, then you should absolutely give this a read--and same goes for authors who would like to have more information presented about worldbuilding.

*I received a copy of Worldbuilding for Fantasy Fans and Authors in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*


  1. This sounds interesting! I've never considered reading a non fiction book about world building, but it does sound fascinating, I have to admit😁

  2. This sounds very interesting. I'll add it to my TBR. I like that it doesn't come off as a "how to" book.

  3. Reading and blogging about his book. It's a game changer. Readers will benefit from thinking about how the great writers carried them to places of wonder so handily. Writers will learn the craft.