BOOK REVIEW | A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook – Richie Billing

Another review in for AFWH, this time from the lovely Jessica Belmont! I don’t feel worthy of your words, Jessica. I sincerely appreciate it! And I’m delighted to hear you found the book useful too!

If you haven’t already checked out Jessica’s blog, it’s a trove of terrific book reviews and recommendations. You’ll never struggle to find something to read again!

Jessica Belmont

Hi everyone!

Today I have the opportunity to share my review of author Richie Billing’s A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Check it out and let me know what you think!


They say write the book you want to read. When I first started writing fiction, with nothing but ideas and enthusiasm and an ignorance of the elements of storytelling, this is the book I would have wanted as my guide.

Over the years I’ve spent countless hours studying the craft of writing and practising and honing that craft. I’ve learned many lessons, often in the harshest of ways, and the product of those lessons is this book: a guide to everything I’ve learned about writing, the fantasy genre, and the things that come when the writing is finished, if indeed it ever is.

Inside, you’ll find guidance on the pillars of storytelling as well as aspects of writing I find…

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A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing: Book Review

A very lovely review of AFWH from the excellent book blogger, Sarah. For some reason, this post slipped under my radar so apologies for just seeing it now. Thank you, Sarah, for taking the time to read the book and share your thoughts! I sincerely appreciate it. If you’re yet to check out Sarah’s blog, head on over there forthwith! You’ll find tonnes of great book recommendations and insightful reviews.

Sarah Lillian Books

Good hello, friends! Happy Thursday! Today I’m throwing out the order of my reviews in favour to review A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook, which was kindly sent to me for an honest review! Thank you Richie Billing for sending me an advanced copy! A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook was released just yesterday, June 12th, 2019! Not only did I want to accept the book for myself in the hopes of bettering my writing, but also my brother who has always wanted to be a writer and doesn’t know how to start.

My Lame Synopsis: An informative guide to writing fantasy, but could help any writer to get better. Goodreads

Fantasy Writers' Handbook, A - Richie Billing

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from this since this is the first book I’ve read on writing for any genre. Sure, I’ve read a few articles, but not a novel. I’m floored by how…

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A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing – a #BookReview

A thousand thank you’s to Virginia for the wonderful and insightful review of AFWH! I don’t feel worthy of your words and rating!

As Virginia says in her review, she’s not THAT big a fan of writing fantasy, yet she found 18 reasons to read the book. I never appreciated there were that many!

Thank you again! Please do check out Virginia’s brilliant website. It’s filled with more book reviews and the work of her grandfather who sounded like a truly fascinating man.

Rosepoint Publishing

A Fantasy Writers' Handbook by Richie BillingTitle: A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing

Genre: Authorship, Authorship Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing

  • ISBN-10:109778133X
  • ISBN-13:978-1097781331
  • ASIN: B07RR37H9K

Print Length: 275 pages

Publication Date: June 12, 2019

Source: Author request

Title Link: A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook

Book Blurb:

‘A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook’ provides detailed guidance on the pillars of storytelling as well as aspects of writing that rarely feature in other books, such as writing fight scenes and world-building. At times the focus shifts away from the technical elements and considers the philosophies behind writing, ways to help you maintain focus, and methods of battling the demons of doubt that forever loom over our shoulders. 

Section two explores the thriving genre of fantasy and the many facets that make it what it is, before looking at the histories of our world that so often inspire our fantasy tales.

The final part looks at…

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New Flash Fiction Section Added to List of Publishers of Short Fantasy Fiction

The title says it all, really. I've added a flash fiction section to my list of publishers for short fantasy fic. There are about ten on there so far. I'll keep adding to it over the next few days and weeks. Click here to view the list   As always, if you know of any… Continue reading New Flash Fiction Section Added to List of Publishers of Short Fantasy Fiction

A World-Building Treasure Trove

In September I spent two weeks travelling around Ireland. I’ve visited plenty times before, but I’ve never explored. I went with the intention of trying to see anything and everything I could. I barely scratched the surface. Exploration is a tremendous source of inspiration for writing, and for the fantasy writer, inspiration for world-building. It’s… Continue reading A World-Building Treasure Trove

Online Writing Groups

The writing game can be a lonely one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, working with others can improve your writing tremendously. It can be quite tricky finding fellow writers nearby to meet up with, but the internet has made that a whole lot easier. Hundreds, if not thousands of writing groups exist online. No longer do writers have to sit alone in their bedroom reading work aloud to their cats. But it still can be quite difficult to find the right writing group for you. So here's a list of all those I’m aware of.

How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

A superb insight into the world of short story cover letters!

Alex Shvartsman's Speculative Fiction

As an editor I see a lot of bad cover letters. I can’t help but think folks are following some bad advice out there, so I wrote a thing that might help. It’s long and it’s a little ranty and cranky (because I’ve seen a lot of bad cover letters in the last month), but I hope it will also be helpful.

Note that this advice is specific to genre magazines and anthologies and short fiction. Novel submissions play by a different set of rules, and there may be a slightly different etiquette in literary submissions and other genres. But, if you write and submit science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories, the following essay is for you.

How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

The most important fact to remember about cover letters is this: the best cover letter in the world is not really going to…

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The General & The Visitor by Richard Billing and Mark Brooks

A review of The General & The Visitor by The Fantasy Inn!

The Fantasy Inn

The General and The Visitor are two compelling and thought-provoking short stories about life, decisions, and character. Both are quite well written, but at times I did think they could’ve done with a little bit more work to make them flow easier. They’re both short and do an excellent job of provoking the intense emotional reaction I tend to look for in short stories. Of these two stories, only The General is a fantasy story.

The General and The Visitor were written as a way to raise money for the Ranelagh House Care Home, a charity based in Liverpool, UK. All proceeds from the sales of these short stories (sold together) go to charity. You can learn more about their fundraising here

The General

The General, as the name suggests, follows a military leader as he is ordered to destroy a small section of land. Things don’t go quite as…

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The Many Sub-Genres of Fantasy

For Fantasy Friday this week, I’m revisiting an old post: The Many Sub-Genres of Fantasy.

In identifying your sub-genre you can better target your readers as well as publishers that look for that type of tale. It’ll help you make useful comparisons to other, well-known books in that sub-genre too which may, with luck, help you sell more!

Richie Billing

For more writing tips and discussions on the fantasy genre, why not sign up to my mailing list? Subscribers receive a list of 50 fantasy book reviewers and an eBook on the craft of creative writing, featuring guides to world-building, writing fight scenes, plotting, viewpoint, editing, prose, and much, much more.


As I draw closer to completing my work in progress I’ve begun to wonder what sub-genre of fantasy it actually fits into. I’ve always assumed it falls into Epic/High Fantasy, but set in a world with little magic I wondered if there were any other sub-genres to which it may be better suited.

In identifying your sub-genre you can better target your readers as well as publishers that look for that type of tale. It’ll help you make useful comparisons to other, well-known books in that sub-genre too which may, with luck, help you sell more!

So I embarked…

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