Book of the Week #24 - Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer
Greetings, readers! My name is Sareeta Domingo, and I’m an author and fiction editor. It’s my great pleasure to be bringing you a Book of the Week, each week here on Morning Mari.
We’re already edging to halfway through the penultimate month of the year, but there’s something special that occurs in November that has inspired my Book of the Week selection this week. It’s National Novel Writing Month, also known as Nanowrimo! Nanowrimo is a yearly challenge which encourages people to try and write fifty thousand words of a novel in one month—for the maths whizzes among you, that’s a rate of one thousand six hundred and sixty seven words per day. It’s by no means an easy task, but I’m utilising the month to kick off a new novel of my own (I’m not necessarily on target for 50k by the 30th, but hey!). So I thought I’d recommend a fantastic book for inspiring the imagination of any storyteller—Wonderbook: An Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer.
As you can tell from the title, the book is intended as both an instruction manual and also a source of inspiration for writers. There are tons of books about the art of storytelling and novel writing out there, but Vandermeer has created a resource that really does spark the imagination. It’s chock full of hundreds of drawings and illustrations rendered in glossy colour, designed to help simulate your ideas, as well as genuinely useful detailed advice about crafting stories. It discusses a range of ideas, from point of view, to dialogue, how to start and end your story, shaping your characters and so much more. But rather than a dry, stale textbook, Wonderbook has something unusual, laughter-inducing and always creative on every single page. It’s also full of fun exercises that can help spark off ideas if you’re blocked.
Nanowrimo is a chance for everyone who feels they have a novel inside them to give it a go, but even if you’re not quite there yet, this excellent book will give you space to gestate and create the stories inside you. And that is why Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer is my Book of the Week this week.