Book Review: Wonderbook (The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction)

Wonderbook cover

This book … is incredible. A real find for anyone interested in writing, or art, or teaching either. Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction explores the craft of writing fiction through many lens. I spent part of an afternoon just flipping through to the illustrations, which are strange and wonderful to view, and informative as a way to conceptualize the writing process for fiction.

The theme is “imaginative fiction” but isn’t all fiction imaginative?

Writer/Illustrator Jeff VanderMeer, running on all cylinders here, brings a wide array of ideas to the forefront, from creating characters to mapping out imaginative stories to the revision process to much more. There are many intriguing interviews with published writers, exploring the minds of creativity. While Wonderbook may be more of a textbook for a storytelling class, I found it useful as a writer and teacher of young writers.

Yesterday, we used a map from the book for a writing prompt, in which students used the map as setting for an adventure story, and they were very intrigued.

Peace (on maps and beyond this world),



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