Three Books to Help You Write Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction is one of my favorite types of writing. It’s fun and allows the writer a lot of creative freedom. In my opinion writing speculative is the best time to ask the question “what if” and find out the answer.speculative-fiction
Perhaps you don’t know what I mean when I say Speculative Fiction. For those of you who don’t, let me clarify. Speculative Fiction is a category of writing which encompasses Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. A few of the masters of this style are Frank Peretti, Stephen King, Philip Dick, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

While writing may come easy to you, let me suggest you check out a few books on the craft of writing in Speculative Fiction. Here are the three books I’m currently studying.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

220px-onwritingOne of the best horror writers, Stephen King is known for his works such as Carrie, The Shining and It. While at times a little raw, this book gives an in-depth look into the life of Stephen King. The memoir begins with King’s childhood, and you really get a feel for how this horror writer started out. King then moves on to talk about craft and important aspects of what you need to learn if you want to write well.


Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle.

walking-on-waterWhile this might not be a go to for everyone, Madelenine L’Engle author of A Wrinkle in Time, is without a doubt a phenomenal writer. A friend once told me that the way L’Engle writes about hard topics always comforted her because she knew that a topic would be broached that challenged her while also leading her down the rabbit hole in a way that made her feel safe. This kind of incredible connection with readers is worth looking into for anyone who is interested in writing. I think it’s also safe to say that as a creator of art, it’s good to know where that creative genius is coming from and how to interact with it in a way that stays true to who you are.

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin

steering-the-craftKnown for The Earthsea Trilogy, Ursula K. Le Guin is an incredible Speculative Fiction writer. Her scene setting and rich characters are more than enough to qualify her to write about writing, not to mention her numerous awards, including her World Fantasy Award for her book The Other Wind. In Steering the Craft Le Guin lays out fundamental workings of narrative voice and good information about point of view. With an easy-to-read witty voice, Le Guin also instructs readers on writing solo, or in groups and offers guides to writing that are easy to understand and apply.

Take some time to check out these books, and see where they may lead you, I know I certainly plan to. Happy reading and writing!

P.S. If you know of any other Speculative Fiction craft books I can add to my list, please tell me about them in the comments. As I like to say, you can’t be a good writer without being an avid reader.


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