Immersive Story Telling For Real And Imagined Worlds by Margaret Kerrison (book review).

With a title like ‘Immersive Story Telling For Real And Imagined Worlds’, you have to think this is one of publisher Michael Wiese Productions’ books that is targeted at our genre. Author Margaret Kerrison has written for Walt Disney’s Imagineering projects and casually drops in the names of the ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel projects that she’s worked on.

That should make some of your eyes sparkle. Although she got a degree in scriptwriting, the biggest lesson learnt is she didn’t have to write films as the talent could be exploited in other mediums including, as noted, theme parks. Obviously, a lot of this book is aimed at the American market, but there’s a fair bet that as your writer’s CV develops and you’re persistent, various companies will eventually look at your work and see what you have to offer.

As Kerrison points out, this book isn’t how to get that job but useful tips that you can apply to show that you understand what is expected of you, which is still essentially being a writer for hire bringing your ideas to the table or viewscreen. When it does come to jobs, she does give some practical advice in both building up your writer’s CV and meeting people in the industry to get yourself known and creep under the door.

A lot of this book is devoted to immersive theme parks but employing world-building techniques in the real world we writers employ in fiction. The interlocking of these does show a middle ground. Select your favourite reality in fiction and I suspect the environment itself is one of the draws that attracts people to it. Don’t expect too many secrets from these theme parks but you do get a couple sections looking at the work.

As Kerrison was Singapore born and lives in America now, this is a book showing that its raw talent that is stronger than where you come from.

She covers her own area and fiction, showing world-building is a medium that needs the same kinds of talent. The one thing you might come away from this book learning is to jump out of the box and look beyond the usual suspects when it comes to finding work for your imaginative needs.

GF Willmetts

August 2022

(pub: Michael Wiese Productions. 2229 page illustrated enlarged paperback. Price: $54.49 (US), £23.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-61593-341-9. US release: 11 August 2022. UK release: 23 August 2022)

check out website: www.mwp.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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