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How To Write Your Best Story

Wonder what it takes to get published? This book makes the case that the answer is: good storytelling!

However, storytelling skills, despite their immense value, are seldom emphasized in writing courses. This book fills that gap, exploring three key elements that fuel the magic of story: intriguing eccentricity, delightful details, and satisfying surprises.

How To Write Your Best Story, by Philip Martin

The proven storytelling techniques are those used by the best authors, including winners of the Nobel, the Pulitzer, and National Book Award, as well as by other bestselling authors whose books are treasured by generations of fans.

This guide draws on the author’s decades of experience in the book trade, including editing many books of advice on literary craft and career development.

The practical tips, techniques, and examples here draw on the work of literary greats, from Shakespeare, Dickens, and Mark Twain to Willa Cather, E.B. White, and James Thurber to modern masters of successful fiction.

How To Write Your Best Story will help you understand how to craft better fiction (or nonfiction) and to get your best work published.

“An inspiring, captivating gem of a book on the storyteller’s art. I loved it.”
– Douglas Clegg, author of Neverland, Isis, Afterlife, and other bestselling novels

“This is a gem of a book – a must-read for anyone who wishes to craft the ‘best story’ possible.”
– Raymond Bial, author of many books for children and adults, including Amish Home, The Underground Railroad, and Where Lincoln Walked.

A Guide to Fantasy Literature

A Guide to Fantasy Literature is a wide-ranging look at the magic of fantasy storytelling and why it delights and enchants readers of all ages. The book discusses the nature of the best writing, from tales of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia to other diverse examples of classic high fantasy, dark fantasy, fairy-tale, magic realism, and adventure-fantasy tales.

A Guide to Fantasy Literature, by Philip Martin

Interesting, learned and accessible thoughts on all aspects of fantasy fiction . . .  A Guide to Fantasy Literature is a very good book. Anyone with a strong interest in fantasy literature will come away from Martin’s guide knowing more than what they arrived with.”
January Magazine

The book examines the major building blocks of fantasy fiction, and discusses its purpose and popularity today. Includes material from interviews and samples of outstanding passages from the writings of the best fantasists, drawing an inclusive picture of a vibrant literary community across the ages.

Praise for the original 2002 edition (A Writer’s Guide to Fantasy Literature):

“A genuinely valuable book, intelligently assembled and edited.”
— Peter S. Beagle, World Fantasy Award winner

“Rich with insights, thorough and knowledgeable, it’s the best and most reliable guide to a multi-faceted subject. At heart, it’s a work of deep love and understanding of a powerful literary genre.”
— Lloyd Alexander, Newbery Award winner

The Purpose of Fantasy

The Purpose of Fantasy looks at the core spiritual values of a dozen beloved fantasy books. With an introduction about fantasy literature in general, it examines a key purpose of fantasy: to ask spiritual or philosophical questions and explore creative approaches to matters of faith and belief, good and bad, right and wrong, and other deeply held, intangible values.

The Purpose of Fantasy, by Philip Martin

With its succinct discussion of twelve great books, from classics like The Little Prince and The Wind in the Willows to more contemporary novels by modern masters of fantasy like Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, and Natalie Babbitt, this book offers good ideas for literary book clubs or for individual reading and insight.

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Philip Martin is editor of many books of advice for authors. Previously acquisitions editor for The Writer Books, he has also authored  A Guide to Fantasy Literature and How To Write Your Best Story, as well as a number of books on traditional culture. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he directs Great Lakes Literary, offering editorial services and websites for authors.


Philip Martin

Great Lakes Literary