How To Write Your Best Story, by Philip Martin

“What’s the difference between plot and story? Find out in this concise, almost poetic examination of what makes a great story. Martin’s examples are perfectly selected. The book is short, doesn’t have a lot of filler, but packs a punch.” – Deb Baker, author

How To Write Your Best Story is a guide for writers. I have long been an editor of books for writers, and I came to the realization that story techniques are seldom taught or emphasized as a core skill for authors.

Instead, plot is often held up as the key. But as an acquisitions editor, I knew that I seldom acquired a book based on its plot. I selected submissions based on the success of the storytelling.

In brief, a story does three things. It captures your attention with something odd, it holds your attention by delivering selected tasty details, and it delivers at the end with a proper finish that surprises and yet fits the story.

This book will help you better understand and better deliver to your readers those three core elements of story.

“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

As Flannery O’Connor said, “I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.” Don’t be one of those writers. Know what makes a good literary story. Then sit down to write a great one!


The Purpose of Fantasy, by Philip Martin

“All stories teach, whether the storyteller intends them to or not. They teach the world we create. They teach the morality we live by.”
– Philip Pullman

Good fantasy literature is far more than a bunch of elves, dwarves, or other imaginary creatures running around fighting dragons, ogres, or orcs and having adventures. The Purpose of Fantasy looks at some of the core spiritual values of a dozen beloved fantasy books.

With an introduction about fantasy literature in general, it holds up to the light 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.

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.

Philip Martin is an award-winning author and editor of many books for adults and young readers. He is also the author of A Guide to Fantasy Literature and a number of books of advice for authors, including How To Write Your Best Story. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.