Ellison...Brooks...Stephenson. These are some of the top fantasy and science fiction authors writing today. Their books reach an audience of tens of thousands and explore imaginative new worlds. Now writers can learn the secret to crafting their own breakout fantasy or sci-fi novel as Philip Athans provides a step-by-step guide to: developing the best plot structure; creating believable, exciting characters; writing compelling combat scenes; presenting technology that sounds as if it ought to work; and, also writing a strong proposal and finding the right publisher. Complete with an introduction by R.A. Salvatore, one of the decade's most prolific fantasy writers, this guide holds the key to success for aspiring authors who want to fly to the stars, find treasure in the dragon's lair, defend Earth from an alien invasion - and publish a bestseller.