About Writing by Samuel R. Delany is the best writing book most people shouldn't read

 Yes, I'm in love with this book.

Yes, I'm in love with this book.

My writing is changing. Not that my writing ever stopped changing—hell, nothing in life is capable of not changing. But I'm contemplating a bigger change than normal. I've reached a point where the stories I've written until now will absolutely not be the stories I keep writing from here on out.

This explains why I've been obsessing lately on science fiction and worldviews, and asking people for their different SF worldviews. But it's also obvious that most people hate talking about theoretical constructs around literature. And I totally understand this hatred. The route by which literature reaches the mind and soul is through being read, not through being analyzed.

I say all this because I'm about to recommend a book which most people shouldn't read—Samuel R. Delany's About Writing. This is the best writing book I've ever read. I can't recommend it enough.

Except that most people probably shouldn't read it. If you're not a fiction writer, don't read it. If you're a new fiction writer needing to learn the basics, don't read it. If you're an established fiction writer who doesn't give a fictional crap about the theoretical side of what you're writing, don't read it.

But if you're a fiction writer who knows the basics, and who wants to discover what's holding your stories back from the ideal in your dreams, this is the book for you.

I am now rereading this book. I expect I will reread it on a regular basis. This is writing book I'd like to be buried with when I die so archaeologists of the future can see what I tried to do with my fiction.

About Writing by Samuel R. Delany is the best damn writing book around. But most people shouldn't read it.