What: About Writing, by Samuel R. Delany, is a book of writing advice that includes seven essays, four letters, and five interviews. Two essays are ones I go back to over and over again, “Thickening the Plot,” and “Characters.”
Who: People who will enjoy this book include all manner of writers, as well as anyone interested in Delany’s own awesome fiction.
When: You should read this when you’re feeling uninspired about your own writing or if you want some assurance that “writing to discover” is as valid an approach as plotting things out thoroughly.
Why: Delany is one of the foremost SF writers of our time. His work speaks not just to those beginning to write, but those well along their path. If, like me, you love his fiction, you’ll find About Writing sheds new light on those works.
Where and how: Read it someplace quiet, where you have space to stare off into the distance, thinking about what Delany has said. Read it straight through or else do what I do and dip in at various places. No matter what angle your approach takes, it’ll be rewarding.