What’s the best book on writing? A common suggestion is Stephen King's memoir ON WRITING. But I don't think there's a single "best" writing manual. What matters is finding guides with the most useful advice for YOU and your writing style.

Is There a “Best” Book on Writing?

A large number of writers—both professional and aspiring—swear by Stephen King’s memoir ON WRITING as their “writing bible”. In a marketplace increasingly crowded with books on writing advice and story craft, this one gets referenced a LOT. And for good reason (both its content, and sheer ubiquity of availability).

But is it the “best”? I don’t think there’s any such thing. What matters is finding frameworks, advice, and guides that click with your own way of thinking and writing style.

In this video, I explain why I think you should be collecting writing advice, tools, and philosophies from multiple sources. I talk about why you don’t need to find a single perfect guide or guru.

Three Useful Takeaways = One Great Writing Book

Instead, you’ll be looking for three—just three—highly useful and memorable takeaways from each writing manual. Skills and frameworks that work for your mind—whether you’re an obsessive outliner, a seat-of-the pants discovery writer, or somewhere in between.

I also talk about some of the writing books that have been most useful to me. And, a bunch of authors who have appeared on Fictitious weigh in with their favorite guides and manuals, including: Richard Kadrey, Menna Van Praag, Ryan Van Loan, Andrea Stewart, Alina Boyden, Peng Shepherd, Emily B. Martin, and Martha Wells.

Inspired by the Writing Community

 This video was inspired by a tweet from writer L.A. Cunningham and the extensive author discussion it generated. View it, and the resulting author conversation, here.

Resources Mentioned in this Video

Below is a list of the books and authors mention in the video, with links to purchase.

PLEASE NOTE: The links below are affiliate links. Whenever possible, I strongly encourage you to look for and purchase these books from your local & independent bookstores. That said, I earn a small commission if you click to and buy a product. That supports the channel and helps me out, at no additional cost to you! Use your best judgment and purchase wisely.

Authors Featured in this Video

Richard Kadrey (11:50) — author of “BALLISTIC KISS”, book 11 in the Sandman Slim Series
Book: https://amzn.to/3ojOxeU
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

Menna Van Praag (12:17) — author of “THE SISTERS GRIMM”
Book: https://amzn.to/35na51M
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

Ryan Van Loan (12:45) — author of “THE SIN IN THE STEEL”
Book: https://amzn.to/3jmXXTs
Fictitious Interview: watch here.

Andrea Stewart (14:45) — author of “THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER”
Book: https://amzn.to/3dOuznI
Fictitious Interview: watch here.

Alina Boyden (16:37) — author of “STEALING THUNDER”
Book: https://amzn.to/3kkKEnG
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

Peng Shepherd (17:41) — author of “THE BOOK OF M”
Book: https://amzn.to/3jq5Rex
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

Emily B. Martin (18:11) — author of “SUNSHIELD”
Book: https://amzn.to/3kmZ7Qb
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

Martha Wells (21:48) — author of “NETWORK EFFECT”, book 4 in the MurderBot Diaries
Book: https://amzn.to/34mfWoG
Fictitious Interview: listen here.

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FICTITIOUS is a YouTube show and podcast that delves into the craft of Science Fiction & Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other professional writers. Hosted & produced by Adron Buske.

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