Coming back from the Writer's Digest Conference, I've been thinking a lot about fiction writing. Personally, I enjoy the act of writing almost anything be it nonfiction articles, essays, or even marketing copy - but when it really comes down to it, my real writing love is fiction. At the WD Conference I was lucky enough to be asked to moderate a really great panel with fiction editors and writers. Included on the panel were Benjamin LeRoy, Publisher of Tyrus Books, Millicent Bennett, Senior Editor at Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster; and novelist and writing coach Holly Paynen.
We discussed things that writers need to think about when trying to get published: how to create a good submission package, how to approach an editor or agent, crafting query letters, and the like. But our conversation kept coming back to one thing: Craft. The consensus of the panel was that the best thing you can do in order to be successful in seeking publication is to dedicate time to honing your craft. Putting together a good pitch or a flawless query letter is important, but in most cases that will only get you so far. A good story and good writing are really what it's all about. Especially when it comes to writing fiction.
Here are a couple of suggested book titles to help you hone your craft: