The Query Shark is a fabulous reference (if you just want to read through) or resource (if you’re brave enough to submit your query to get chomped by the shark) on how to make your query letter appealing.
My proud moment: the sigma entry on query shark. Due to a rather debilitating back spasm, I spent several days doing little beyond watching TV and reading through the archives of the Query Shark. As a thank you, to her and to all the brave authors submitting their work to her to be ripped apart-uh, critiqued, I wrote the sum of all evil for query letters. Okay, not all evils, I couldn’t fit them all in. But I could fit a lot. I recommend reading it, and the comments too, if you want a laugh.
I am currently a member of the Vancouver Chapter of the RWA (Romance Writers Association). You don’t need to be a romance writer to join. I can only speak for this chapter, but they are organized, active, supportive and a great source of information and resources. From the monthly meetings to the weekly articles emailed out, they have been well worth the money it cost to join. Mind you, it takes time and effort to get the most out of it, so if you’re hunkered down into your WIP and won’t see the light of conversation for 8 months, this may not be the road for you.
These are books that typically several presenters of writing workshops have mentioned or have made it onto Top 10 lists online. I prefer the in-person reference so I believe all of these have been mentioned at least once by people in the first category, though sometimes that referral was supplemented by online confirmation.
On Writing by Stephen King
Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell (Absolutely fabulous. Trust me, you want this book.)
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Elements of Style by William Strunk
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Books I’d Recommend After Attending a Workshop by the Author
Some of these probably deserve to be in the above book section, but I had to pick and here’s where they went.
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
The Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass
The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer
Break Info Fiction by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love