If I could go back in time and give myself some writing advice, it would be this: Read Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder before you begin writing a story. I just picked this book up two days ago, and already I have finished reading it, have taken pages and pages of notes, and have revised my current storyline into something I am much more excited about.
Snyder’s book was written for screenwriters, but I think it’s a great book for writers of any kind. It focuses on structure and form, the importance of “the idea”, and writing “loglines” or pitches (which is a helpful tool when it comes time to query!)… along with so much more great information. I can’t tell you how many new ideas and strategies I absorbed from this book. It’s funny and informative and I highly suggest it for anyone looking to improve their writing skills.