Early on I realized the importance of gleaning all I could from professionals in the writing arena. After listening to a lecture on dialogue by Renni Browne, I promptly bought her book called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. I devoured that book, before I had even completed a manuscript!
I once heard an agent ask a crowd how many editing manuals they had on their bookshelf. I raised my hand at the number five, and was amazed at how few writers joined me. The agent scolded us for not taking advantage of the wealth of information available for new writers. I now have more than five.
Besides Renni’s book, I found The Way of Story by Catherine Ann Jones particularly helpful, as well as Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon. I’m currently reading Your Creative Writing Masterclass by Jurgen Wolff.
Besides just books, many agents have blogs with writing tips. Writer’s Digest Magazine is also a great resource. Most writers guilds publish some type of newsletter. There are many other good resources out there. Go load your bookshelf!