Just wanted to add my .02 to the writing books that were already recommended:
1. Booklife By: Jeff Vandermeer
This book does not strictly discuss the craft of writing. It takes more of a look at how to live a creative life, and how plan your career as a writer. There's useful information on the following topics:
- How to find an agentJeff has had a twenty five year career as a full-time writer (that includes novels, freelance writing, book reviews, and anthology editing work) and he's got some very relevant things to say on the writing lifestyle. Highly recommended.
- Establishing goals (not just immediate word count goals, but five year plans describing where you want to be as a writer.)
- How to strategically market yourself on social media
- Building a Sustainable Career in writing
2. Writing Excuses (podcast)
This podcast is run by three professional science fiction/fantasy/horror writers and a cartoonist. They cover pretty much every writing topic under the sun, which is to say that some of it is very genre specific, but often times topics on characterization and description will apply to any form of fiction.
Here are some of my favourite episodes:
Hollywood Formula: Editor Lou Anders breaks down the "hollywood formula" frequently used in movies and how it can be applied to novels for maximum emotional impact in a novel.
Query Letter and What An Agent Does: Host Dan Wells' agent Sarah Crowe discusses how to write a good query letter (using Dan's first novel query as an example) and also what an agent can/cannot do for the author.
Blending the Familiar and the Original: This episode talks about how apply a new spin on an old theme to make it fresh and original. Discusses the concept of the "strange attractor."
Hope you find these helpful.