Books for Writers: Techniques of the Selling Writer
This is a must read if you have never studied fiction. While the text is dry (it was written many decades ago and serves as a textbook in many creative fiction courses), it is invaluable.
Firstly, it lays out fiction wonderfully. Swain has a treasure trove of do's and don'ts lined up in all areas, be it character, setting, or the middle of the story.
Be prepared to highlight. I never ever ever mark in my books. Ever. It's the 8th Deadly Sin. But still I found myself thinking "Hey I need to mark this." This is great for indie authors who are just setting out or those who are experienced and want to improve their craft. I find myself referencing it even when I'm not writing.
I literally (sorry for word choice, but it's true) cannot go into how much value this book is on your bookshelf. It's almost entirely made up of information, as opposed to other books that promise that simply retell their experiences and market it as "expertise."
In conclusion, this technical writing guide is a great reference and keeps your compass true--aimed at selling.