In preparation for Nanowrimo, I've been reading quite a few novel writing books. Yay for the public library or I'd be broke from everything I want to read. Yesterday I read the book How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid them - a Misstep-by-Misstep Guide by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman. If you ever feel like your writing sucks, read this book. Seriously, in comparison to some of the examples that they use (which are not (at least I hope are not) from any actual book - published or un-) you will feel like a genius. Seriously, an MIT geek in comparison. Or at least I did. This book introduces you to some of the most common mistakes and while some of the examples are overdone, there are some that I have seen reading some fan fiction. This, of course, leads me to realize why some people are writing fan fic and not really publishing books.
Of particular interest to me at the moment is Part VII: How Not to Sell a Novel. At least I don't seem to have made any major mistakes according to this book. Maybe my potential agent(s) need to read this.