Terrific Books that will help you:

The Elements of Style,
by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

 

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws,
by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

 

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression,
by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

 

Novel Metamorphosis
by Darcy Pattison

The Writer's Journey
by Christopher Vogler

Save the Cat
by Blake Snyder

 

On Writing,
by Stephen King

 

The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes,
by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

 

On Writing Well,
by William Zinsser

 

Creating Characters: How to Build Story People
by Dwight V Swain

The Scene Book
by Sandra Scofield

The Chicago Manual of Style
by University of Chicago Press Staff

 

Links to websites to help with word choice:

Daily Writing Tips

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/

 

Free Online Thesaurus Links

http://www.thesaurus.com/

http://thesaurus.yourdictionary.com/

 

Free Online Dictionary

http://www.wiktionary.org/

 

Words Describing Emotions

http://www.sff.net/people/julia.west/CALLIHOO/dtbb/feelings.htm

 

Reverse Dictionary: Find the Word That Says What You Mean
http://www.onelook.com/

 

Slang Dictionary

http://www.thesource4ym.com/SlangDictionary/SlangDictionary.aspx


Writing Tips

1. Let your voice come through. You don't need to write fancy sentences and use fancy words for the story to work. 

2. Make your characters interesting. Give them depth. Let us hear their thoughts.

3. Show, don't tell. Unless you're publishing your diary, we want to be there every step of the way for your character's adventures. Use dialogue and action, rather than summarizing scenes for us.

4. To continue from #3, don't be afraid of dialogue. If you're not sure how to do it, take notes when you're listening to others! Maybe eavesdropping isn't considered proper etiquette, but it's sure a great way to learn how to write a good scene.

5. If you want your reader to read a scene quickly (think thriller), write short sentences for that scene. If you want your reader to meander, try longer sentences.

6. Vary your sentence structure. If every sentence has ten words and two commas, your reader will fall asleep. Read it out loud and listen to how it sounds; that will help.

7. Don't forget that there are five senses! Use as many as you can in every scene. Scents and sounds can be very powerful at evoking memories in your characters, as well as a great way to pull the reader into the scene.

8. When writing dialogue, describe what the characters are doing. Are they waving their hands, frowning, rubbing their chin? Writing dialogue without showing us what's going on doesn't give the reader a picture of the whole scene, or what the characters are really feeling.
 
9. Watch your verb tenses. Changing tense in the middle of a paragraph is a common mistake. It's also something that can happen when you do a lot of editing, especially if you cut and paste a lot.

10. Vary the voices of your characters. Each character comes to the situation with a different history and outlook on the world. Their speech should reflect that. We're not talking about accents or dialects, but about word choices and sentence construction. When you've done it right, the reader always knows who's talking.

11. Read!

12. Write!