A fellow writer friend of mine recently recommended Robert McKee's 'Story', a 5 disk CD on substance, structure, style and the principles of screen writing. Although it is written for screenwriters, the information shared is valuable to book writers as well. I am only on disk two, so I am sure I will learn much more before the end, but a thought I am currently musing over is this... 'Your story must be believable or at least have the ability to make the audience suspend their disbelief.' I like the thought of reading something so good that for a moment, I am willing to suspend my disbelief. Even better, the thought that I was the one who wrote it.
"Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure." Natalie Goldberg