I'll probably mention well-known editor Chris Roerden every few months, just in case someone forgets, or new readers come aboard. Her two books on fiction-writing techniques are comprehensive tools for writing and self-editing. Chris will give a workshop during the SinC Into Great Writing program in Indianapolis on October 14th, the day before Bouchercon 2009 begins.
The first book, Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript From Turning Up . . . D.O.A., was an Agatha Award Winner for Best Non-Fiction Book. Published in 2006 by Bella Rosa Books, DMYM soon created a buzz among mystery writers. Chris includes examples from published authors as she explains what can go wrong between a manuscript and a "screener-outer" that causes the manuscript to earn a rejection letter.
The second book is an expanded version of the first and includes excerpts from all genres to reinforce her stated techniques. Don't Sabotage Your Submission: Save Your Manuscript From Turning Up D.O.A. was released in 2008, and many authors (including me) have both versions of the book on their shelves.
You would be doing your local writer friends a great favor if you asked your library to order a copy of at least one of these books. And you'd be doing yourself a favor to read one of them (if you haven't done so already).