Updike is spot-on that being an unrepentant bookophile is essential to good writing. But once you've written that Great American Novel (or in my case, the Not Too Shabby American Mystery), there are some other resources that might come in handy.
Here, then, is my semi-short list of such writerly things:
On Writing by Stephen King
I know, I know. I said this is about after you've written your novel. But to me, no list would be complete without a mention of King's how-to/memoir on the craft.
Oh YESSSS. Chuck Wendig's site is a steaming heap of writing inspiration, insight and plenty of potty language, perfect for any point in the writing journey.
Writers' Digest Guide to Literary Agents
Say "Writers' Digest" and many of us of a certain age think dusty tomes in the library or pithy periodicals. Turns out, Writers' Digest (via writersdigest.com) is a fantastic resource for writers, whether you're looking for a class, how-tos or who's up-and-coming in the agent world.
Helping Writers Become Authors
Author K.M Weiland offers fantastic authoring tips, from plot to character to what you're probably doing wrong and don't (yet) know it. Check her site out.
She's known as the Query Shark and Queen of the Known Universe--and for good reason. This literary agent extraordinaire offers valuable advice with healthy doses of wit and tough love. I check her blog. Every. Single. Day. Serious blog crush from me.
This website helps authors track submissions, get a bead on new agents and get additional information on how the biz works--and how to succeed. Pretty cool, no?
This online writing community is a boon for any author looking for information, comaraderie and the occasional rant session.
Sisters in Crime
Mystery author? Fabulous sister--or mister? Be a Sister in Crime! This worldwide organization is dedicated to advancing, celebrating and supporting the development of crime writers. They offer a host of resources and events and are nothing less than amazing.
Of course, there are hundreds of other wonderful authoring resources. Think of this as Chapter One--or even the prologue.