I've decided to tear apart and rewrite my novel. In the process, I'm going to put myself back into school, so to speak, by developing a regular and long-term schedule of learning via books, classes, analysis and writing exercises.
While I'd always written by the mantra of practice, practice, practice, I've come to realize that practice doesn't net much gain unless that practice is designed to push your writing skills higher, which means learning more about the craft, and not just every now and then, but consistently and for the rest of my writing career. While there seems a point at which a writer should get good enough to graduate, I don't believe there is. Most of my favorite authors, for examples, are also the most hard-working, in that they never stop in their attempts to improve.
I'll pass on what I learn as I redesign my writing time in order to maximize growth in my writing skills. Along those lines, I'm reading Sol Stein's How the Grow A Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them. Stein edited and published literary heavyweights such as James Baldwin, Dylan Thomas and W.H. Auden.
Rather than simply read the book, however, I'm stopping whenever necessary to make notes and test what he suggests via my own novel in order to fully ingest the concepts for use on a regular basis.
How do you learn the craft and by what methods? Let me know.