I agree with the reading thing.
Orwell, Wilde, Joyce, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway for me of the more modern writers, read them if you want, read others if you don't.
Shakespearean study can only help you understand language and the power it has.
Anyway Baron's advice for all writing:
First think what you want to say - hate authority? think we're going to hell in a handcart? big believer in the power of deams? believe that all life is meaningless? perhaps you're a pacifist? or a communist? or a fan of Wildean aesthetic beauty?
We all have views and literature exists to convey these views in a meaningful way.
Think what medium is best for saying it - play? book? novella? epic? TV script for a hit show? musical?
Think how you will say it now. Four things will do this:
Language - flowery language? persuasive tone? down to Earth writing? patterns of language?
Plot - Ash impregnates Misty? Pikachu turns gay!? flock of Pidgey attack Pallet Town?
Characters - perverted dwarf? doduo with an interest in Elvis? Professor fiercely jealous of Oak?
Setting - warped dystopia where Team Rcoket has won? sunny day on a hill? the time of Kabutops where cavemen fight with clubs and Aerodactyls?
These things combined will help convey your message.
These are the very basics, you will say something by writing a piece of text in some form in which a character(s) do(es) something, somewhere.
Now onto some of the devices you will use.
Characterisation - unless you have paticularly reason not to, try to create 3D characters who are believable and interesting. A good point was raised regarding villains not just being evil, they are most likely to be evil for a reason (unless of course you believe some people are born evil, in which case make them evil) very few heroes are just 'heroic' they will have faults, and do things wrong.
For hero writing a good read is The Hero With A Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell.
There is a book called Enemy With A Thousand Faces but I've never read it.
Patterns of language was mentioned briefly before, basically you write link to thingd together by language.
"Ash looked down at the volcano, it burnt a horrid crimson and he stepped back apprehensibly from uncomfortable stickly heat."
And then later on in the book;
"Ash saw a crimson flash in the corner of his eye, he turned down to see a Growlithe pawing the ground"
We give the word crimson negative connotations meaning it's appearance later on is a clue that the Growlithe is bad news.
You could also write later on in the book;
"Ash trooped on as the sun inflicted it's uncomfortable stickly heat on him."
Now we have a)the previously created negative connotations of 'uncomfortable stickly heat' b) the pathetic fallacy of the weather. By pathetic fallacy we mean using the weather to convey human emotion or to fore-shadow later events. Character angry? try making it too hot! Character depressed? try having it rain! Completed his journey? out comes pleasant sun!
These language tricks are similar to use of music to symbolise a certain character in films (lite motif - think of the tune whenever The Death Ship appeared in Star Wars) and the effects can be massive, especially whn combined.
But why not piss in the face of them, why can't you build up expectations of posivitism with weather then have Team Rocket attack! Bet you weren't expecting that uh! ;)
Right that's all I can be arsed to write now but I'll put more up depending on what people think of that.