1. Fit a Genre
Mystery? Romance? Books written on the edge of two genres tend to fall between the cracks. Pick a genre and stick with it.
2. Think Bigger
High drama. High plot. High concept idea. Know your extreme. You can always mellow it as your write.
3. Love your Lead
Make a character your reader will identify with and love. Make them real with real flaws and real things to overcome that is relatable.
4. Hate your Villain
Make them real. Make them an opponent that fits and will push your main character to overcome their flaws and/or achieve their goals.
5. Target Length
Find the right word count for your genre and hit it.
6. Get Complicated
Throw a wrench into your main characters plan. Add subplot. Add depth.
Have at least three surprises for your reader. Don’t just leave one grand on for the very end..
8. Best for Last
Resolve your minor subplots first, your most important subplots towards the end, and save the main plot for last.
9. Point of View
Stay in a viewpoint that best fits your character or genre. Don’t get creative. Readers know what they like.
10. Lights, Camera, Action
Live in the action light. Push your story along as if there is a director always screaming over your shoulder. Don’t get boring.