- Jump into the action right away. Don’t drag your feet.
- Hook readers with large surprises.
- Make the action relevant to your character’s personality.
- Act first, think later.
- Communicate information to the reader before the action.
- Reveal a character’s intentions that can’t be shown through action.
- Does the beginning have to include a lot of action, or can it lead to it?
- Can action be gradual?
- How can you reveal information about the character if the narrator isn’t omniscient?
- For there to be story, there must be flow and change. How to get from point A to Point B.
- The change can be the realization that nothing will change.
- Happiness is overrated.
- Stir up trouble; otherwise the plot will be dull.
- Can characters ever have a happy ending?
- How often does change need to occur?
- Is death a viable plot device?
- Make sure it fits with the personality of your character.
- Don’t make them speak in paragraphs. Less is more.
- Do NOT use dialogue as an information dump.
- If writing in an accent, don’t make it too heavy.
- Use simple dialogue tags.
- How much information should dialogue give?
- How often should there be dialogue?
- Can/should dialogue describe characters?
- Look at the surface. Does it look clean and well-written?
- Proofread three times for spelling and grammar.
- Uncover the clutter in the writing. Shorten paragraphs to keep them simple, yet interesting.
- Fill in the cracks.
- How could you determine whether or not the writing is wordy?
- How can you find out if the author had a writer’s block?
- How can you shorten paragraphs?
- “And they all lived happily ever after” is reserved for children’s fairytales.
- Surprises are good, but the reader must be satisfied.
- Don’t make it boring and pointless.
- You must accept that some genres have expected endings; the characters have to get together in a romance, lest the genre changes.
- Keep characters alive should you wish a sequel.
- Don’t forget to end the book, or explain that there will be a sequel. Tie up the loose ends.
- How long should the ending be?
- Should the ending come right after the climax?
- Should the death of a main character mark the end?
- Lay down the locale. Bad neighborhood? What are the buildings like?
- Time is important. What’s the time of year? Time of day?
- How’s the lighting and temperature?
- Decide on the geography.
- Were there ever any historic events there?
- Decide what the people are like there.
- How can the setting affect the story or characters?
- How long should you focus on describing the setting?
- When should you describe the setting?