(Editor’s Note: This post was first published on 27 September 2008.)
1) Keep the intro short.
2) Get immediately into the action.
3) Use dialogue to make the characters come alive.
4) Distrust all adverbs and adjectives
5) Cut all unnecessary words.
6) Have at least one round character. Every story does not have to have a round character. It’s just that a round character will make your story, and mine, more interesting.
7) A round character has internal conflict or inner doubt.
8) Don’t explain the story; let the characters act it out.
9) Description should not be random but intentional; it must serve a purpose.
10) Finally, proofread, proofread and proofread again.
These are just suggestions. They are not hard rules.