1. Every writer has their own way to write a book.
2. Think about your story for a long time.
3. Collect all your research.
4. Know your characters.
5. Establish a character on the first page.
6. Don’t underestimate your first page or your first chapter.
7. The first page sets the pace.
8. Study your first page—Did you tell who, what, when, where?
9. The best first lines are drama.
10. Good first lines plunge the hero or heroine into dire straits.
11. The better you use your opening chapter, the better your book will be.
12. Plunge your reader into conflict immediately.
13. Reader involvement is the most important thing you can do.
14. Get your reader early, and you’ll keep them to the end of the book.
15. Give the hero and heroine the promise of romance early in the book.
16. But readers get bored with too much happiness.
17. Write in a little misery, then resolve it.
18. If you don’t pace yourself, you’re headed for trouble.
19. But don’t be slow.
20. No two people talk alike—remember your characters’ personalities.
21. Never assume your readers know your characters just because you do.
22. Don’t let your characters sit around and do nothing.
23. Watch for uneven characters.
24. Secondary characters should never take away from the hero and heroine.
25. Go directly to action; don’t stop for background.
26. Give background in small segments.
27. A sense of urgency is a must.
28. Don’t make emotional scenes long or chatty.
29. Don’t let your story lack life or excitement.
30. There has to be a strong emotional concept.
31. Motivation must be made clear.
32. Don’t throw logic out the window for the sake of drama.
33. Make sure you have enough threads to hold the book together.
34. Cut the trite and silly.
35. Don’t be trendy.
36. Keep up with today’s market.
37. Don’t forget to read—all kinds of books.
Do any of these tips work for you? Share your writing tips with us.
AMELIA GRAY grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Her first collection of stories, AM/PM, was published in 2009. Her second collection, Museum of the Weird, was awarded the Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. She lives in Los Angeles. THREATS is her first novel.