A little more writerly advice
Here are a few truths I’ve learned the hard way:
- Books will complicate themselves. They don’t need help.
- The stronger a characters’ motivations are, the less artfully constructed patches are needed to save the plot. (I was only fooling myself!)
- If an action doesn’t make emotional sense in the real world, it doesn’t make emotional sense in the book world.
- Ask myself if real people talk like that.
- Being mysterious doesn’t equal good storytelling. One can’t advance a plot just by withholding information from the reader.
- The better the actual story, the less special effects (dragons, sex scenes, gruesome murders, dancing hamsters, etcetera) are needed to keep it moving.
- If I have to stop the action and explain what’s going on, I need to check my work.