Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
Rid your stories of characters who just happen to always show up at the right place at the right time to discover secrets that they always understand.
Taking lessons, the positive and the negative, from movies and TV.
Fill in your fictional landscape so characters don’t seem to be living in a vacuum, alone and oblivious to the people and objects surrounding them.
Tips for putting characters into motion with habits and physical movement without disrupting the main action of a story.
Push characters to their breaking points and beyond. Don’t hold back but challenge your characters beyond what they thought they could do. Push them beyond what you thought they could do.
Include anticipation in your stories to keep readers turning pages and involved with possible outcomes for your characters.
Verbs power your stories. Use accurate verbs to create the motion and emotion you want your story to have. This article includes tips for choosing verbs, including use of the passive voice.
A reminder to layer on the emotional hits so the reader will feel them. Use knockout lines or zingers when that works for a scene, but don’t be hesitant about pushing, about hitting the emotional button again and again.
Characters need motivation to compel them to act when they otherwise wouldn’t. And writers have to supply the right motivation for the story events, the character, the genre, and the setting.