10. Never Stop Reading: After a long day of reading your own work the last thing you want to do is pick up someone else’s, but do it! You will stay motivated and learn something, too.
9. Never Rely on Inspiration: The best moments in writing a book come when inspiration finds you working. Sit down, get to work, and inspiration will come calling.
8. Never Neglect Genre: It’s tempting to walk in between genres. What would be better than a science fiction, erotic, mystery right? But remember, if you want to find passionate and engaged readers, you should find the genre that you want to write and stick with it.
7. Never Get Bored: If you’re bored writing your book, chances are that your readers will be bored reading it. If you find yourself becoming bored, or your main character is skating through the plot with ease, throw some roadblocks in the way. Conflict moves stories.
6. Never Rely on Pretty People: Men don't always have to be fearless and women don't always have to be sexy. Your readers will spend a lot of time with your characters so make sure there is something going on in their heads and their hearts. Readers love characters for their imperfections and their shortcomings just as much as their looks.
5. Never Lose the Through Line: Remember what story you’re writing. Be careful of veering off the path because that's the surest way to lose your readers.
4. Never Be Afraid to Cut: Cut close to the bone. Slice away. Make the tough choices even if it means taking out things you really love. They may be great- maybe just not great that book. Know the difference.
3. Never Throw in the Towel: Too many people have unfinished books floating around on their hard drives. The easiest thing in the world is starting a book; the hardest thing is finishing one.
2. Never Let your Characters Off Easy: Just because you love your characters doesn’t mean you have to go easy on them. A reader wants to see characters struggle and sometimes fail. Give them a goal to work towards, make it hard to get, and you can’t go wrong.
1. Never Beat Yourself Up: The book isn’t shaping up the way you wanted it to? Someone read a chapter and didn’t care for it? Feel like jumping off a cliff? That’s fine. Those days happen. Every day that you’re thinking, “woe is me,” is another day that you could be spent finishing a chapter or polishing a plot point. You can spend your time beating yourself up, or beating your characters up. I do a lot of the former but I am trying to stop.