1. Make a plot outline.
2. Kick off your novel with a bang to hook your readers right away. (First page)
3. Stay focused to move your story forward.
4. Keep flashbacks to a minimum.
5. Quickly accelerate story to a level of action
6. Don’t underestimate your reader. No need to explain everything. Let your story tell itself. Show, Don’t tell.
7. Let your characters speak through believable dialogue.
8. Include sounds, smells, visual details, and things only your main character can see.
9. Create characters the reader cares about. The reader needs to identify with your main character.
10. The main character needs to develop over the course of the book. Don’t forget your villains need to be interesting, too!
11. Keep the intensity rising. Then sustain a high pitch, before leveling off. Gradually come down at the climax.
12. Endings should be emotionally satisfying.