1. Go outside yourself. Get behind the eyes of your characters. What do they see, hear, smell, feel and taste.
Think of a movie shot solely through the eyes of one person’s viewpoint.
2. Add personality quirks. I added a habit of clicking a pen to one character. My Detective rubs his neck when he’s thinking.
Sometimes women will twist or bite their hair when they’re nervous or deep in thought. Nail biting is popular.
3. Don’t be PC. I feel some writers are stifling trying to be politically correct. Yet on the other hand some writers over do the swearing until it’s a distraction. I wonder sometimes who the author hangs out with. Too much of either can lead to poor sales.
4. Don’t underestimate your readers intelligence. I just read a book by an lawyer of a high profile case. He threw in a few words I’d never heard before. I looked them up because the sentence didn’t give me any clues. Keep words that aren’t common to most readers vocabulary to a minimum. Too many of these and your reader might find a bookmark and put it down.
5. Embellishments are saved for tall tales around the campfire. Adding incidents you thought interesting just to put them in could kill a scene. Work your favorite facts or funny actions into the story where they move the plot. Adding a dancing monkey’s antics maybe funny, but if it isn’t leading to some action delete it. They shouldn’t be roadside historical markers that derail the reader’s attention.
6. If you get stuck with a scene, try writing some humor. Your characters are tied to a chair. Now what? To aliviate tension have one of the characters tell a joke or make a pun about the situation.
“It’s all your fault. You just had to have a piece of pie.”
7. You can bring your readers to tears. Writing emotion that touches their hearts will have then turning pages. Keep both emotions within the storylie.
Using this guide as you write or edit will help you to pace your story.