1. Complete a detailed biography of your protagonist and antagonist.
2. List the changes you’re going to inflict on these two characters.
3. Start your book when something meaningful happens. This is called the inciting moment. It should be shocking, exciting, and interesting.
4. Never start with back story.
5. Create conflict from page one. Your characters need problems and reasons to solve them.
6. Show motivation. Great characters want to achieve their goals more than anything and will pursue them at any cost. What are your characters most afraid of losing? Make them fight for it. Desperately. Irrationally.
7. Tell a story in scenes. Scenes hold a story together. The number of scenes depends on your chosen genre, and your novel’s length.
8. You should have one plot, and one subplot.
9. Fiction needs a Dark Night of the Soul. Move your story to the moment when things look impossibly bleak for your protagonist. This is usually a few pages before the end of your book.
10. Create an outline. It doesn’t have to be detailed but everything in life works better when you have a plan.