Guest blogger Stef Mcd on what makes a story work.
The keystone to any story is the opening, which you must edit to perfection when the time comes.
Good characterization is what makes the story jump off the page - the reader relates to a realistic mix of personalities (and a varied mix it should be). To achieve this you can create character maps, a kind of personality file, adding as much as you can; you need only show the tip of the iceberg to the reader, of course.
Don't state the obvious to readers; they will become irritated if you write: "Clark switched on his wipers to clear the snow so that he could see the glimmering lights of the town in the basin." Consider instead: "Clark switched on his wipers until they cleared the snow and he could see the glimmering lights of the town in the basin." (Not killer prose but you can see the subtle transition.)
Make sure your story has a satisfying resolution with no loose threads left dangling. We can all remember sticking with a book to the end only to discover a flat anti-climax; your MC should have at least changed something/somehow along the journey through the book.
For new writers, I recommend Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. It’s much more than an editing book and will save aspiring writers a heck of a lot of time if they read it before even setting pen to paper.
For more about this writer and his novel TULAGI HOTEL, check out http://www.tulagihotel.com/