Wednesday, August 17, 2011
2. has a believable and likeable hero/heroine the reader cares about. Imperfect characters are more interesting than the beautiful woman with lots of money and no problems or the handsome billionaire with a huge yatch, homes in several countries just waiting for the beautiful rich heroine.
3.has a believable villain - a normal guy who has gone over the edge or one who is really scary like Hannibal Lector.
4.where danger and devastation happen quickly. If the character hasn't experienced something harrowing, you should rethink the story. Danger should happen early, usually the first scene, but definitely before the end of the first chapter. And you have to keep upping the ante.
If the heroine is being chased across country by a crazed ex-boyfriend, you can't have her thinking about the past and all the bad experiences she's had. Something has to happen to make her think he's catching up to her or stalking her. Maybe he leaves a remembrance where she can find it, a threatening note on her windshield, or her home is ramshackled.