- Make your main character want something.
- Make your main character do something.
- The components of a novel that readers care about most are, in order: story, characters, theme, atmosphere/setting.
- Remember that nobody agrees on what a beautiful prose style is and most readers either can't recognize "good writing" or don't value it that much.
- A sense of humor couldn't hurt.
I think this is good advice for novelists and short story writers.
What do you think?