Make sure your dialogue flows. The best way is to read it out loud as it does show up anything that might trip up your reader. Do your characters speak in a way that is appropriate to them? Can you tell your characters apart by the way that they speak? Your readers should be able to read a line of dialogue and work out who is likely to be speaking by the style of it. (I say likely as of course you could have a plot where someone impersonates another character for, no doubt, devious reasons!).
Learning From Mistakes
Do your characters learn from their mistakes? Do they make amends? Do they blame others for their misfortunes? What happens when they are right to do so? Can your characters show empathy? Unsympathetic characters should have a reason for being that way.
Flora and Fauna
Does your world have flora and fauna? Any similarities to that found on earth or are they different due to the nature of the world they’re in? What are the prey/predator creatures? Does magic pollute non-magical creatures? A lot of the issues affecting earth could be adapted to produce stories for your world.
Is the government of your world accountable? Based on an earth system or is it unique to its situation? What happens to those who question it, rebel against it or do both, as in Eileen’s case? Do the people or other species of choice able to vote? Are certain species barred from voting? Why? What happens when your world faces external threats? Is there the equivalent of a UN or NATO? Does your world have traitors and who do they seek to betray and why?
All stories have to have drama in them, regardless of their genre. Does your tale have the right amount of tension in it? Obviously thrillers, crime stories, horror will have more than romance, “cosy tales” and so on but each will need to have some in or there is literally no story.
Characterization is vital. I love writing about Eileen, someone for whom hypocrisy isn’t a problem and who in one of my own favourite lines tells Hanastrew “If she’d lost her head I’d have understood her complaints”! You have to die to get sympathy from Eileen. Tells you all about her quickly doesn’t it? I love reading lines like that in other authors’ work and was so pleased when I came up with this one of mine. Dialogue is a great joy to write. If you really want to know what your character is really like deep down, give them hell. It’s the quickest way of finding out all you need to know even if the scene you draft out never makes it into your story. Never make life easy for your characters.