Setting up your heroes to win
But only after a decent fight
With a villain who’s more than just might.
No cariactures then! The most interesting villains are those with depth to them, where you can see why they’re acting the way they are without agreeing with them of course (unless you prefer villains to heroes!). Heroes also need to be realistic - no supermen/women, you want to see their flaws and virtues. I’ve sometimes found heroes aggravating for being too perfect, which is exactly what you want to avoid. And what they fight about has got to be worth fighting over. Something that’s going to hurt someone badly if they lose...
Don’t expect to get a story right
On its first “go” - at least one rewrite
Is what it takes to eventually bring
Your tale to life as anything
That slows it up is cut out of sight.
The real story emerges in the rewriting as you cut out repeats, unnecessary adjectives and so on. I always spot typos on the first print-out. They don’t always show up on screen. I also think a story reads through better when you have it printed on paper. I guess it seems more like a story. On the screen it seems like a computer document. I like to allow enough editing time before a story competition deadline. Some stories seem to be easier to edit than others!