K = Killer Lines. The ones that make you gasp, laugh out loud, or simply make you wish you could've written something that good! Use them as inspiration to do exactly that!
L = Logic. A strange thing to put for this perhaps? I think not. A story must make sense, even if it set in the most fantastical place imaginable. The characters must make sense. Your story needs a structure that follows through from start to finish. So the story then must have its own internal logic. Anything that doesn't "feel" like a story when claiming to be one will, I think, put readers off. We have expectations that stories will work and it is because the logic of them works.
M = Murder. I do love a good crime story and most of those are based on murder. But this can be applied to other genres here if you take murder to mean "killing your darlings" if they're in the way of your story. When you read of the death of a character in a story, there should be a point to it and move the story onwards. A character that doesn't do anything for the story should not be in it and good writers will ensure their characters do earn their place. Sometimes that will mean literally killing them off as part of the story. Sometimes it will mean realising this character isn't strong enough so back to the drawing board for one that is!
N = Narrative. Should be compelling, drive the story on, tell the reader things they need to know in a way said reader is going to find entertaining (no lecturing!) etc.
O = Overwhelming Odds. I do love a character that has to face up to these and overcome them. It is fascinating to find out how they do it. It should also show depth to that character and it's even better when the character is surprised as they look back at how far they've come on, what they've been able to achieve etc. Incidentally the overwhelming odds can be something as dramatic as Frodo Baggins' quest in The Lord of the Rings but it can be something which, to us, might seem mundane, but to your character is everything. As long as reader knows it really is everything to that character and why, they should want to find out whether the character overcomes or not.
More next time...