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.
Characterisation 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.
Playing God and giving characters hell
All authors want to play God - fact. 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 - that way tedium lies!
Using the senses
Jilly Cooper is a great advocate of the use of colour to bring scenes to life but use all the senses. We do. Why should your characters not do so? An odd sentence here or there is enough to add colour to your story in this regard. Characters need to eat, hear, touch etc. It's a good way of drip feeding information in about your fictional world do. What do your characters eat, hear, touch etc?
Making a Drama Out of a Crisis - in fiction, a good thing!
What brings your character to the crisis in their life that forms the basis of your tale? Don’t put in a huge block of narrative to explain this, drip feed the information, but the stronger the character, the greater the crisis they can face. A stubborn person can create more crises for themselves than a passive one. And are your characters distinguished enough from one another to stand out?