I noticed that David Farland's last writing tip - Deadly Writing Sins - is actually a checklist which can be used:
1. Have strong visuals
2. Don't hide the viewpoint character's name
3. Use all the senses
4. Share your protagonist's thoughts with your reader
5. Don't use whishy-washy language
6. Don't hide information
7. Clearly transmit an engaging story
8. Don't bore the reader
9. Your protagonist must be likeable or intriguing
10. The protagonist must have a significant problem, not easily solved
11. The protagonist must have clear emotional stakes in the problem
12. Move the plot along, don't plod
13. Why should I care?
14. Who is this character?
15. Don't be predictable
16. Surprise your reader
17. Don't bore your reader (repeated)
18. Hook your reader
19. Enthrall your reader
20. The reader must ache on behalf of your characters
21. Transport the reader into your story physically
22. Make the setting come alive for your reader
23. Pluck your reader's heartstrings
24. Take over your reader's thoughts
25. Create an energizing experience for the reader
Let me know if I missed anything, but I think the gist is, tell a story and tell it well.
Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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