Another post from a Storymakers class. This class was taught by Weronkika Janczuk. I really enjoyed her ideas. Thankfully, she was a fast talker so she crammed three hours of knowledge into the 50 minutes. It was awesome.
1. First chapters: See what you are writing. If you can't see it in your head your reader won't see it either. Start as late as possible into the story - no information dumps and don't introduce too many characters.
2. The story's framework: Every scene should have an internal (emotional) and external (plot related) turning point. Chapters should start and end as soon as possible.
3. Avoid information dumps: Present your major conflict in the first 50 pages. Only convey info about the world when you have to.
4. He saw: You do not need to use the words "he saw/heard/smelled/tasted" unless he couldn't do those things before. Example: He saw the blue bird fly across the park. Better: A blue bird flew across the park. The first one takes us out of the characters head and the second one puts us in it.
5. Have your character move. Don't have them sit and ponder, get them moving.