Tip: Put  your characters in a setting. Don’t just have them moving around in space. Give them something to look at, something to do, somewhere to be. And show us. Show us the city streets, the deep forest glade, the decrepit space station. Let us smell the aromas of the neighborhood bakery, hear the train as it rumbles by, feel the earthquake.

Thought: I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King

Teaser: Today is my mother’s 90th birthday. So many things have happened in her lifetime. Take a look at everything that has happened in yours – historically, technologically, etc. – and make a list. Pick one thing from that list and write a brief paragraph on why it’s a good or bad thing. Be persuasive. Build a good case.