When you’ve finished a first draft, put it away for a month before showing any one.
Read your book out loud, or at least some of it. How things sound, the rhythms, make a difference.
You can’t please everyone and shouldn’t aim to. Write for yourself, but ideally with humility (don’t be boring!).
Keep a notebook and record overheard conversations, descriptions, ideas etc as they come to you. Don’t write them down “later” because “later” they won’t be the same ideas.
Anna is the author of Isabel and Rocco and The Art of Leaving. The Pink Hotel was nominated for The Orange Prize for Fiction.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.