9 Things That Cost Your Book 5 Stars – Guest Blog Post By An Amazon Top Reviewer

Useful advice here, a lot of which boils down to the usual importance of editing and proofreading (but no less worth repeating for that) along with some good points about characters and characterisation.

The editor who critiqued my first novel, Falling Girl, urged me to drop a couple of the ‘spare’ characters, and although that seemed drastic at the time it was definitely the right thing to do. Now I always look critically at all my characters, asking questions like: what are they doing in this book? What’s interesting or distinctive about them, and how does that come out in different parts of the story? (Remembering to ‘show’ more and ‘tell’ less wherever possible.) And are they even needed? If I like them that much, I can try to find a home for them in another story …