1. Thou shalt not take the crisis/climax out of the protagonist’s hands. The antideus ex machina commandment.
2. Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonist. Nothing progresses in a story, except through conflict.
3. Thou shalt not give exposition for strictly exposition’s sake. Dramatize it. Convert exposition to ammunition. Use it to turn the ending of a scene, to further the conflict.
4. Thou shalt not use false mystery or cheap surprise. Don’t conceal anything important that the protagonist KNOWS. Keep us in step with the hero. We know what he/she knows. (Can know more, but not less.)
5. Thou shalt respect your audience. The anti-hack commandment.
6. Thou shalt know your world as God knows this one. The pro-research commandment.
7. Thou shalt not complicate when complexity is better. Don’t multiply the complications on one level. Use all three: Intra-personal, Inter-personal, Extra-personal. (Conflict within, conflict between two people, conflict with/in society.)
8. Thou shalt seek the end of the line, the negation of the negation, taking characters to the farthest reaches and depth of conflict imaginable within the story’s own realm of probability.
9. Thou shalt not write on the nose. Put a subtext under every text. (Depth, not simplified.)
10. Thou shalt rewrite.