Point of view: From whose perspective is the story being told? The main charcter? The unseen all-knowing narrator (the author)? Will there be more than one point of view and if so, how willyou handle these?
Characterization: Min characters are always better drawn when they have a foil – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, etc.
Plotting: Know where you are going and how the story will end. What is the conflict and how will the character handle it? How will things get worse for him? How will you "thicken" the plot?
Dialog: Use the correct format. Each conversational thread should be set in a new paragraph. Is the conversation natural? Don't put sophisticated language in the mouths of simple country folk.
Symbol and Metaphor: Used to imply a deeper meaning to the story. Use lightly but effectively. A pair of gold earrings could symbolism the feminine principle, for example.
Word Economy: The best fiction writers edit their work after they have finished the story. This is when you shorten sentences and cut useless words. Think of how Ernest Hemingway used few words to maximum effect.
The Title: Let your title be the “working title” only. A better title will suggest itself by the time you get to the end of the story.
The Shadow - Dampness lingers in the midnight air. Nearby, an unidentifiable sound pricks at your nerves, repeating every few seconds. Your breath catches in your thr...