Hm, I have a small little problem with making tension between the characters. All of mine are very forgiving. They, like, never argue. I never really thought about it before, but now that I do--I gots to edit! And change stuff! Thanks for putting this up! It helped me a lot!
Can someone fill me in better on number 25? I thought the tense was the tense, and to shift the tense shifted the time. I'm using "Had" for every action that takes place prior to the action in the story. If I omit this, how can the reader know that it is past tense in the past tense?
[I so hope that made sense. I also hope someone hasn't already addressed this in this massive thread that I haven't read yet.]
25: Avoid unnecessary repetition of tense. For example: I’d gone to the hospital. They’d kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I’d seen a doctor. Usually, the first sentence is sufficient to establish tense. I’d gone to the hospital. They kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I saw a doctor.
I read the entire list thinking, 'what the hell is this person talking about? You can't make sweeping generalizations like that!' until I hit the last rule. Then it all made sense.
There are some seriously good ones in there, especially the one about touch and scent. I also really liked 19, it made me laugh as well as try to think of a circumstance in which that rule wasn't followed. It took me a while.