#4 Count on your fingers
How many senses do you have? Trick question, it’s about 21. But you can get away with the first five: Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, sniffing, and feeling. If your story doesn’t have even one of these, it’s shit.
I’m not going to lie to you. If you cannot write a story that attacks a readers senses in some way then you cannot write; you should pack up your notebook and climb into a writing class.
When I’m reading, I read to either learn, grow, or feel without doing. I doubt I am the only one who does this- it is what we read for. If you cannot make me feel then you had better be making me learn or grow. Reading is a self-fulfillment exercise and your readers will never apologize for your writing.
Science fiction writers- push the envelope on the senses. Make your characters lose their balance and sense of gravity. Give them nausea, burn them, make them smell space. Fantasy Writers- you’re going to be dishing out a lot of suffering, so don’t cut off someone’s arm without making me squirm. Everyone else, just stick to the basic five and you’ll be off the hook.
To remember this one you can say to yourself: How hot is it in here?