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  • If no likable character is apparent in the first ten minutes, the story is moot.
  • Don’t try putting your own twist on a classic (i.e. The Hatter, Oz the Great and Powerful). Spin-offs do not work with alterations, especially those that contradict canon. Save that for fanfic.
  • Emphasize dialogue and subtlety. Don’t use blunt violence unnecessarily- it seems like a cheap way out of conflict and a bland way to develop character if used excessively.
  • Coincidences don’t exist.
  • Don’t be didactic. No one wants to feel like they’re being lectured.
  • Trust the audience’s ability to interpret meaning and symbolism without shoving it in their faces.
  • Never make assumptions about a certain type of character without personal experience.
  • Never add conflict just for the sake of having drama.
  • Emotional investment is everything.