I continue to share some of the fiction writing tips I learned at Anthrocon 2009. Terry Wessner gave a presentation on rules for writing good fiction. Here are some things I recall from part of that session.

This may seem like common sense. But idiot plots are just plain bad. An interesting plot may follow from a situation where the challenges encountered exceed a character's powers. The result of this imbalance can make a great story.

You should open with a strong hook. Then you should follow through on reader expectations. Along the way you can reveal motivations of the characters. Don't wait too far into your text to do this. The meat of your writing would then explain the implication of the character motivations.

It is boring if the reader figures everything out on their own too early. Then there is no need to continue reading. So you can provide some false clues along the way. Just make sure you also sprinkle in some true clues to keep the reader involved.