• Be careful of how many times you use the forms of to be (for ex. am, is, are, was, were, being, been) in your writing.
• Read over sentences and see if you can change it to make it sound more active. Active sentences add more life to your writing. To learn the difference between active and passive verb tenses go here.
• Often times the place where you start your novel (i.e the first chapter) might not be the best way to start it off. Look for a place in the beginning of your WIP that you think would be the perfect starting place for your novel, then go back to your old one and compare.
Which opening is more un-put-down-able?
• Do you know what side of the bed your characters wake up on? Their next door neighbor? Their favorite things to eat? If not, you might want to take some time to get to know your characters a little better. Put them in odd scenarios and see how they react to them. Their reactions to said scenario should be unique to their character.
• The dog was brown. The dog was brown and furry. The golden retriever was a light shade of brown, his coat as furry as my winter coat.
Be descriptive. Add some visual to your words.