Sci fi author and EFF publicist Cory Doctorow (see my 2003 interview with him) has some good advice on writing. “Every morning I get up and I spend half an hour writing 250 words on the novel and a year later I have a book.” Plus three rules of thumb for novel writing:

“… at every turn of the book your protagonist has to try and solve a problem and that problem has to get worse through no fault of his own.”

“Think of any story, any narrative, as a journey during which someone’s emotional state changes.”

And, “… a story has some emotional impact on the reader. … your reader has to feel some emotion too.”