H is for Heroes -- those goodest of good guys (we've established I make my own words on this blog, yes? Good, then move along.) Hero Goodguy is the one who gets the glory, the one who has the exciting life, the one everyone wants to kill (at least if you write fantasy). He should be good, but not too good. Dirty him up, give a dark secret (toe fungus counts, in case you're wondering), and above all else, give him a weakness or two that can actually hinder him.
H is for Heroines -- your own brand or otherwise... oh wait, that's the other kind of heroin (I'll get to homophones in a minute). Heroines should be as dimensional as their male counterparts. They should have strengths and weakness and not be used as a convenient plot device (any more than a male character should be used as a plot device for the female one) If she starts going MarySue on you, you may need to kill her (or find a priest who deals with such things).
H is for Homophones --Dear, deer, know, no, there, their, two, too, to... and on and on (anon!). Did you really mean to say what you said? Are you sure?
H is for High Concept -- Here
H is for Hard -- the thing that writing is, but no one bothers to tell you when you're a starry-eyed youngster who thinks it's all book tours and signings or movie deals and getting your names on those things on shelves with pages in them.
H is for Happy, Hope, Hate, and History --
You will be happy when you finish your book, and each subsequent version of it. You will have hope that said book will net you an agent and a publishing deal, and then make readers smile. There will be times you will hate your book, or the process that goes into finishing it. (You may even hate your dog for jymping up onto your keyboard and plopping her fat belly down so that she presses the delete key and leaves you with 376 fewer pages than you had before her nap.) But hang in there, some day, when your book is sitting all shiny on a shelf or taking up memory in someone's e-reader, that roller coaster will be history. (Though, on the subject of history, if you're writing historical fiction, then please know what you're talking about. If you don't, someone will notice; I promise.)
Next time: I is for Idea, Ingenuity, and Ick-factors...