The contest over at Query Tracker last month got me thinking. There is another great contest. Just click the link for more info. Anyway, I noticed that lack of connection with the character seemed to be one of the reasons for rejection.
We begin with the inciting incident and somtimes forget the human element. We give the reader a taste of conflict. A sense of urgency.
However, that first connection by reader with character is vital. Whether your character is attempting to navigate through a planetary system that is about to explode, or whether she is trying to survive a battle, or make sense of her predicament, we need to remember the human element to story building.
Don't forget the people in your story. Design sets, narration, dialogue is good but the reader needs to connect with the person that is about to be squashed by the gigantic eyeball that disengaged from its harness, rolled across LaSalle street missing a bus full of unsuspecting riders, and is now rumbling towards your MC. Just before she sees that blue lidless eyeball, what is she thinking? Those thoughts can show a lot of the type of person she is, or was. Is she thinking...crap I should have let the dog out. We know she's an animal lover and lives alone. Is she thinking...I forgot to pay cable. Okay, she's a couch potato and probably has no life.
Make every thought count and your reader will follow. Don't assume that your reader will connect with her because, well, no one deserves to be squashed by an eyeball. This is fiction, remember. Who knows? She could be a zombie looking to eat one of those unsuspecting riders on the bus.
Just food for thought.