The “experts” say your first draft should be quick and rough, and that you fix it in later drafts. But when I first started writing, I didn’t get that. Why should I waste time writing a “rough” draft that I’ll have to correct later? Why not just take the time to make it perfect the first time around?
Sure, the Hunger Games books are emotional roller coasters that broach deep moral questions. But a lot of books have those qualifications. Why aren’t they all as wildly popular as The Hunger Games?
Because the story is highly marketable on an organic level.
You may be a grammatical black belt, leaping big vocabulary words in a single bound. But take care: you could still be making elementary mistakes that’ll leave your readers cringing, eye-rolling, and yes, even face-palming.
Does your story sag in the middle? Do you feel like you’re plowing through boring scenes just to get to the cool ones? Is your protagonist wandering around aimlessly, looking for the climax?
It’s not enough to have all the major events written down in a neat little list – what you need is structure.