Rule #1: Don't preach at me. Tell the damn story... I think this is self explanatory.
Rule #2: Don't make up your own history, claim that you've done your research, and then NOT share your research. You are not Dan Brown, I don't tolerate it FROM Dan Brown, and I will waterboard the next schmuck who does that. Anyone want to test that threat? I'm a freaking historian. I know when you're lying you morons!!!!!
Rule #3: If you have an action sequence, HAVE an action sequence. I don't need blow-by-blow, but if your concept of a "fight" is "they fell to the roof and struggled with each other until they fell off," I will hurt you. Jack Higgins did that, and after that, I knew Sean Dillion series was doomed. I was writing like that when I was 16.
Rule #4: If you have a chapter, it has to be more than a paragraph long. If you only have snippets from a mad serial killer, we might forgive you if it's a handful of chapters. If it's your entire novel, you should be beaten to death with the hard copy.... I'm looking at you, James Patterson.
Rule #5: Vampires only sparkle IF THEY'RE ON FIRE.
Rule #6: Fantasy authors, please, for the love of God, if you're going to have a system of magic set in a modern environment, please explain where magic comes from. [Ahem: Dear Madam Rowling, where do wizards get their powers FROM? Why do they actually need wands? Why can some spells not require any wands? A paragraph over your 7 novels would have been fine to explain any of this]
Rule #7: Stop giving me stupid villains. Just stop. Please.
Rule #7b: Stop giving me insipid heroes. Just ... don't.
Rule #7c: In fact, Stephen King, just stop writing entirely.
Rule #8: While we're at it, SOMEONE HAVE AN ORIGINAL IDEA. I don't care if you've been a bestseller for 20 years, stop pumping out books like they're an obligation. I'm looking at you King ... Higgins ... Patterson ... Pat Cornwell ... Nora Roberts does consistently better and original ideas than you twits, and she's a ROMANCE NOVELIST. Gah.
Rule #9: Stop with the utterly dark nonsense. I'm tired of the same dystopian universes, the same miserable outlooks on humanity, and the same anti-heroes. Snake Plisskin only works once. Twice if you make him into a Metal Gear character. After that I'M BORED. You can give me an anti-hero if he's well-developed, likable, smart. You can stop giving me the same depressing, dark, amoral character who actually HAS no character development. Even the book Codename: Winterborn, which has been compared to Escape from New York, went out of its way to describe how society works, how people live, how there's an economy. I never want to see another Escape from New York or Terminator universe unless they're in the Escape from New York or the Terminator universe.
Rule #10: Stop, stop STOP making professional soldiers into sociopathic Redshirt canon fodder while the plucky hero WITH ZERO COMBAT EXPERIENCE gets out alive. Thank you