Part of my own critical analysis is trying to judge how predictable my story is. I'm constantly asking myself this question, and equally I constantly remind myself that just because I may know where my story is going, and that it may seem obvious to me, a reader likely has no idea.
In the early stages I like to set the scene for what could be, offering the reader a myriad of possibilities. Hopefully these may form into small hooks, and in turn barbs, from which I've caught the reader. In reeling 'him' in I have to ensure that I keep teasing, not revealing my hand too soon.
Because at some point, the land becomes visible. The reader will know the landscape. By that time the reader needs to be invested and interested in my characters. Our characters. I've done something perhaps a little differently this time, inspired by recent readings of King and Hill, which is to inflect my characters with more of the mundane. Perhaps off-script remarks that give back story to item purchases, or reminiscences to past events - never too long or distracting, but something that adds flesh. It's not necessarily important to the story, but it makes the character more real.
Adds context to the landscape.
Brightens the darker areas.
I've become conscious of being too wordy - just that. Over-complicated description. Too dense sentences. Saying too much. For fear of losing track or focus, of there being too many pages for the reader. Then I'm reminded (thanks Twitter) that readers want to get lost in a story. They want a good book to be long. The important bit of 'long' though must be story, and contextual characterisation. Not dense and complicated language for the sake of that, for it pulls a reader out.
Story, story, story.
10 days: 9k words. I need to pick up the pace.