What are your rules, writers?
What are your rules, readers?
I think it would be a good exercise to get a cross-pollination here; as per rule #2 on the linked list, writers should be aware of what their audience is thinking, and readers should be aware of what writers are working with.
One of my personal rules is to make any dialogue realistic. I mean to the point of speaking it aloud to yourself while wandering down the street like you're (housing other personalities in your braincase) on a Bluetooth. Speak it aloud to make sure it sounds natural. Like something someone would actually say.
Another rule is to be brave with your characters. Figure out what they'd actually do, and then commit to it full-throttle. For instance, if Batman would kill a person in a fit of vengeful anger, don't pussyfoot around it and give him a convenient pylon that falls on the person's head and therefore keeps the Caped Crusader from being a murderer. What would 28 Days Later have been like if Jim had not committed to his end-of-the-movie actions?
Tell me your rules! ^_^