THINGS I DO NOT WANT MY NOVEL TO INCLUDE
1. A character that bears any likeness to me. I spend enough time with myself. And I never want to ever hear someone say the phrase "thinly veiled version of herself." Blech. I'll save that navel gazing for my 12-part memoir series, working title: "The Pista Pages." However, I'm not opposed to plenty of "thinly veiled versions" of everyone I know. And by "thinly veiled," I mean with the sheerest of silk.
2. Out of control, madcap behavior. I use this analogy a lot, but if my novel was turned into a movie, I wouldn't want there to be any scenes set to the sounds of someone going apeshit on a clarinet. There is a difference between funny, and train wreck of hilarity. I'd prefer the former. I've only seen the latter work once.
3. The phrase "chick lit" to ever be uttered within a 120-paragraph radius of anything I write. In order to assure this, my female lead won't wear shoes, eat cheese, or every say any sentence that mentions weight, or lack thereof.
4. A glaring error in punctuation or spelling.