Ten Things That Appear in Your Novel, and What They Tell Me
Cats > 4: You don't own cats, because if you did you'd know that your heroine will have to run a lint roller over every article of clothing and furniture she owns at least three times a day to keep them as immaculate as you describe them, and spend most of her spare time cleaning up hairballs and emptying litter boxes. Also, her house would not smell like the wildflower meadow you've repeatedly compared it to; it would smell like cat (or the litter boxes she forget to empty.)
Dream Sequence: There was just no other way to deliver that flashback while sparing the reader the worst details except while your protagonist remembered it while sleeping (and woke up two seconds before Uncle Frank was mowed down by that runaway weinermobile) -or- you remembered in the middle of writing Chapter Seven something important that you should have told the reader in Chapter Two, but don't feel like rewriting.
Identified Black Moment: Does RWA now require their members to actually incorporate the phrase "black moment" during the black moment?
Kidnapping: Either someone doesn't want the hero and heroine to have sex, or someone does.
Love Scene: a) Fade-to-black -- Right as you were getting into the big love scene, your kids came home from school, your husband came home from work, or your mom called; b) Public -- Your mom called, and you had a fight with her, then you wrote the love scene; c) Unexpected -- your husband came home from work two hours before the kids are due home from school.
Spell of Convenience: You've suddenly realized that no one is going to survive the final showdown unless they employ the magic spell written on the scroll one of them just stumbled over on the way to their doom.
Sword Fight Scene, Extended: You've watched The Princess Bride more than fifty times.
Treasure Chest, Diamond-Filled: In lieu of the sperm or ovum-shaped journey diamonds you were expecting for your birthday, the hub got you a new vacuum or microwave.
Unexpected and Brutal Torture of Hero: The treasure chest filled with diamonds didn't quite make up for the lousy birthday gift.
Weather Report: You rewrote the opening line three hundred times, you're sick to death of opening lines, and who cares what PBW thinks?