My advice for writers is if you take at face value any advice you get on the internet without seeing if it actually works for your writing purposes, you're a fucking sheep. That's all, really. Write, experiment, create and then painfully destroy a Mary Sue, use ALL THE PLOT TWISTS, pre-write such that it's longer than your finished product (it'll save you editing time later!), and don't write just for the sake of making words.
The five points that I think should be improtant are:- 1) WRITING. The most important. 2) Reading. 3) Read and reread what you have written. 4) Show your work to someone who is way better than you and listen to what they have to say. 5) Learn to take criticism.
I'm wondering what the target audience is and why you feel qualified to give advice. There's a lot here that seems like it's coming from a newbie -- focusing on Mary-Sues, separation of plot and character, and insisting that an outline works for everyone. Nowhere do I see anything about reading or revision. And I'm just seeing a lot of questionable stuff...like a character always has to be likeable? Totally not true. Antiheroes are amazing and you see them in so many stories -- would you say that Deadpool or Spike from Buffy are bad characters? See also what `saintartaud has to say
I think you have to be really careful about giving authoritative advice, especially in a post like this that doesn't really encourage discussion. You're posting this like it's a resource or a guide, which isn't necessarily appropriate for the forum unless you can show that you're an expert. If this were a post that said "give your 5 favorite tips for writing," that would be different, and a good idea.
I'm posting this with love. I want to see this community succeed, and bad advice, even well well-intentioned, isn't terrible helpful.
Any of the following contain antiheroes: the complete works of Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Albert Camus, every Gothic, Romantic or otherwise Victorian novel or short story, almost all Hispanic magic realism, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Oedipus Rex, your mother. Surely in high school you've read at least one of the above.
Ooooh. I can't think of a book that I've read off the top of my head, but I know the Dexter series features an antihero. (The books are what the TV show is based on.) Basically an antihero is a protagonist that is extremely unlikeable, does unsavory things, but you can't NOT follow his story...and he has an occasional heroic moment.