Here’s the best advice that helps my writing: I need to review it regularly: “Be myself and be authentic. Don’t try to put on a voice that isn’t my own. Keep my characters genuine and real. Readers will pick up if I’m lying, and they will put my book down. Keep my writing simple and keep it honest.”
I have a trusted reader and, about a week ago, sent her a chapter from my new book to review. Her comment was, “Your (female) character is not real. She would not think or act like that.” When I re-read the chapter, I had to agree. The main problem was that I was being over-descriptive and it ruined the authenticity of the setting. I was over-eager in my writing and, by adding more words, I destroyed it.