Mean less

Here's a nice link I found when I Googled "old fashioned clip art"

The 39 Steps: A Primer on Story Writing

1) Step one in the great enterprise of a new and preferable you in the house of fiction is: Mean less. That is, don't mean so much. Make up a story, screw around with it, paste junk on it, needle the characters, make them say queer stuff, go bad places, insert new people at inopportune moments, do some drive-bys. Make it up, please.

2) Don't let it make too much sense.