Rule #12 relates closely to Rule #11. You need to seriously consider The Concept before you start drafting.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
My super cool “list of 10″ trick applies well here. I talked more about this and gave examples in the post for rule 9, but here’s the general idea: when you’re working on your concept or trying to figure out any problem in your story, make a list of 10 things that could occur. Don’t let your critic get in the way here, just list 10 options. The first 3 or 4 that come to mind need thrown out. Since you thought of them first, most likely everyone else did too. A concept that low down on the list isn’t going to be original enough to carry the story. Push yourself from the very beginning to explore original ideas, motivations, and fixes in your story concept. If you’ve got that covered, you’re in a great starting place. You can write your draft and trust yourself to make it everything you want it to be in revisions.
But first, the draft has to exist.