I finished reading Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel at the end of the last week, and had to take a few days to let the incredible amount of information and advice in there sink in. There's a lot to remember and learn from and while I had heard a lot of what is in the book from other writers, it never hurts to be reminded of it, especially with Maass' clear and straight-to-the-point explanations. This is definitely the kind of book you want close at hand so that you can freshen up on a few things before you write or edit.
One of its lessons stuck better than the others, though, and it's the one about raising the stakes. It might sound obvious that you want to have everything you can hanging in the balance, but... it's not. At least, not for me.
Go look at your story again. Could you make things worse? What do your characters have to lose? Their life, their family, their sanity, their love? Make sure there is as much here as there can be. Raise the stakes in your novel.
A word of warning, though: this may complicate your plot. It sure did for mine, and I've had to figure out a lot more material to nail the plot once more! It'll be worth it, though. So worth it.