Congrats to all of you fiction writers getting published out there. For those of you running into walls, here’s help. In this series, pick up one-minute pointers from the Fiction Acquisitions Editor of a NC Indy press. Take what you need and leave the rest.

5 tips for improving your odds of publication

Read your work aloud and record it. You can get free voice recording apps for your phone. You will find both awkward parts and absolutely lovely parts. Just do it.

Write a little something every day. Writing can save us, but we have to save writing first. Wish I could quote who said that.

Review your work whether it’s just for exercise or for keeps. Make notes on the side. Editing will come next.

Edit your work with the help of Editor in Word or different assistant-style apps for different machines (PC or Mac.) Pay attention to the elements of skillful writing and how they categorically fit on the dashboard of your writing, ie: is the imagery too strong for the story? Is there an overabundance of dialogue? Does the plot lag? Why? Have you covered setting. Research these basic, necessary elements to learn about balancing the dials on your writing dashboard!

Share your work with qualified people, maybe other writers, maybe beta readers, maybe editors, maybe with your writers’ critique group or at an open mic to gain valuable insight. Accept gentle, honest critiques with an open mind. Kill your darlings when necessary (but always keep them safe in a special folder!)

See you next time.

Happy trails!