Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 Things I Love to See in Submissions

1. A story that opens in any place other than a bed, a bar, or a bordello.

2. An adverb/verb ratio < 1:100.

3. Family stories that do NOT involve incest or physical abuse.

4. Typo-free pages.

5. Paragraphs shorter than one page.

6. A paucity of passive voice.

7. An adjective/noun ratio which does not exceed 1:1.

8. Stories where every word deserves its place.

9. Characters I wish were real.

10. Anything that keeps me reading because I have to find out how it ends.

And you?



  1. I was with ya, 100%, until I got to paucity - then I had to stop and look it up. Then I was back with ya, 100%.

  2. 11. Stories free of two-buck words ;^)


  3. I'd like to be clear on #7.
    Do I have to shorten my descriptions?
    Could you give an example?


  4. Hi Perri, I am a big fan of the single strong adjective. So this does not work for me:

    "An alien smell, warm and uneasy between the layers of chilly air..."

    Here, warm and uneasy end up weakening the strength of 'alien', so I would ditch those additional modifiers.

    In narrative, more than one adjective is okay once in a while, but when adjectives pepper the entire story, or large chunks, my eye tends to skin to the next verb. I find revising my own work to find the strongest noun/verb/adjective hard work; however, to do otherwise is often taking the lazy way out.

    A personal preference, other editors may feel differently. Peace...

  5. Dang, and here I was ready to submit my story, The Bordello Bed-wetter Raises the Bar.

    #12 Stories I wish I'd written myself.

  6. I'm not an editor, but if I were:

    13. Originality