- Multiple points of view are fun, but they need to make sense. Each pov character needs to contribute something unique. Ideally, a pov character has a lot on the line.
- Create well-rounded characters. Consider giving all your characters both good and bad qualities. Even bad guys shouldn't be all bad. Remember, you want the reader to empathize with your characters.
- Watch out for non-said dialogue tags--especially in a short story. Non-said dialogue tags take the reader's attention away from the story. Said dialogue tags fade away. Incidentally, with the increase of stories on various audio platforms, consider having fewer dialogue tags. Also do not include adverbs with your dialogue tags.
- Do have a story resolution. This is a bit market dependent, but at Electric Spec we want something significant to be different at the end of the story.
- Resolve all your McGuffins. A McGuffin/MacGuffin is an object or device that acts as a trigger for the plot. I don't recommend them, but if you use one resolve it! For example, if your story has a monster chasing the characters the monster needs to eventually catch up to them.
- Obey the principle of Checkhov's gun. Every element in the story needs to be necessary. For example, if there's a loaded gun in scene one it needs to go off. (And, yes, this is similar to the above point.)
Thanks for sending in your stories! Keep it up. :)