Reading while submissions were open was not as difficult as deciding which stories I like enough to publish. The Diner is a team effort, but when my name is on something, I hold myself personally accountable for the content. Which means I've taken seriously the effort I've put forth. It'd be nice if authors gave me the same respect.
- For God's sake, read the damn guidelines. I don't care if you've submitted to The Diner or a hundred other publications. How can you call yourself an author if you're throwing your work around without proper study of the guidelines? In my brain, albeit small, you get moved from serious author to hack and if you submit again I refuse to take you seriously.
- I've read this before, but it has become obvious to me that it needs to be said again. (And wow. Really. Are you that stupid?) Learn how to format your document, okay?
I'm developing pet peeves, too. Since I'm opinionated, that's probably scary. Not like I didn't have anything to complain about before today. But the list is growing.
- Don't write "You see," Ever.Again. EVER.
- Quit saying "screams in protest." Floorboards scream in protest. Broken femur bones scream in protest. The two-by-four I'm metaphorically using that beats the author blue, however, is not screaming in protest. It rather enjoys its purpose.
- Open your story with a dream--I'm rejecting you. I won't even read any further.
- Same goes with your character waking up in the morning as an opening.
This editing thing is a massive beast of self-esteem pointing right back to my own work. But there's fun to be had in the learning of these lessons.