Margot E. Finke
Learn the basics of grammar and punctuation, join a good critique group for your genre, and rework your plot and characters until they are as good as you can make them. If you are tempted to self-publish, always have your MS professionally edited first. Finally: writers who paint word pictures readers can 'see' in their heads are the ones who succeed. So choose powerful, active, and evocative words that paint images your readers will cherish--and come back for more!