I’ve read a lot of “how to write” blogs in the last three years. Many of them are by people who have written a book or two that are out in the world to check out! Many of them are by people who have fewer than one book under their belts. I trust these less.
I have to say that the one thing that’s helped more than anything else has been using sites like SweetFreeBooks and BookBub as place to learn to read like a slush-pile reader. If you download and read at least the first chapter of EVERY single free read available on those sites, you’ll learn a pattern for what works and doesn’t. Yes, writing a lot helps, but so does reading. If you can’t do this go to the library, pick a genre and read the first page of every book in it for an hour or two, every day of the week. You’ll see what I’m saying.
Having said that, my earliest short story came back as a rejection and now I can see why. I’ve put out three in the last couple weeks (see previous post) and I’m back to working on Olivia’s Realm the novel. Eventually I’ll get back to the audio adaptation 😉