- Too much passive writing (was, were, had). Results in telling instead of showing, as well as takes the reader out of the immediate action, and it can be a sign of lazy writing. More on that at THIS LINK.
- Excessive spelling and grammar issues (which point toward either inexperience, or rushing, or not caring). Use spellcheck, but don't rely on it. More on that at THIS LINK.
- Bad flow and/or pacing (not enough action, too much action, confusing). When in doubt, read it aloud, you'll be surprised what this exposes. More on that at THIS LINK.
- The manuscript doesn't meet my requirements (too short, too long, hits on my DISLIKES list, isn't a genre I acquire).
- The writer didn't follow submission guidelines. It is a sign that the writer is rushing, not researching, or is blanketing submitting.
For more tips and writing advice, look through my blog archive to the right. Happy writing and best of luck submitting!