Send only completed work.
That seems kind of obvious, but I do get queries from writers who are still hip deep in the writing. A finished work means you have a final word count, which is how I work out how much to charge.
It is also a VERY good idea to have one or more trusted beta-readers check it over in case there's a plot hole you missed and need to fix. Better to do that first!
names should all start with different letters
If you have John, James, June or an Emily and Elaine
or a David, Danielle, Diggory all
in the same story change them.
Same letter names will confuse me, and your readers.
Any editor (the good ones) on Publisher's Row will have you do
Holy over the top,
Get! Rid! Of! Things! Like! This!
Exciting punctuation in a narrative won't energize a scene.
Characters who yell a lot may need a tranquilizer.
Song lyrics, poems &
other copyrighted material
You have to have written permission
from the copyright holder of a song or poem.
The copyright holder may ask for payment for use
of his or her words. It usually is not cheap.
Using material without permission translates into nasty letters from lawyers.
It's less complicated to write around the quotes.
Example: Instead of quoting the actual song lyrics of A Hard Days Night,
simply let readers know that's what's playing on the radio or
running through a character's head.
Or use quotes from material that is in the public domain. No one owns
the copyright to Shakespeare or anything else on
Avoid openings where characters wake up.
I know, it's the start of the protagonist's Big Story and it's a natural thing to have him/her waking to it. But it is seriously overused cliche. The only one even more subject to abuse is the character waking with a hangover. Start your story at a more interesting point when the protag is out of bed and in the middle of the action.
Even Bilbo Baggins had finished breakfast and was outside his door when Galdalf first strolled by. Gandalf didn't pound on the door to wake up the little Hobbit. Our Hero was AWAKE and OUT and ripe for plucking up for an Adventure. It's like that.
I don't care if your favorite writer has done this opening--YOU be better!