Proper use of the language. If you have been away from school for some time, or know you are weak in this area, it's a good idea to find a grammar book and bone up on the basic rules of grammar, punctuation, and style issues. Many writers make it a habit to reread The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White, every year as a refresher. Although publications and book publishers have editors who will likely catch any errors in your manuscript, these days editors are looking for print-ready manuscripts that require little or no editing. Some authors are going so far as to have their book manuscript edited by a professional freelance editor before submitting it. For a listing of grammar terms, go to: http://grammar.about.com/od/terms/a/topgramterms.htm.