I haven't checked in on this board in some time but felt I had to today. Yesterday was a great day in my household! After years of writing, editing and re-editing I can finally say I have found a publisher that wants to publish my first novel. It's an incredible feeling and one that I hope many here can one day experience. I am supposed to have a contract within a few days to make it official. Once I do I'll come back and share more details of the novel and experience with the board if anyone cares to hear about it. For now I'll offer some tips I've learned. Research accepted techinques/methods for dialogue structure and format and use them. Develop a story that you know in your heart is a good one. Introduce characters who are unique and are not boring. Edit and re-edit and then edit some more until it is well written. Walk away from the work for a lengthy period of time and then edit again. Find relatives or friends willing to offer critical feedback about the flow of the story. Ask them if they get the gist of what you're trying to convey through your characters and the story as a whole. Edit some more. Don't give up, there are indeed traditional publishers out there that are looking for novels from first time writers but you have to find them. Don't rely simply on the web or email to find them. Go to places where they can be talked with directly such as shows, meetings with groups or other events. There is lots more to consider but I mainly wanted to offer hope to those who feel they'll never get published. It does happen!