I've been reading all about the rules a writer needs to follow in order to get published. While I don't doubt that these things are important, without a great story and interesting characters, none of it will matter.
Writing is a form of creation and shouldn't be stifled by rules. When I dither over the perfect sentence, I sometimes lose the excitement of allowing my imagination to soar. I've discovered that getting the plot down on paper while it's still fresh in my mind is more important than worrying about whether I've used active verbs, avoided adverbs, or even written in complete sentences. All that can be fixed in editing. Is the story so compelling that the reader must find out what happens next? Are my characters interesting? Most important how do I feel about what I've written? It's my creation and whether an agent or publisher thinks it's worthy of publication shouldn't negate the satisfaction I feel when I read it.