How to be a better writer in two easy steps
1. When using quotes, put punctuation in the right place.
"Periods and commas go inside of quotation marks."
"Periods and commas don't go outside the quotes, EVER". <----WRONG!
(unless it's a single character or number, such as "X". or "4".)
2. Don't overuse "that" and "then"
90% of the time, those two words are unnecessary. Consider:
Jack tells Locke that he's going to the beach.
Jack tells Locke he's going to the beach.
Michael kills Ana Lucia and then dances a jig.
Michael kills Ana Lucia and dances a jig.