If you're thinking about submitting to some journals, the best thing you can do is look up a whole bunch of old copies to see what kind of thing they like. You don't always have to pay for them, as you can get them from libraries or sometimes look at archives online.
You only get one chance to submit each piece to each journal, so don't waste it by submitting badly. Read and follow their guidelines religiously, and if they have any other information available on what they would prefer in submissions, read that as well and take it seriously. If they say something like, we don't like stories that begin with the protagonist waking up, then don't take that as a challenge. Fiction journals get enough submissions to keep them in recycled paper for a hundred years. They aren't desperately waiting for your contribution.