Current Writing Process, Pt3

The second part of my feedback loop is on-demand editors at  For the two stories I’ve put out for publication consideration, I did a developmental edit (big thoughts on the piece, what works and doesn’t, overall) followed by a copy edit.  There are other types of edits, but for cost and sanity reasons these seem like the bare minimum.  Now I want to have a relationship with an editor, to have a professional voice to talk through story items and help me become a much stronger writer.
There is a middle ground; alpha and beta readers.  I haven’t approached and friends or family for works in progress, although there are a few avid readers I can ask.  I wanted to be better, tighter, smoother, more creative before I showed the work to people I care about.  But that’s nonsense; creating something and keeping it to yourself is useless.
I also joined a group on Facebook (heaven help me), a forum to ask for beta readers.  The plan now is lean on a set of F&F for alpha reads, then a combo of people on and FB for beta reads.  Then find a developmental editor, hopefully one that I can have multiple passes with (reedsy is one and done).  That’s a lot of feedback.  Neil Gaiman said it best, “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
I have two stories in the can.  The first, The Inspector’s Legacy,  was written for Into the Ruins.  I followed the system described above; had the original manuscript critiqued on scribophile and worked in feedback.  After a few rounds, I submitted to a reedsy developmental editor.  His suggestions, like “work on this relationship” or “build up this character” are very tough.  When I submit these pieces to these editors, it reminds me of when I submitted papers in school.  I feel like I’m done, so it seems hard to rip things up and do a major rework.  Another skill that needs work.  Then I put those revisions back on scribophile, then submitted for a copy edit. 
The other story is Unfair Advantage.  Similar journey, and I just got the copy edit back.  I will submit that story, starting this week, to a wide range of publications.  It’s a decent story; most people who read it have a positive reaction.  It doesn’t fit nicely into a genre though.  That’s been an eye opener, and a piece of advice I wish I’d internalized earlier.  Know what audience you’re writing for.  UA is sorta workplace fiction, sorta a thriller, sorta…well, something.  And, it’s an awkward length.  Eight thousand words is long for a short story and short for a novella.  I’m bullish about this story, and might expand it to a two to three part, 30k published work on Amazon.  The part I have done now expand and be an entire act.  The tricky part would be a clever ending, but I’d love to work on that problem.

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