So always keep in mind that all criticisms, and praises, are very subjective. They are influenced by the critic's experiences, upbringing, personal preferences, and anything else unique to that person. Keep that in mind and you won't be too devastated by criticisms, nor too ego-buoyed by praise.
Submissions: I wrote a 650-word story over two years ago that I hoped Daily Science Fiction would buy. No such luck, and I had not submitted it to any other market. But revealed through one of my many e-mail newsletters was a publisher looking to publish an anthology of very short stories, each 500 words or less, about wishes. It so happens that this short story was about wishes. I edited it down from 650 words to 489, and submitted it. I'm hoping to be one of the top three (they get paid) but just getting published will be a good deal.
I enjoyed the challenge of editing it down those 150+ words. I do tend to over-write, and when I finish the "final" draft of a story or novel, I always need to go back and hack out the over-writing. And then do it again, and maybe again.
My paranormal Romance/Thriller has met with little enthusiasm from Romance publishers. So I decided to de-emphasize the romance and write it as a paranormal thriller with a strong Romantic element. But then in another of my newsletters I discovered that one of the major print Romance publishers was having an open call for un-agented submissions. The only requirement is that the novel must have and HEA or HFN ending. That's "Happy Ever After" or "Happy For Now." The deadline for that submission is September 15. So instead of de-emphasizing the Romance, I'm going to emphasize it more and de-emphasize the thriller part. So far I've eliminated one chapter that was antithetical to the Romance mood and I'm going to have to rewrite at least two other scenes for the same reason. And probably rewrite a key encounter to make it more Romance-oriented, but I think I'm going to ask for help on that one.
I have at least a small personal connection with four successful women in the writing or publishing professions and I will ask (beg) for their opinions on that particular point. Though three of the four are FB friends, I'm able to contact them privately about something like this. Whatever the results, I'll let you all know next time. But because the deadline is less than a month away and my work hours along with my household duties still give me little time to write, I doubt I'll be able to add to this blog again before the 15 of September. But I'll try!
And then, to cover the bases, I'm going to continue the other version, de-emphasizing the romance and stressing the thriller-parts (and violence) a little more. So I may end up with two different novels when there was only one.
Thank you for reading, please continue to do so...anything in print!