My writing time is split so I spend twice as much time writing fresh words of my own as in critiquing other writers. Much of that is within organised groups such as the Orbiters in the special interest group of the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association), but I also receive fiction from writer friends and those I meet in forums. A smaller amount is from submissions to Adventure Books – mainly because the AB website directs submissions directly to my Seattle friend and AB boss, Robert Blevins, and he acts as the #1 filter. Frankly we are puzzled why we receive so few hard science fiction short story submissions to our new magazine, Escape Velocity. It is a paying market now, so you can proudly add it to your writer’s resume if we publish it. Here is the link. Or if you want me to read it through and suggest any necessary changes send it to me. My e-mail is on my http://geoffnelder.com website.
We all need improvement – unless you’re Robert Heinlein – and I too benefited from the keen eyes and literary brain of Gladys Hobson, who edited my short story, Returning Reality, which is a sequel to my humour thriller novel, Escaping Reality, and which will appear shortly in Gladys’s new anthology, Northern Lights. She has other books available at Magpies Nest
What I find difficult to understand is when I spend a couple of hours or more reading and feeding back a detailed crit and then not hearing any more from that writer. From my 30 years as a teacher I always find some positive angles to congratulate the writer and if possible to suggest a market for the revised product. I appreciate that any criticism can smart, especially if you feel it’s come from a smart ass! But a critique of a piece of fiction is just a set of suggested improvements. No one would say that writer has to rewrite or lose their voice. I am always grateful when friends do the same for me and always say so even if it means going for a lie down in a darkened room first, and not always agreeing.
I seem to be in one of the only non-raianing spots in Britain today, so I’ve persuaded Mrs to come out into the cold sunshine. I’ve already scribbled another 500 on Exit, so the other 1500 can wait until tonight.