I got a really good and clear feedback on my story I submitted to Edge of Propinquity. It was... depressing in many aspects. Honest, which I highly appreciate, but I'm not entirely sure how to go forward if I want to be serious with writing.
It wasn't stellar. I was hoping, but having someone tell you that is a blow to the stomach. But, its related to always wanting to be a good writer, then finding out you are an okay one, instead of a great one. Which, given everything else I've gotten for feedback pretty much is in line. I'm not a great writer and I have a seriously long way to go if I want to be.
The second was this...
Also, in my opinion, you need to tighten up your prose. It is
wordy in some places, there is at least one spelling mistake and the
story suffers from pacing problems.
I always try to submit the best stories I can. I go over them over and over again, but I always come up with the same problems. For example, "spelling mistake" is actually "used the wrong word" which is my number one problem. Pacing and wordy is something else, I have to work on, but its hard to see where I'm having the problem. I just don't see it. The really sad problem is, I'm a pretty good editor for anything besides my own stuff; I get too lost in my own writing to edit myself.
All of which is -easily- fixed. Get a good editor and resub the story elsewhere...
And there is the next part. An editor. An editor would be a wonderful thing for me to find, specially with my writing problems. Even if to get me to the point I can stop having these problems that I can't see yet. But, I haven't found a good editor. For a long while, I used Scribendi. They edited my first and third novel and a few of my short stories. For a proper edit, you need to do 2-3 rounds with them. For MG, it cost me $1200 for a single round of editing. It would only be $1000 for the third (final edits are cheaper). So, to do it right, I would have to spend about $3200 to get it properly edited. As such, I was a little cheap only spent $2500 for two rounds of editing and setting it myself. Do you know how much money I made from MG?
That is a terrible return, even taking into account the desire to get published as a monetary value. For one short story, I spent $60 to get it edited and got $10 for having it published. There is a reason I don't use Scribendi anymore, the return wasn't so much.
I tried having friends do editing. That... didn't end so well since they aren't good editors, they are okay proofers but not much else. I also tried having an English professor who wanted to be an editor editing for a little while. She won't touch half my stuff for various reasons, but its only about 50% off Scribendi. So, if I used her for MG, I would have only spent $1250 for that $120.
It still wasn't accepted to anywhere I submitted it. I didn't even get a personalized response, which apparently is a "you are doing it wrong" moment according to one panel at GenCon.
What do I do? Its obvious that if I'm serious, I have to get an editor. I can't do it alone, simply because I need so much help to handle the flaws in my writing. I can't see the flaws yet, so I need that extra person. But, if I do, it seems like I'm going to be taking a major loss of money, simply for the sake of getting published. Take Flight of the Scions, if I spent $4000 to get it properly and professionally edited, will I even remotely come close to making that back? If I use my old royalties amount of $0.32/book, that means I would have to sell over twelve thousand copies just to break even from the editing. That was two thousand copies over the contractual print run for MG.
Some days, I envy those with talent to avoid this.