Yes...I do mean it. My short story has been ripped to shreds, and I am thrilled.
Ok, that was the hook...now let's start from the beginning.
I signed up for Jacqui Bennett Mini Course. It basically means, Jacqui critics 4 short stories under 2500 words. To begin, I had to send her any story. Mine was 2600 words, but I did ask permission first. It was returned, not with negative comments as such (in fact she said it did have some originality and good ending), but with "proper" editing. If one word could be used where I used to, that was a red mark. If there was a description where it wasn't needed, it was cut.
Just looking at my short story with all the editing comments has made me realise how much severe editing I need to do. I must admit, I am one of those people who doesn't hang around too long after finishing a story. I do hurry up the sending, when I shouldn't. Let it be a lesson.
For the second assignment I have to write a story based on a scenario I have been given. This is where I have a problem. I am supposed to target one of the regular magazines, which I call "womanly" magazines. They are fine, of course. Their stories are fine too. But they all require happy happy stories, and I just can't think of many good happy/fluffy short story ideas. I tend to come up with the ones that end unhappily. Oh well, it's called a challenge for a reason.
I don't know whether Story 3 and 4 are supposed to be assigned or free, but I look forward to it...sort of...