One other benefit of having a story published is that I had the chance to have a real dialogue with editors about my story. I’ve had friends and acquaintances read my stories before, but this revisions process taught me a lot about what editors are looking for, and what they aren’t. I think it will also help me in my own editing process going forward. Here are a few lessons learned:
1) Ask yourself questions about the story. It can be hard to get enough distance from your own writing to know what the reader has questions about when they’re reading. Try to step back and think about what you’re not explaining enough. There are good questions for the reader to be asking, and there are bad questions. The good questions are the ones that leave your reader wondering more about your world because it’s just so dang interesting. Bad questions are the ones that a reader asks because they don’t quite believe what you’re telling them.