So, it's not exactly a trade secret that Equestria Daily is very picky and particular about the fics that they publish. When I submitted Character Development, I knew full well that there was good chance that it wouldn't pass muster but I figured I'd give it a shot.
I'm sure you guessed the result by now.
Now, don't get me wrong; this blog isn't me throwing a hissy fit and going "How dare they!?", because for the most part I agree with their criticisms. I know I'm not the best author in the world (and I haven't written fiction in a long time before these last few fics). The point of this blog is to a) respond to the points brought up by the pre-reader (since I can't do it directly) and b) to announce that I'm going to halt work on Chapter 3 (I was only 80 words in anyway) and focus on editing the first two chapters (more on that later).
I first want to mention the terseness of the rejection e-mail. I'm sure this is due to a combination of being short for time with so many submissions and being jaded from all the crap they have to sift through (you couldn't pay me to do that and yet there's a large group of people volunteering to do it; bless them). The e-mail basically goes, "Your story doesn't make the cut, here's why it sucks, try again, have a good day." I can totally understand why an author would get discouraged and just give up, but in all fairness they do at least tell you what's wrong and what they recommend doing in order to fix it.
So here are the issues that were brought up:
1. Too... many... ellipses...
I... guess I... agree with this... Seriously though, they really are all over the place, so that's duly noted. That shouldn't be too difficult to fix. The real difficulty is in the next point:
2. Roseluck's internal thoughts don't sound natural, and should all be converted into external thoughts.
Honestly, the pre-reader called my bluff here, because I was thinking the same thing on some of the ones I wrote. And since there are already some external thoughts in the story, it would make more sense to make them all external for the sake of consistency. However, I just don't know how I'm going to convert some of them. How am I going to take something like:
Cranky’s a really lucky guy; they make such a cute couple. I heard he went to Tartarus and back just to find her. Now that’s dedication.
and make it external in a way that doesn't diminish the meaning of it? I'm going to have really think hard about it.
3. The dream sequence at the beginning of Chapter 2 is cringe-inducing.
Uh... That's the point. It's supposed to be so over-the-top lovey-dovey that it makes the cynic in you want to throw up. I don't really have much else to say about this.
4. "The whole thing could use an editing sweep" (missing commas for example).
The pre-reader wasn't too specific on this, so I guess that means there were too many things to list? I didn't think my grammar was that bad, but of course I know how easy it is to overlook your own mistakes. I could just opt for an editor, but personally that would be like admitting defeat to the English language. I want to major in English when I head back to college, so this is all stuff I'm gonna have to figure out anyway. I'm such a stickler for grammar, and yet here I am being chided by someone via e-mail about my grammar apparently being too awful to go into detail about. Hopefully there aren't any missing commas in this paragraph.
The good news is that the pre-reader didn't mention anything wrong with the story concept-wise or anything; it was strictly mechanical in nature. And, he/she said that he/she would like to see it on the site, so I will give it my best. I like a good challenge. If I feel it isn't working out then I'll forget it and continue writing it the way I have been; no EqD for me. I'll live.
So that's all for now. The next thing you'll be seeing from me is (likely) the improved versions of the two chapters of Character Development.