I’m down to three submission now. The latest, to an annual contest, was perhaps the best feedback I have ever received on a story. The best part is, it was included in the body of the rejection. These kinds of rejection, although disappointing, are golden, for they contain the methods I have to employ to make a far better story. While writing this post, I already know what I have to do to fix it. Here’s the feedback:
From the reader: “This story is about a colony ship leaving a planet. The POV is pining over the love he left behind. AT the halfway point he’s put in hibernation and when he wakes up his love is there. She changed her mind. The POV does not protag in this story.”
A protagonist should generally act upon the story situation, rather than be acted upon by it (passive). When a story is mostly devoted to filling in the reader on background characterization and events, it will not be as effective as a story that moves forward, applying tension to the character in ways that change him forever.
How would you fix the story? Go ahead and comment – I’ll wait a bit, then update this with how I would do it.