After reading my stories and comparing them to the internet, and doing a lot of looking back at my pile of rejections, one thing is becoming clear to me.
Before I say what that thing is, let me say that I've always prided myself on being a quick learner. I've also developed, over the years, a sense of objectivity. I feel that I can see my beauty and my flaws, without being blind to either.
My main character flaw has been patience. This was ironically drubbed into me at a meditation retreat where I was assigned the Kanthi Kuti. Kanthi in pali means patience. Patience has never been a virtue of mine. I like to resolve things quickly.
So I think my fiction needs more polish than I'm giving it. I think I'm trying too hard to produce a great quantity. And I think I've done a good job, I've got some favorable rejections. But they are rejections. Taking a hard look at myself, I would say my writing is currently short of the professional range. It lacks the snap and polish of a pro piece. I would say I'm writing at somewhere in the semi-pro range. I've been primarily submitting to pro markets. If I focused more on the semi-pro, would I have more success? Maybe. I might be overestimating myself.
My goal for this month is to focus on rewriting a few of my pieces. I need to figure out how to make them sparkle for the pro markets. I think part of it is by developing the depth of the world they are set it. This is part of the literary piece of literary genre fiction, I believe. This level of development requires: *gasp* PATIENCE!
I'm trying out a few online workshops to help me with this part. We'll see how it goes.