I was recently asked by a friend if I could look over a short story that he wrote and submitted. The story had not been selected and he wanted some general feedback as to why since a lot of places don’t bother to tell you. (Understandable, but still frustrating.)
I was honored to be asked as reading someone’s work is a pretty big thing and should not be taken lightly.
I enjoyed his story for the most part but I was distracted by spelling errors, word usage errors, and some big grammar no-nos. I told him that I felt that his story read more like a draft instead of something all polished up and ready for a submissions committee. He told me he had actually had an editor look over it.
I told him he needed to demand his money back.
And it got me thinking, again, about perhaps throwing my hat into the ring in terms of editing. I am not an expert… my degree in English was obtained almost 10 years ago (OMG….. a rant for another day), but I could have easily helped this writer know which version of “its/it’s” “lets/let’s”, and “past/passed” to use! I am fairly certain that had his story been the next Great American Short Story… it would not have been published because I doubt that the submission reader kept reading too far past those errors.
Which is a damn shame as the story was pretty good.
I’m mulling it over.