“Dear Allison,

Thank you for giving me a chance to read “Diver.” I really like the sentence level writing and the paragraph-to-paragraph flow in this, and I think it’s a very interesting premise, but right now the story starts in the wrong spot for me and it doesn’t have enough narrative momentum to carry it through the exposition. I think it needs a more active exploration of the initial premise and then introduction of the main conflict earlier to drive the story. I’m going to pass on this one for F&SF, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll keep us in mind again in the future.

Best regards,

Charlie

C.C. Finlay, Editor
Fantasy & Science Fiction”

This is the first time I’ve submitted my near-future sci-fi “Diver,” and I’m so glad I made Fantasy & Science Fiction my first choice. Quick turnaround, not to mention valuable feedback I can use to iron out the ruffles in my story and make it even stronger for a market that’ll hopefully buy it. I really admire CC Finlay for his editing with F&SF, how he’s able to provide feedback despite the deluge of submissions. Just for that, I’ll continue to put F&SF first with future submissions.

About the story itself:
I feel that my beginning is pretty strong, but since Finlay thinks it starts off at the wrong spot, I’m not sure where to begin if I decide to rewrite. As for conflict, I went for fleshing out the characters before getting down to issues between them, but that comes at the cost of losing narrative momentum as Finlay sees it. I’ll have to find some way to push the conflict further up the story. I’ll probably trim the backstory behind the sci-fi element/technology; it’s interesting food for thought, but doesn’t drive the plot. I’m all for slimmer word count.

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