Have your story critiqued by others – not by a spouse, parents, family members or close friends but by someone who writes, reads or edits for a living (Full disclosure here: I own and run such an editing service.). In addition, have just one or two readers/editors look it over; if you give it to too many people, you’ll likely receive conflicting advice that only will make revising more difficult, if not impossible.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.