I finished the first draft of Race to Redemption, that story about Kaelin I wrote about here when I was in the plotting stages. Oddly enough he was featured on Come in Character at the same time, which was easy and fun because I was already in his head. I'm mostly pleased with how it turned out, but it is just a draft and needs work. It's in the hands of my critique group and I'll likely see what they have to say, rewrite and revise, and then ask one more beta reader to take a look. One thing I'm going to do is print out my posts and make sure I hit the high points in the way I intended. The story runs 5K words.
I do have some concerns:
The title is cool and accurately describes the vibe I want the story to project. However, I don't feel the story is much of a race. Need to find a way to pump up that element.
In the draft, Kaelin knows from the start that Lord Oman is setting him up. That isn't the dark moment any more. Not sure how I want to handle that, but I suspect I need better establish his motivation: his love for Ryanne.
Not pleased with the ending. I think I'll have to add in another scene to duplicate something that's said before--to round that circle out and tie off that thread. The bad guys just kind of disappear at the end, and we need to see them again.
Also, I really like when elements appear three times in a story. For instance, there's a largely offscreen character, Kaelin's cousin Marc. He's mentioned by Oman. Kaelin later texts him asking for information. And then Marc finally appears at the end. It provides nice rhythm and something dependable that a reader can subconsciously rely on. I think I have some other elements that don't quite flow in the same way.
Then it's off to the magazines. F&SF first, I think.
Also, since I've made myself more available to contact, I've had some folks drop me a line, some new and some old blog friends! Yea! I love that.