So I am kind of pleased with myself that I actually managed to get a story completed - i.e. with beginning, middle and end - sufficient for my 8 (going 18) year old Grand-daughter to read on the plane when we went over to South Africa recently. It ran to 36 pages and is in the region of 14,000 words. So a small little story, written in reasonably good English (not too highbrow but not condescending either). She cracked on through it, enjoyed it a lot, laughed in all the right places, got the characters and is now chomping at the bit to read the continuation.
I have put it away (although it's actually printed out next to my bed) and will not look at it (I promise) for at least another month. Then I will get stuck in with the editing, polishing, adding detail/richness, sorting out any obvious plot mistakes etc. etc.
Then I will let it ferment for another month or two and re-edit after that.
Once the editing, polishing is done so that I am happy enough with it (I'm never happy with my stuff, so this is a tall ask) ... I have to find someone to critique it, rip it apart, tear it to pieces and generally put me off writing for the rest of my life. But who? I can't ask friends or family to do this ... because I don't trust their critical eye. I don't have a literary agent, I'm not part of any writing clubs/groups (scared shitless of those, to be honest) ... someone told me to submit it (anonymously) to an online writer's group but I'm terrified that my story will be stolen before I have chance to get it published (yeah, it's that good ... cough).
So anyone have any tips? Or better still, prepared to read it (bearing in mind that you have to put on the cap of an 8 to 10 year old?) All suggestions, no matter how rude, will be greatly appreciated.