I have trouble understanding how subtle I need to be with various hints in my stories. I have always heard to trust the readers, that they are smarter than people give credit for. So, when writing my first novel I made some semi-subtle hints about some stuff. Looking at it again during editing I thought to myself that it was too obvious, that I needed to be more subtle. Then I was shocked when none of my beta readers got any of the clues!
Okay, so now I just wrote a short story. I am not a short story writer, so I am having serious trouble understanding if it is decent or complete garbage. I had some constraints, because I set it within the world of my book, but twenty years earlier. So, place and character names had to be the same, as well as the general feel of the world.
I wanted a story that showed the compassion and empathy of my main character, but I think it is not subtle enough. I feel like the story is not bad, but certain parts are difficult and I'm not sure I pulled it off well. I had to set part of it in a hospital, and since people generally dislike hospitals I didn't want to dwell there, but the story called for it. Anyhow, I need help if I am to have any chance of selling this to a magazine. (I'd like a short story or two published so I can add that to my queries as a credential). Anyone out there willing to read a short story and give me the honest truth?