I've have been perusing the volunteer editor lists for about two months now. I've sent out quite a few emails asking for help. A few responded. What I haven't been able to find is a female proofreader who can catch those subtle nuances in a character's response or viewpoint that isn't right when a male tries to write them.
I think many really good stories would be a lot better if the author had that kind of help. Sometimes the changes needed aren't so subtle, like when a female character 'sees' a neat car and KNOWS instantly that it's a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with 15 inch Cragar SS 5 spoke chrome rims with Mickey Thompson street slicks. Now, I'm not saying there aren't female gearheads out there, but if the character is a high school student in the band, it just smacks of being wrong. That band geek girl would instead say, "OOOO! What a pretty midnight blue car! That black interior must suck in the summer."
Granted, my example is an extreme one, but I'm trying to make a point of what I am looking for in some help. I have a couple editors that are great at catching spelling and grammar mistakes. I need someone that can point out that a female character wouldn't think or say something, "I", the male writer misses as obvious because I don't think that way.
I'm fully aware "Discovery" needed that help. This was a short story I wrote in a single afternoon and then set it aside for a couple weeks, came back to it, fleshed it out some and then shopped it out to a few editors. It still needs a good proofreader to fine tune it.
The story I've been working on for about 3 months is quite a bit longer than Discovery (which is currently at 14K words). I've got the outline finished, Act 1 is roughed in and is around 25K words. I'm roughing in Act 2 and it's at about 4K and will probably be about the same size as Act 1. The main character is male, but there are a few female characters that are central to the plot and I want them to sound and feel real--so I need some help. The codes for this one are pretty much the same as Discovery, which makes it that much harder to find willing editors and proofreaders.