It started out with me writing a story. It was more for something to do, rather than ever be published. I was recently retired and wanted something to keep my mind active yet not that demanding. I had an idea that I thought would make a good story, but knew I didn't have the skills to write commercially so typed it out on my computer intending family only distribution.
I shared it with my eldest son; he suggested I post it on an online site. The story could be read for others for free and I might get some feedback. Though he did suggest I convert to Times New Roman font. I thanked him for his suggestions and made the font change. I didn't even mind the implied criticism.
I posted the story, it was a little out of place because the site specializes in erotica, but they allowed about anything legal to be posted.
It was up for less than eight hours and I started getting emails. Most were complimentary but several with some sincere criticism. I went back and did a thorough spell and punctuation check, and fixed some run on sentences, also paragraphs were too long. One person pointed out that I was being unrealistic on how long I was having my character hit a golf ball, the story was a fantasy but hey he was right about it being unrealistic, and he had brought it up politely so no reason not to make a change. After making those corrections I reposted the story awaiting further comments and hoping for a few compliments.
There were some attaboys and requests to keep writing, but another reader pointed out that my story would go better if it was a girl protagonist rather than a male, so Robert became Roberta and I reposted.
This was followed by a deluge of emails. I had forgotten to do a search and replace for; he, him, and his. I said a few choice words but made the corrections and reposted.
Again a few good comments but one really good thought. Golf though played by women is more of a man's game; I should have her play tennis instead. I thought about that and it seemed like a good idea so I rewrote the game, of course I now had to describe some tennis matches and delete the rounds of golf. After reposting I kicked the trash can in my office; that was frustrating work.
The next set of emails gleefully pointed out that I had neglected to change the locations where my story was taking place. Maybe I should change Augusta for Forest Lawn. Oh and yes Taylor Made is not in the tennis racket business, maybe I want to change that. Those changes obviously needed to be made so I did and reposted. I really didn't mean to knock the lamp off my desk and break it when I threw the trash can.
Now I only received one email but it was a stroke of genius. Why not have my girl overcoming a great difficulty, like playing on an artificial leg; she had lost her leg to an IED in Afghanistan.
I wish I had thought of such a brilliant plot device so rewrote and reposted.
Now the emails came dinging in. "Wow that's a lot of compliments," I thought. No it was a lot of small things I had forgotten to take into account. Like when she wins her big matches she probably didn't jump over the net and do a backflip.