In reply to advice asked for
I was asked for advice and gave it while claiming no expertise. While I've lots on nonfiction published, I've only had one novel and the essay that caused a reaction on this site published as fiction. I was sharing more of my experience as examples of mistakes with positive and negative consequences. Yesterday, a publisher asked for a rework of a story (horror). Sorry, I don't have a success story to provide and my advice should be considered with caution.
As to crit groups, I belong to two, but don't fully participate on either. It's a matter of time, rather than philosophical approach.
Yes, J, if I was a young man interested in establishing a fan base, I would have posted differently as previously described. This is not an apology, as I think the discussion here has been beneficial to all.
For whomever asked, "Rarity from the Hollow" was extensively edited by someone who has been in the business for decades and holds a prominent position. She was more harsh than anybody that had ever read any of my work, and appreciated. This doesn't mean that you will like my novel, only that it has been put through the wringer.