So I wrote a short story for publication. Of course it was science fiction, my chosen genre. I edited it and formatted it as a manuscript. Then I printed it out and handed it out to my beta readers for their comments. Their comments came in, and I rewrote the story. Then I set it aside for a few weeks and looked at it again. I made corrections, then I submitted it to a good science fiction magazine. Now I'm waiting.
I did this whole process to go through the process since I have never done it before. I’d hate to try to go through the process for the first time on a novel. I’ve been advised by other authors to cut my teeth on short stories. I think that’s wise counsel.
There’s something I discovered along the way. You see I had 3 women and 3 men as my beta readers. Though they all had good critical comments, each gender complained about a certain item. Now, the two genders didn't complain about the same item. No, no. They complained about different items. The two items in question were the crescendo and the ending. The men thought the crescendo was too curt, and the women wondered why the ending was the way I made it.
I knew there was a difference in thinking between the sexes, but to me this highlights just how much. Neither gender questioned the other’s misgiving. Why? It was just strictly gender based opinion. Fascinating! I laugh at the very thought. I giggle to no end at the idea that my story gave such a reaction. I never thought it would. The reason is that the crescendo and the ending have nothing to do with gender at all.
My personal conclusion, I could be wrong, is that I've struck a balance among the sexes. Sure, it's not a totally positive balance, but I'll take it.