In the midst of trying to write a novel, I have tried to write a story or two to keep my hand in, but I may be losing whatever knack I had for it. I wrote a story about 2 months ago and sent it to one of the print journals. They wrote back and said, "loved the first 2/3rds, which were quirky and atmospheric, but the end left us cold and was somewhat absurd."
Now I felt the end was inevitable but probably not the kind of ending this print journal liked. If you tell a story about two really nasty men, shouldn't they get theirs at the end? Okay maybe the means of death was strange, but not so far out.
Place 2 declined without comment.
Place 3-said "the beginning was way too slow but the story picked up midway thought and had a swell ending."
I'm sure you've had this happen. Or at least maybe you have. I only have a few places left to send this with the market the way it is. Most of them will probably agree with Place 3. I see a trend in some zines now to publish stories that are all action and dialog, which is not exactly how I like to write.
Do you write to suit the outlets or suit yourself? Maybe the two aren't in conflict for you. But I feel my strength as a writer, if I have any, is to write about the people who commit crimes and why. If I sacrifice that character development, what's left. I'm sure there are many writers who can do the other things better. I know there are.