Today my main project - aside from subbing a story returned from one of the large magazines - was to take a story that was between six and seven thousand words and break it into two parts. The original story was "The Way of the Heretic", which had something wrong with its structure I couldn't put a finger on. A few years ago it came back from a magazine with the observation that it seemed to drag. A couple of weeks ago I sent it to Bruce Bethke at his new magazine, Stupefying Stories (Whadda great title!).
He didn't buy it, but he came up with a clear explanation of what was wrong. It made perfect sense, so I took the original story and busted it into two logical parts. "The Way of the Heretic" is now under 4,000 words, and its offshoot, called "Racing with the Sunset", is also less than 4,000 words. "Racing" now may be the stronger of the two stories. We will sub them both and see what happens.