Close again, but no sale

I have a story making the rounds that has gotten some positive comments, the latest being (paraphrased) “Good story, but not dark enough for us.” The story has a dark streak, but only if the reader totally identifies with the protagonist. I figured that sending the story to this particular magazine was a little bit of a long shot. The word “dark” has been used to mean different things, but normally you can glean from the rest of the submission guidelines what the magazine is striving for. What perplexes me is the level of “darkness” a particular editor or magazine is looking for. Just a little dark, like my story, or should it be full on pitch black terrorizing darkness?

The good news is that I now know that a story needs to be darker than the one I sent for this magazine to want it. Good to know. Learning about the markets is almost as fun as the actual writing!

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