At the moment I'm critiquing a story for one of my critique partners. She sold to Silhouette Special Edition (yay!!) and we're currently going through her editor's suggested revisions. I've learned a lot taking this journey with her. One thing that comes to mind, unpublished writers need to relax!
This story is amazing. The characters are flawed, lovable and 3-dimensional. The plot is strong and the conflicts, believable. But I've noticed a few things. It also has plenty of unnecessary name tags, repetitive words, passive voice and was 7k words over the word limit. And guess what? She sold anyway.
What does this tell us? The bottom line is the story. It didn't matter that she had one too many she saids or had some form of turn more times than I can count. What mattered was her ability to tell a captivating story and do it well.
As a critique partner, I do line crits. I point out the overuse of name tags and repeating words, because, let's face it, we all want our submission as close to perfect as possible, but I don't stress over it. What most important is, believable conflict. Good pacing. Does the plot make sense and most important, does the writing suck you in.
If all those things are present, who cares about a misplaced comma. It's all about the writing.