For context, I am a forty-something male from the Great Lakes region of the United States. I work full-time as something other than a writer.
About 25 years ago in high school, I was an almost-straight-A student. The "almost" was always due to English class. I hated, nay despised, the writing assignments I was given, believing the forced topics to be inane and worthless. Whenever I had to write an essay or research paper in another class, I could do just fine, thank you. I didn't need to compare and contrast the points of view of the boy in the story we had read with that of his father, as an example. Who cares?
My reason for mentioning this is that any previous answers I've heard to questions like this were along the lines of "your teachers at school" and "your supervisor/ co-workers." But I am long out of school and failed to recognize the resources at the time, and my workplace involves no creative writing whatsoever.
So now, I find myself with a couple of neat stories inside my head begging to be let out. I have also been diverting increasing amounts of my "hobby time" to sitting at this computer and typing out bits and pieces of these stories. When I review my own work, I know when I've written something bad, and can redo it. But I'm less confident in when I've written something really good, like maybe-I-could-publish-it-good.
I've got some characters, scenes, and dialogues I think are ok. But I also have some weak transitions, plot holes, and other minor issues I just can't seem to be able to tweak.
Where can I go, or who can I speak with, to read bits of my work, give me some friendly advice and constructive criticism?