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June 12th, 2006, 07:26 PM
When do you call it quits with a story?

One of the 'rules' for becoming a successful writer is to keep your stuff on the market. And I've been trying this philosophy. Basically, I start with a short story, send it in, wait (or rather write other stories) and when it comes back rejected, I add a little spit&shine based on the feedback, and then send it out elsewhere. In general, I find that I start out aiming at the bigger publishers and then, as the rejections come in, I slowly slide down the scale until I'm targeting markets that are what Ralan calls "4theluv".

After multiple iterations, I can't help but wonder if a story just isn't meant to see the light of publication.

I don't mean to give up on it. But at some point, after enough rejections, it's probably best to treat the story as a learning experience, retire it, salvage whatever you can from it and recycle it.

So, at what point do you go from spit & polish revising to total break-down and recycle?

June 13th, 2006, 04:16 AM
When I find a better way to display the message that my story is about, I'll recycle/redo it. If I don't find a better way to say it, I polish the current version. If the message becomes unimportant some day, that is when it is sacked.


June 13th, 2006, 10:50 PM
More or less, when I've sent a story to every market I wanted to send it to, the story is filed (assuming they all reject). In the meantime I've moved on, I'm trying to write something better to send out. Sometimes I'll pull out one of the old ones and either cringe, or edit. When I cringe, the story is out, I may save it for old times sake, but not so someone else can read it. I have recycled some parts of those stories.

Once you publish something somewhere it may be possible to use that success to sell other stories, and when you have files full of stories . . .