…would every story find a home?
If you follow Heinlein’s Rules, you should keep every story in the market until it’s sold. Robert J. Sawyer adds some practical advice to the rule: if you get a form rejection, re-print the story, and send it off immediately. If you get feedback with your rejection, fix the story, and send it off immediately.
What if you’re just starting out? What if you’re really trying to sell a three legged, one eared, hairless, kitten? Is there a point when you decide it’s time to put down the story? After 10 rejections? After 100? Can ugly, pathetic, stories still find homes? Is ugly simply subjective?
Rejection is not always the fault of the writer, and that makes it harder to judge a story’s value.
Reasons for rejection (nothing to do with you):
- The story doesn’t fit the flavor of the magazine/anthology.
I’m looking for a Siamese not a tabby!
- The editor just bought a similar story.
I already have a female cat, I don’t want another.
- The slush reader was having a bad day.
Kittens just destroyed my drapes. Bad kittens!
- The story is good, but all the story slots have been filled for the issue.
I already have cats, thanks. I don’t need any more.
- Personal taste.
Blue eyed cats freak me out!
Reasons for rejection (your fault):
- The story has problems and needs further revision.
Are you blind? That kitten is hairless, has three legs, and one ear!
If stories were kittens I’d cry every time I gave one away. Actually, I probably wouldn’t want to give them away at all. Maybe it’s a good thing stories aren’t kittens.