Recently, I had a story accepted after sixteen rejections. I know; that’s a lot, right? I felt pretty confident about the story despite the mounting number of NOs, so I kept sending it out. I found an editor that liked it as much as I did, and in July, you can judge for yourself if it was worth all those rejections.
Anyway, the rejection count on that story got me thinking: How many rejections is typical before an author decides to retire or significantly revise a story*? With a few exceptions, I have my own target number, but I’d like to hear from all of you about yours. So I’m gonna try out WordPress’ handy poll feature and ask you to vote in the poll below. Yes, I know there are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to revise or retire, so feel free to expand or qualify your answer in the comments. I’ll update the post with my own magic number next week.
One more thing: my little jokes in the poll answers are just that, jokes (bad ones). I don’t mean to imply one answer is better than the other (I have stories that fit them all).
*By significantly revise, I mean rewrite at least fifty percent of the story or radically change the theme, arc, or POV. By retire, I mean shelf the story and stop submitting it.