Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

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Athena
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Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Athena » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:27 am

At what point do you guys retire a piece? Give up on it? Send it to the big file cabinet in the sky? Do you go through all of the SFWA qualifying market, Pro, and Semi-Pro? Do you bother with what The Grinder refers to as Token market and unpaid?

When do you call it quits on a story? wotf005

Yes, it's been a bit of a rough 48 hours, so I'm feeling a little blue about this particular story.
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s_c_baker
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby s_c_baker » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:52 am

Rarely, and usually only if I personally have come to dislike some aspect of it to the extent that I don't want it out in public with my name attached.

I don't often submit to token markets unless I'm familiar with them and think they publish excellent stuff, though. I had a bad experience a few years ago where a story was published next to one I thought was terrible.
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Dustin Adams » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:58 am

I echo Stewart. I only retire based on my personal feelings toward a story.
This is irrespective of any rejections.
I have stories in my Skycabinet that I've never submitted.
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Ishmael
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:51 am

If a story can still get to its feet it has not been knocked out. If it can be lifted with a block and tackle it can still get to its feet.

wotf024
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Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

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Athena
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Athena » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:17 am

Thanks for the encouragement you guys. Three rejections in 48 hours left me feeling pretty down. I know, I know. It's part of it, and since I'm just starting out, it's going to be a long road. That's okay. I'm willing to walk it. It just left me a little blue is all.

I thought I had exhausted the SFWA qualifying market, but I went back and took a look and realized that I haven't. I haven't submitted it here yet! wotf003

I just need to reach down, find my bootstraps, and give them a good, hard tug.

Thanks for the encouragement.
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ThomasKCarpenter
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:38 am

I submit despite my feelings towards a particular piece. I have one story that's been rejected 32 times and it's received a personal on five of those occasions. I'll keep sending it out until it sells. Of course, I have to wait for new markets to open up for it to have a place to go, but it's not like it's taking up much space on the harddrive.
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Athena
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Athena » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:06 pm

I mean, to be fair to myself, when you think of fish in the sea, the markets I've been submitting to are whale sharks.

(Why, yes! I can beat a metaphor to death!)

I just need to slog on. Keep going.
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby s_c_baker » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:23 pm

Starting at the top and working your way down is a great submission strategy, for whatever that's worth. wotf007

Do you know of / use Duotrope or the Submission Grinder? Those are great places to find markets at any pay level.
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

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Ishmael
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Ishmael » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:56 pm

Athena wrote:Thanks for the encouragement you guys. Three rejections in 48 hours left me feeling pretty down. I know, I know. It's part of it, and since I'm just starting out, it's going to be a long road. That's okay. I'm willing to walk it. It just left me a little blue is all.


My rejections for 2015 just hit 194 today, of which 32 personal. This year's acceptances 7, plus 2 x HM and 1 x SHM.

Being the goddess of wisdom, courage and inspiration, you can't let these mere mortal editors get you down, now can you?
wotf011
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Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby liz » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:29 am

Ishmael wrote:
Athena wrote:Thanks for the encouragement you guys. Three rejections in 48 hours left me feeling pretty down. I know, I know. It's part of it, and since I'm just starting out, it's going to be a long road. That's okay. I'm willing to walk it. It just left me a little blue is all.


My rejections for 2015 just hit 194 today, of which 32 personal. This year's acceptances 7, plus 2 x HM and 1 x SHM.

Being the goddess of wisdom, courage and inspiration, you can't let these mere mortal editors get you down, now can you?
wotf011


That's the way to do it wotf007

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Ishmael
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Ishmael » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:21 am

A poem dating from January 2014, before Athena's arrival here, when on another forum I had received some very bad marks for one of my stories entered in an internal competition. (My pseudonym was Diomedes).


The Lay of The Fast Mistral

by Diomedes

Don't think you can sit and gloat
Or exoteric, play the goat,
We have ways to make you vote,
Come another day!

I've a goddess called Athena,
And she's fierce; there's no-one meaner.
Back at Troy, you should have seen her,
Cutting through the fray!

Think, ye who gave me one or two,
I could score as high as you,
(That is, if I wanted to,)
But how, I may not say!
1 x SF, 2 x SHM, 11 x HM, WotF batting average .583
Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

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Athena
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Athena » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:47 am

Ishmael wrote:My rejections for 2015 just hit 194 today, of which 32 personal. This year's acceptances 7, plus 2 x HM and 1 x SHM.


Very nice! Now that is a hard year of work!

Again, thanks for the encouragement. You guys are awesome.

And I do like that poem. wotf007
HM, R, Published Finalist!, HM

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orbivillein
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby orbivillein » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:58 am

I don't retire a work. Works have value regardless of whether declined or accepted. Declined works just aren't ready for debut. What makes a work publication worthy -- there's the rub. A recent and hard-won ah ha! insight synthesized a lifetime of investigation; that is, a story's language must be fresh, lively, and vivid, and of a moral human condition struggle.

I read voraciously, even the mediocre sampling of overabundant vanity self-publication, which is a useful practice. I put on blinders when I read a work that is mediocre. The consequent tunnel vision evades acceptance on sight. Remarkable the mental acrobatics general readers do to process a story -- make sense out of no sense. From sampling a large amount of mediocre writing, common shortfalls become obvious. Noisy though meaningless language is the order of the day and weak plotting.

Anyway, weeks or years, possibly decades after a draft is finalized -- and draft it is until published -- and declined, I might, at last, apprehend a story's allness. The time to call quits is when a work is published, mindful declines are a signal a work isn't ready for debut. A best practice is trunk the work, revisit when new insight strikes, and effectual and intent rewrites until debut -- if ever.

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T. R. Napper
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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby T. R. Napper » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:06 am

Athena wrote:
Ishmael wrote:My rejections for 2015 just hit 194 today, of which 32 personal. This year's acceptances 7, plus 2 x HM and 1 x SHM.


Wow. Way more productive than I.

I've only retired one piece, and that's because I belatedly realised I was trying to be clever, rather than writing something I believe in. Like many here, I work my way down from fast pro markets, to slow pro, then semi-pro.

My record is 21 rejections before a sale. With that, I was lucky that a new pro market appeared 21 rejections in. I rewrote part of the story, submitted to the new market, and voila. I tend not to obsessively edit with each rejection (though I do if it's been out for a while and I can look at it with fresh eyes); if I'm lucky and get a personal rejection with some advice, I always consider it carefully.
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1V31: 1st

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Re: Retiring a Piece - When to Call it Quits

Postby Strycher » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:42 am

How to Trunk:

1) Collect 10 rejections from suitable markets. If at least two of those rejections are personal, skip to step 3.

2) Reread story. If you would be embarrassed to see it in print, trunk. If not, go to step 3.

3) Return to step 1.

Story with most rejections before Pro publication is "Heartless" with 17 rejections (4 personal and 1 WotF HM).

Story with most rejections that I'm not too ashamed of to keep submitting currently has 27 rejections (5 personal) and is sitting in the unmoving DarkFuse queue.


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