Earlier this year I wrote a hardboiled crime story that I particularly like. It's been out to a couple of markets and the gist of the rejections is a) not enough sex and b) too much sex. So, is it a problem with the story, or have I sent it to the wrong markets?
This is the kind of dilemma writers face all the time. And, no, it's not about having too much sex or not enough sex. It's about using the editors' comments to help prevent future rejection.
I can use what I learned from these rejections to help sell future work to these markets. For one market, I may increase the sexual aspects of the next story I submit; for the other market, I'll decrease the sexual aspects.
But the editors could have pointed out anything. Perhaps one felt the characters were well drawn but the setting was skimpy. In that case I might spend more time setting the stage. Another editor might think the setting was fine but never "saw" the characters. In that case I might spend a little more time describing the characters.
At least neither editor said the story sucked. Then what would I do?