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Thread: Revised or Original Manuscript? Need advice...

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Jessica_312's Avatar
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    Revised or Original Manuscript? Need advice...

    Hope I'm posting this in the right section.

    So I had an agent (let's call him AGENT A) request a partial manuscript a few months back, and I sent it out right away. But then, based on other agent feedback/ beta critiques, etc etc, I'd changed some things around in the manuscript, and completely rewrote the whole first chapter. Well, AGENT A just sent me an email today saying that he wants to see the full manuscript. Here's my question - do I send AGENT A the original version of the manuscript, or do I send him the new (and improved) version with a note indicating that I've made revisions? I'm unsure how to approach this...

    Thanks in advance for your help/guidance!
    Last edited by Jessica_312; 02-05-2013 at 10:36 PM.
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" - Stephen King

  2. #2
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    This is why you don't send off until you are absolutely certain you won't change it.

    In this regard, I really don't know the protocol. Someone will step in and say yay/nay soon.
    I'd come out and tell them that you changed the MS and here is the revised version. Methinks, sending him the old one won't do a lick of good.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Jessica_312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
    This is why you don't send off until you are absolutely certain you won't change it.

    In this regard, I really don't know the protocol. Someone will step in and say yay/nay soon.
    I'd come out and tell them that you changed the MS and here is the revised version. Methinks, sending him the old one won't do a lick of good.
    lol yeah. I think the problem is, I was absolutely sure I wouldn't change it... but then I realized that next to no agents were requesting the full based off the partial, and I decided to take another look at it. That is, until Agent A came along with this unexpected request

    Yeah, I'm leaning toward doing that, with sending the revised version and a note saying it's been revised. Though I'm still not sure what the protocol is....
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" - Stephen King

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    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    First off, a better place for this might be in Query Letter Hell where there might be more people who have done the same thing. Just ask a mod to move it...

    If I were in your shoes, I would send along the original to the agent, with a note that explains ALL the revisions, and why, and then ask if they would like the new version. However, I could easily be wrong and in QLH they are much more qualified than I.

    My logic is that after all, the agent has asked for the manuscript based on what was already sent and even if you think the 'new and improved' is far better, the agent might disagree, and it might even seem like a bait and switch.


    Just curious - how long was the gap between when you began sending out your MS to agents, and seeking beta readers for critiques, etc?

    I'm with Will on this one though. If it needed that much restructuring it was probably sent out prematurely.
    Last edited by Wilde_at_heart; 02-06-2013 at 06:51 AM.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Jessica_312's Avatar
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    It was about ten(ish) months ago when I first started querying. All revisions were made in the past month, since I was getting so few bites.

    And thanks for your suggestion - I sent a request to move the thread to QLH, didn't even think to post there!
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" - Stephen King

  6. #6
    tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper Jaligard's Avatar
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    I would weigh two factors:

    • Did the revisions fundamentally change the novel?
    • Which is the better version?

    If the revisions fundamentally changed the novel, then Agent A has asked to see a different book. Send her the original.

    If the revisions didn't fundamentally change the novel, and the revisions make for a better novel, just say you made a few changes based on agent-feedback.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Jessica_312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaligard View Post
    I would weigh two factors:

    • Did the revisions fundamentally change the novel?
    • Which is the better version?
    If the revisions fundamentally changed the novel, then Agent A has asked to see a different book. Send her the original.

    If the revisions didn't fundamentally change the novel, and the revisions make for a better novel, just say you made a few changes based on agent-feedback.
    A few things were moved around in the back part of the story (which this agent hasn't read yet, anyway). The biggest change is to the first chapter, which was rewritten completely. Other than that, no fundamentals have changed. Same plot, tone, characters, dialogue, etc etc. I'm mainly worried about the agent reading the first chapter and going, "Huh, I don't remember this... what the hell???" LOL.

    Thanks, Jaligard!
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" - Stephen King

  8. #8
    In the end, it's just you and the manuscript job's Avatar
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    Send the latest, best, most improved, most up-to-date draft of the manuscript.

    Why would you do otherwise?

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW Finis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica_312 View Post
    A few things were moved around in the back part of the story (which this agent hasn't read yet, anyway). The biggest change is to the first chapter, which was rewritten completely. Other than that, no fundamentals have changed. Same plot, tone, characters, dialogue, etc etc. I'm mainly worried about the agent reading the first chapter and going, "Huh, I don't remember this... what the hell???" LOL.

    Thanks, Jaligard!
    I would send the new, full, along with a note saying that you've rewritten the first chapter based on feedback, but you still have the original if she prefers it.


    But I've never even so much as queried an agent, so who knows if I know anything :-)
    Warning: the above user is foul mouthed individual who believes all language is beautiful. If that bothers you, he sincerely apologizes and politely invites you to tell him to go f**k himself.

  10. #10
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica_312 View Post
    It was about ten(ish) months ago when I first started querying. All revisions were made in the past month, since I was getting so few bites.

    And thanks for your suggestion - I sent a request to move the thread to QLH, didn't even think to post there!
    That's completely understandable then. No idea what the normal length of time to wait is, but that's longer than I'd ever expect.

    Good luck!!

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Jessica_312's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone!
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" - Stephen King

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