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View Full Version : Revised a manuscript since submitting full, do I dare resend to agent?



wakeupwriting
07-11-2008, 07:19 PM
I finished my novel earlier this summer, and went through (most) of the appropriate steps before querying. I finished it, let it sit for a month, went back and rewrote, added some parts, deleted some parts, then edited again at the sentence level. Then, I got really, really excited and compiled a list of agents to query IN THE FUTURE when I was ready. I was not ready.

Well, then I apparently went a little crazy. I had a really bad day, and to give myself a little "pick me up" I decided to send out ONE query. I ended up sending two. As expected, I got a rejection right away from one, but to my delight/horror, a few days later I got a request for a FULL from the other! I was ready to send a partial, but a full? Of course I jumped around my living room in excitement, all the while screaming, "No one but ME has read it! What did I DO?"

So, what I did was pull an all-nighter. For some reason, even though I felt the novel was good enough to query, I was compelled to go over the whole thing one more time. I worked on it from 5 pm to 4 am. I didn't want the agent to think I had done something as stupid as I did, like prematurely querying, so I didn't want to wait long before sending it to her. In retrospect, I'm sure a day delay wouldn't have hurt me.

Anyway, now here we are. The agent has had it for about 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I've had a few beta readers get a hold of it. OF COURSE what I've discovered is that my editing skills at 4 am STINK. There's grammar mistakes all over the thing! Most of them appearing after page 50 or so (the beginning has been gone over more times). I'm mortified.

So now what? In addition to pointing out my hideous grammar (And I'm supposed to be an English grad student - I called a deer a "dear" for crying out loud!), my friend also noted an anachronism, which I've since taken out. What would you do? According to Miss Snark, resending a manuscript with a "this has been revised" note is a huge inconvenience, but she was also speaking of paper manuscripts, and this is all via email. Still, I don't want the agent to think (know) I sent a not-prepared draft. At the same time, I don't want to be rejected on the basis of crappy copyediting. (It's not like, on every page, but I'd say there's at least 2-5 mistakes per chapter towards the end. I got worse with editing as the night went on.)

Should I resend the manuscript with a note saying, "If it's not too much of an inconvenience, I wanted you to have the revised draft," or something to that effect? Or should I just wait and pray that the agent is forgiving of my mistakes in lieu of good writing and plot? What's going to hurt me more?

I'm willing to acknowledge I probably screwed this up and will take the lesson and apply it in the future, but I would love to work with this agent, so I'm trying to salvage this situation if I can.

Thanks!

mysterygrl
07-11-2008, 08:55 PM
Here's what Nathan Bransford had to say:

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/search?q=revised

ETA: Sorry, my answer was pretty brief, wasn't it? Tough call. If you're talking about some spelling, grammar and consistency errors, I wouldn't worry. Some agents are pretty forgiving. Others might not be, but I'm not sure it's worth resending at this point. I'm curious about what other writers think about this.

ORION
07-11-2008, 10:12 PM
wakeupwriting...
DO NOT RESEND!!!
for what it's worth this happens to me every every time. I submit my work -- whether it's to my agent, my editor or one of my beta readers - I take another quick look and then ARRGGGHH I can't help myself.
As you produce more drafts and take more time over your novels you will learn to utilize this characteristic. My agent said she doesn't sweat the small stuff- it's easy to tell what's an oversight and what's lack of knowledge.
I think ALL writers at some time or another submit too early.
I did when I was starting out.
Learn from this & try not obsess.
But DON'T hassle the agent with revisions. Do them and have them ready just in case and start your next project.

Kiltinator
07-12-2008, 10:18 AM
wakeupwriting...
DO NOT RESEND!!!
for what it's worth this happens to me every every time. I submit my work -- whether it's to my agent, my editor or one of my beta readers - I take another quick look and then ARRGGGHH I can't help myself.
As you produce more drafts and take more time over your novels you will learn to utilize this characteristic. My agent said she doesn't sweat the small stuff- it's easy to tell what's an oversight and what's lack of knowledge.
I think ALL writers at some time or another submit too early.
I did when I was starting out.
Learn from this & try not obsess.
But DON'T hassle the agent with revisions. Do them and have them ready just in case and start your next project.


Completely relate. All you hear is that it takes agents weeks and months to respond to queries. I found at least one of them lightning fast in terms of moving from me emailing them through reading partial to full to expressing an interest (under a week).

The lesson I took was make sure you have your manuscript in the best shape possible because they only get to read it for the first time once. It's something I'm definitely taking on board as we move towards submitting to publishers.

Kasey Mackenzie
07-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Don't be TOO hard on yourself...I think that ALL of us send something too early at least once! However, I also would not re-send it to the agent who currently has it. You want to put your best professional foot forward and avoid appearing too flaky. =) Good luck!

Susan Breen
07-12-2008, 06:10 PM
I've never sent out anything that I didn't wish I couldn't pull it back and change something. But it's best not to do it. At this point the agent is probably more concerned with plot and characters than with grammar. And, worst comes to worst, it's only with one agent, so you still have hundreds to contact. You'll be fine!

K.L Hallam
01-17-2017, 07:35 PM
In my case, I have subs and queries out. A couple queries came back that the agent couldn't settle into the first scene. So I rewrote it to be less abstract (it's a thriller) adding a few details to plant the reader.
Now, do I ask agents with the sub's if they'd like to see the revised first chapter? Or wait for the pass? Thanks in advance. I couldn't find this info anywhere.

Old Hack
01-18-2017, 12:24 AM
As this thread was started in 2008 I'm not convinced we need to continue the discussion. I'll close it, but if anyone wants me to reopen it PM me and I'll consider it.