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Xavier Kobel
07-19-2005, 06:23 AM
The first draft of my novel "The Dark One Cometh" is complete. I have edited up through the first four chapters. I posted the prologue and first three chapters at http://writing.com/authors/jimmg (http://writing.com/authors/jimmg) an online writing community for feedback.

To date the feedback has been very positive, 192 people have checked out my portfolio. What I have posted so far has maintained an average of 4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I am very stoked about the great feeback, which has made me want to step up my efforts to start checking out agents.
From reading some other posts I have come to the conclusion that it is better for me to query agents rather than publishers direct.

I do not want to try running before I have the ability to crawl. Should I finish the editing the entire work before submitting it to agents for consideration?

I have heard that publishers want any work submitted to be edited, and pretty much ready for the presses.

I don't necessarily want to waste allot of time waiting to complete the edit process if I don't have to. But will if it is needed.

Any feedback will be soooo helpful.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

azbikergirl
07-19-2005, 08:20 AM
It's a hard market out there. I make sure my writing is the absolute best I can make it before approaching agents. If you send them unedited stuff, what might that say to the agent? a) I can't be bothered to send you my best work, b) this IS my best work, c) I expect you to find the flaws and fix them for me. Is that how you want to present yourself?

SnowOwl
07-19-2005, 10:08 AM
Ditto.

Editing your own work can be tough. I suggest joining a writer's group (you local Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks may have one) to help you with this process. If not, pick three or four people you trust with your work to be completely honest (an English teacher would be especially helpful with the more technical corrections). Give them a copy of your work and a big red pen, telling them not to sugarcoat it.

The Little, Brown Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321075072/qid=1121753141/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5429493-1343308?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) is also an invaluable tool for the editing process.

Good luck!

Andrew Zack
07-19-2005, 05:52 PM
Jim:

It sounds to me like you are proofreading your own work, which is good, and yes, it should be done before you query publishers. Your full manuscript should be there on the launchpad, 100% ready to go, when an agent asks you for a copy.

Xavier Kobel
07-19-2005, 09:27 PM
It's a hard market out there. I make sure my writing is the absolute best I can make it before approaching agents. If you send them unedited stuff, what might that say to the agent? a) I can't be bothered to send you my best work, b) this IS my best work, c) I expect you to find the flaws and fix them for me. Is that how you want to present yourself?
Azbikergirl, the points you have made with a), b), c), have loomed in the back of my mind. Hence the reason I have not begun querying agents. I also don't want to assume the work should be edited prior to submission. I thought maybe it is a possible for an agent to like to content of the work, and offer to help an author through the edit process.

It's a good think I asked. Thanks for replying.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

three seven
07-19-2005, 09:45 PM
The Little, Brown Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321075072/qid=1121753141/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5429493-1343308?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) is also an invaluable tool for the editing process.It's a pity the editing process didn't make it as far as the title. Somebody shoot that comma.

Sorry, I have nothing constructive to add.

Xavier Kobel
07-19-2005, 09:49 PM
Ditto.

Editing your own work can be tough. I suggest joining a writer's group (you local Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks may have one) to help you with this process. If not, pick three or four people you trust with your work to be completely honest (an English teacher would be especially helpful with the more technical corrections). Give them a copy of your work and a big red pen, telling them not to sugarcoat it.

The Little, Brown Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321075072/qid=1121753141/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5429493-1343308?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) is also an invaluable tool for the editing process.

Good luck!
Snow Owl, I agree with your observation that the edit process can be tough. It took a mere six weeks to bang out the entire first draft of this work. I absolutely love the creative process. While the edit process has taken quite a bit longer. I really struggled in the beginning to find time to commit to the process. Getting some positive rates and reviews, and edit suggestions has helped me to attack it with newly found vigor.

I have been using my laptop to edit during my 30 minute lunch break at work. Since I work until 2am, I have also found it beneficial to edit after work usually pooping out about 5am. While I am exausted after working at the factory, this time frame offers no distractions since everyone is in bed.

Your writing group suggestion is a great one. Once I am completely through my first edit I will see if any exist locally.
I will check out the little brown book link you posted.
How many times do you think a work should be gone over before it is ready?

I am greatful for your advice, Thanks.

Xavier Kobel
07-19-2005, 09:53 PM
I will check out to see if it appears twice, and try to remove one if so. Thanks for the heads up.

Xavier Kobel
07-19-2005, 10:13 PM
Great advice, thanks so much. You are right this is a double post so I will attempt to remove this one.

scfirenice
07-20-2005, 02:21 AM
In my experience with queries you'll have plenty of time waiting for a response to edit your work. It's doubtful ( I hope you are the exception) that you'll get a bite on the entire MS right away. Just make sure that your queries are error free and work on editing while waiting...and waiting...

Xavier Kobel
07-20-2005, 11:21 AM
Hey scfirenice, from the limited research I have done on agents and publishers, it seems they are inundated with new submissions daily. I would venture a guess that this is at least part of the reason for such slow response times.

I've visited a few agent & publisher sites, and found some have very strict submission guidellines. If you as the submitting author do not follow those guidelines to the letter, your work will be rejected solely based on that.

Some time back I emailed a legitimate question to an agent. Her response was somewhat hostile and condescending to say the least; making reference to her displeasure in dealing with newbie authors. In response I called her on her total lack of professionalism. She was appologetic in response, but I ceased further correspondence. While I hope this is not the norm, the idea I get is it may well be. Preference, and professionalism may be saved for established authors with a track record for sales. Leaving up & comers feeling less than welcome.

It seems as if it is going to be a tough journey on the road to publication. Probably plenty of long waits, scrapes and bruises resulting along the way.

Thanks for taking time to post....Good luck with your quest for publication.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

Katiba
07-20-2005, 04:19 PM
My experience with agents is that they sometimes reply very quickly. I sent out 10 queries and received a request for a full within a week. 9 out of 10 of the queries had responses within a month, both rejections and requests. The two I sent by e-mail received responses in the same day. So please don't assume you'll have "plenty of time" to revise your manuscript while you wait for agent responses.

Xavier Kobel
07-20-2005, 08:27 PM
Katiba, it is refreshing to hear there is a flip side to the response time coin. Taking chances or making assumptions is not a risk I am willing to take with regards to submission and possible publication.

I am satisfied that I decided to post this question. It has really helped that everyone has taken time to share their viewpoints and experiences.

These responses have been very valuable in my decision to edit then submit. Otherwise, I would have been submitting with stars in my eyes only to be crushed at the mounting rejections.

Of course this will impede the process as I am only able to commit edit stints to about 20 minutes a time or two per day. I'm at about page 70 of 330 of the first edit.....So I figure by the time I get to the 6th or 7th edit I should be about 100 years old and on deaths door.

Thanks again for your feeback.

scfirenice
07-21-2005, 05:58 AM
Let friends help. If you have any trusted friends who are aces at editing give them a copy and a big red pen. I got my edits done faster this way and then when you sit down yourself to do a read through you get a fresh look.

Bleak House Books
07-21-2005, 07:44 AM
The first draft of my novel "The Dark One Cometh" is complete. I have edited up through the first four chapters. I posted the prologue and first three chapters at http://writing.com/authors/jimmg (http://writing.com/authors/jimmg) an online writing community for feedback.

To date the feedback has been very positive, 192 people have checked out my portfolio. What I have posted so far has maintained an average of 4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I am very stoked about the great feeback, which has made me want to step up my efforts to start checking out agents.
From reading some other posts I have come to the conclusion that it is better for me to query agents rather than publishers direct.

I do not want to try running before I have the ability to crawl. Should I finish the editing the entire work before submitting it to agents for consideration?

I have heard that publishers want any work submitted to be edited, and pretty much ready for the presses.

I don't necessarily want to waste allot of time waiting to complete the edit process if I don't have to. But will if it is needed.

Any feedback will be soooo helpful. :Hail:

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

Jim,

I checked out your writing on that site. I would strongly urge you to edit the work further. I found many typos, tense shifts, and some other technical things that would probably turn off an agent. Although an agent may work with you to help shape content if he/she sees something in your work, it isn't his/her job to copy edit your work. To that end, it's important to have other people read your book (as others have suggested in this book). Unfortunately, online critique groups may not be the best solution. It was hard to find anybody's editing credentials on that site.

I applaud your enthusiasm, but make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot along the way. If the book is worth everything to you, then that's what you'll put into it.



Some time back I emailed a legitimate question to an agent. Her response was somewhat hostile and condescending to say the least; making reference to her displeasure in dealing with newbie authors. In response I called her on her total lack of professionalism. She was appologetic in response, but I ceased further correspondence. While I hope this is not the norm, the idea I get is it may well be. Preference, and professionalism may be saved for established authors with a track record for sales. Leaving up & comers feeling less than welcome.

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with an agent.

However, no matter how legitimate your question is/was, agents are very busy with their clients and potential clients. It isn't their job to answer questions. It isn't that they can't answer them, it just isn't an effective use of their time.

If I had a question about the Space Shuttle, I don't call NASA to ask it. And if I did, I would expect to get a less than warm response.

Forums like this are filled with people who are here to answer questions and provide resources. It's a voluntary participation. An agent like Mr. Zack generously donates his time, efforts, and expertise to help. And for that, we should all be thankful.

Best of luck to you with your book! Keep working on it.

Xavier Kobel
07-21-2005, 01:01 PM
Thank you un-named poster rep/of Bleak House Books for taking time to check out what I've posted. This sort of feedback is invaluable!

It assists in my final decision, of continuing the edit process on this work, or scrap it (as I know of the many typos and such), and move on to develop one of the others I have started.

This helps me to keep at it. I will continue the edit process as a result of your feedback. I offer my humble appreciation for taking your time. But it seems once all the I's are dotted and T's are crossed then, and only then, will I become fully aware that it is worthy of being rejected or accepted.

Ahh, you see my enthusiasim? It's there, but not just for this book, more the future writing career that looms.

Therefore shooting myself in the foot is not an option....Pistol remains safely in holster, safety on!!

Concerning the bad experience with the agent....not so bad as it was annoying. Her distaste for my inexperience and so many ?'s has led me to check out much friendlier realms to explore.

I join you in offering thanks to Mr. Zack!....Your forum has been very helpful....And being you have DONATED your time to help means that much more.

Many thanks to all that have offered feedback.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel




Jim,

I checked out your writing on that site. I would strongly urge you to edit the work further. I found many typos, tense shifts, and some other technical things that would probably turn off an agent. Although an agent may work with you to help shape content if he/she sees something in your work, it isn't his/her job to copy edit your work. To that end, it's important to have other people read your book (as others have suggested in this book). Unfortunately, online critique groups may not be the best solution. It was hard to find anybody's editing credentials on that site.

I applaud your enthusiasm, but make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot along the way. If the book is worth everything to you, then that's what you'll put into it.



I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with an agent.

However, no matter how legitimate your question is/was, agents are very busy with their clients and potential clients. It isn't their job to answer questions. It isn't that they can't answer them, it just isn't an effective use of their time.

If I had a question about the Space Shuttle, I don't call NASA to ask it. And if I did, I would expect to get a less than warm response.

Forums like this are filled with people who are here to answer questions and provide resources. It's a voluntary participation. An agent like Mr. Zack generously donates his time, efforts, and expertise to help. And for that, we should all be thankful.

Best of luck to you with your book! Keep working on it.

Andrew Zack
07-21-2005, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the thanks. Glad I can help out. About your bad experience with the agent, keep in mind that agents have bad days, too!

Xavier Kobel
07-21-2005, 05:40 PM
Hello there scfirenice, can't speak of any aces in the hole...Thanks for the suggestion..... Self edit will be the option for now.

In the future paid editing I will consider....So goes my Yoda imperisination....

Your kind response is very, very appreaciated.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

Xavier Kobel
07-21-2005, 06:01 PM
Thanks for the thanks. Glad I can help out. About your bad experience with the agent, keep in mind that agents have bad days, too!
Andrew, you deserve much more praise and recognition than I can offer! You are a diamond in the rough of the publication realm. Its nice to be assured in the big bad sea of sharks, you offer a tide pool of calm.

Your kind guidance is very appreciated....and has really been a huge help.

I need to lay down, super sleepy.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

Xavier Kobel
07-22-2005, 02:00 PM
During the course of collecting my thoughs today...I had time to reflect on the responses recieved.

All are valued, the feedback fantastic.

I have a plan, a marketing plan....

Horror doesn't sell?


Sure it does....Try it.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel

Jaycinth
08-08-2005, 11:20 PM
I've been told that you treat your manuscript the way you would a master's thesis. Read and edit, edit and read. Prove your thoughts, i/e does it make sense? And then give it to someone else to read. and then someone else then read and edit again. The people who finally look at it are expecting you to have done all your homework and to get it right. So I suggest to work and polish. And I can't wait to go read your samples, uh excerpts, you've got a lot more courage than I have. I hid my first manuscript for years before I let anyone even read one chapter. ( May be why I haven't gotten published. I love to write, I'm afraid of people's opinions!) There's probably a lot of good stuff around here waiting for peer reveiw.

Oh and Horror doesn't sell?! It bugs me when folks tell me that what I write doesn't sell. I once had an agent tell me that no one reads books, novels, over 75,000 words. (Obviously never heard of Michener) If Horror doesn;t sell, then Stephen King doesn't exist.

Write more horror, lots of it. Those who are afraid to write, READ!

Vomaxx
08-09-2005, 01:23 AM
... from the limited research I have done on agents and publishers, it seems they are inundated with new submissions daily.

You know, I believe you're right. :ROFL:

Vomaxx
08-09-2005, 01:26 AM
I've been told that you treat your manuscript the way you would a master's thesis.

You mean write it as though it only three or four people were ever going to read it?? :)

jackie106
08-09-2005, 01:58 AM
Oh and Horror doesn't sell?! It bugs me when folks tell me that what I write doesn't sell. I once had an agent tell me that no one reads books, novels, over 75,000 words. (Obviously never heard of Michener) If Horror doesn;t sell, then Stephen King doesn't exist.


He must not have heard of Harry Potter either!

Andrew Zack
08-09-2005, 02:04 AM
I think everyone would call Harry Potter fantasy, rather than horror.

jackie106
08-09-2005, 02:41 AM
Ooops. Think I misread post. (I know Harry Potter is fantasy.) ;)

Jackie

Xavier Kobel
08-09-2005, 10:27 AM
Jaycinth, funny you should mention the Masters Thesis. In choosing Masters programs I specifically avoided those with the Thesis requirement. Furthermore I decided totally against pursuing a Doctorate degree because I hate the idea of having to defending my dissertation. Yucko!

The feedback from this post has left me with no question; editing (however grueling) is absolutely needed for my work to be considered.

Geeze in my little fantasy world (complete with happy elfen, creatures playing peekaboo in flower covered fields, being pounced upon and shredded by blood thirsty boogeymen), I hoped it would be more about the merit of the story.

It's better that I have learned the truth. At the very least I am prepared to continue the edit process, and not dare submit to agents until the work is thoroughly checked and rechecked.

About your fears of people's opinions. I too have had reservations about posting my work for review. What if I get bad reviews? Someone really trashes it? Tells me I'm a talentless hack? Finds out where I live and burns down my house cause the work is horrendous? Ok a bit much, but you get the idea.

Personally I had to know if others (not freinds, family, neighbors) thought it was worth putting time into editing. Or scrap it and move on to develop the next idea.

To date the majority, of the feedback has been very encouraging, and the number keeps climbing 259 readers so far.

My advice is don't be afraid of others opinions. You can't please everyone, all the time. Some are not going to like your work. But embrace the advice they offer. I have had some very helpful suggestions concerning form and structure that I never would have picked out on my own.

The Horror doesn't sell thing, what a hoot! The film industry proves otherwise. The ideas are coming from writers, many adapted from novels.

I hope you enjoy what I've posted so far.
Thanks for the feedback, and encouragement.

Jim
AKA: Xavier Kobel


I've been told that you treat your manuscript the way you would a master's thesis. Read and edit, edit and read. Prove your thoughts, i/e does it make sense? And then give it to someone else to read. and then someone else then read and edit again. The people who finally look at it are expecting you to have done all your homework and to get it right. So I suggest to work and polish. And I can't wait to go read your samples, uh excerpts, you've got a lot more courage than I have. I hid my first manuscript for years before I let anyone even read one chapter. ( May be why I haven't gotten published. I love to write, I'm afraid of people's opinions!) There's probably a lot of good stuff around here waiting for peer reveiw.

Oh and Horror doesn't sell?! It bugs me when folks tell me that what I write doesn't sell. I once had an agent tell me that no one reads books, novels, over 75,000 words. (Obviously never heard of Michener) If Horror doesn;t sell, then Stephen King doesn't exist.

Write more horror, lots of it. Those who are afraid to write, READ!

Catchthefish
08-14-2005, 03:14 AM
It's a pity the editing process didn't make it as far as the title. Somebody shoot that comma.

Sorry, I know this isn't the point, but my inner stickler took issue. Those aren't adjectives, as in Great and White, but names, as in Charles C. Little and James Brown (the hardest working man in book business, I s'pose).

Xavier Kobel
08-14-2005, 03:42 AM
Sorry, I know this isn't the point, but my inner stickler took issue. Those aren't adjectives, as in Great and White, but names, as in Charles C. Little and James Brown (the hardest working man in book business, I s'pose).
Catchthefish, I am somewhat confused to the intention of your post. Help me out. What do you mean?

Catchthefish
08-14-2005, 08:22 AM
Catchthefish, I am somewhat confused to the intention of your post. Help me out. What do you mean?

Yup. I had a hunch it might come off as a bit random. It's a reference to a post from July 19 that snagged my eye. three seven wanted to shoot out the comma as it appears in The Little, Brown Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321075072/qid=1121753141/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5429493-1343308?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), and I wanted to wrap a bit of kevlar around it.

The bit in parentheses is a wink to fans of another James Brown.

That's it!

Happy motoring . . .

Xavier Kobel
08-14-2005, 08:56 AM
Yup. I had a hunch it might come off as a bit random. It's a reference to a post from July 19 that snagged my eye. three seven wanted to shoot out the comma as it appears in The Little, Brown Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321075072/qid=1121753141/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5429493-1343308?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), and I wanted to wrap a bit of kevlar around it.

The bit in parentheses is a wink to fans of another James Brown.

That's it!

Happy motoring . . .
Catchthefish, I had a feeling your post could have been one of two things: A random response taken out of context, and misunderstood. Or the ramblings of a deranged thread invader. Thanks for shedding light on the subject.