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Maxinquaye
03-30-2010, 05:48 PM
Sometimes when I read AW I get the sense, which indeed may be a misinterpretation on my part, that in the hierarchy of this publishing business a writer is a subcontractor to an agent/publisher.

No, let's not get into an argument that's all about whether a writer should follow agent advice - of course the writer should. That's not what I'm about here. What I am about is a perceived understanding, which again may be me reading too much into what people say, that a writer should do everything an agent tells them.

I have a painter acquaintance who works closely with a gallery owner, and I think that relationship could work as a comparison for how I see a writer-agent relationship. The gallerist would never go to the painter and say; "You have to choose a new palette for this painting, because I can't sell that. And this use of depth here is wrong, so you have to redo the painting and come back to me when you've done it."

If you got an offer of representation, provided you changed big things - akin to changing the palette, and changing the fundamental techniques which would turn your novel into something else, would you do it?

So, I'm not talking about stuff here which one as a new writer should be humble and listening to the expert advice of someone way more experienced, but about stuff that change your vision and intent with your work of art.

Would you do it?

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 05:51 PM
Would an agent even do that?

Chris P
03-30-2010, 06:15 PM
We come up against the age-old conflict: art versus business.

From a purely artistic standpoint, we as writers should never change one single thing ever. From a purely business standpoint, we produce what sells and the art doesn't matter.

In reality, an agent or publisher chooses us and rejects others because of what we can do; the product we can produce. They want our art. If all they wanted was someone to write what they wanted they could choose anyone. We approach the agents and publishers based on what they can do. We want their business. If we could do it ourselves we would. So in that way, yes, we are sub-contractors to each other.

My only experience is with a short story. An editor said "I wasn't convinced by.... Could you add 300 words or so and make me believe it?" He relied on me to do this. I added some art, and the story was more salable. I relied on him to tell me what would sell his magazine. He liked the revisions but decided not to take it, and the story (with his suggested revision) got picked up instantly by the next place I sent it to. I had to balance the art and the business. We all do.

As to your direct question, this is where I have to be true to myself. "It just wasn't going to work out" is a two-way street. I had no problems adding stuff to my story to make it more convincing. If he had wanted me to change the point of my story, I would have had to decide how much was too much. We each have our own line in the sand, and for me it differs with different works.

Claudia Gray
03-30-2010, 06:37 PM
For the most part, if you attract the interest of a good agent, that person is interested in the core of your novel -- the heart and meat of it. IMHO, the story of the beautiful artistic novel that gets chewed up into a pulp thriller by the evil agent is mostly a myth. (Now, in Hollywood, with screenplays, not so mythical.) And I think a lot of writers do themselves a disservice by assuming that an agent's suggestions will automatically represent only the soulless weight of commercial need; often, the same changes that improve a novel's commercial prospects also improve its overall quality.

C.M.C.
03-30-2010, 06:39 PM
If you got an offer of representation, provided you changed big things - akin to changing the palette, and changing the fundamental techniques which would turn your novel into something else, would you do it?

Honestly, unless the money was something I couldn't refuse, I wouldn't do it. I don't care enough about being a famous author to put my name on something I'm not proud of. Hell, I have a hard enough time putting my name on stuff I am proud of.

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 06:43 PM
IMHO, the story of the beautiful artistic novel that gets chewed up into a pulp thriller by the evil agent is mostly a myth.

Well, I only write pulp thrillers, so I guess I have a leg up?

Phaeal
03-30-2010, 06:48 PM
Ferret noir? Love it! Watch out for agents who want you to turn your book into a literary masterpiece sans ferrets, the evil bastids!

Myself, I'll take advice from anywhere, if I deem that advice good.

DeleyanLee
03-30-2010, 06:55 PM
Sometimes when I read AW I get the sense, which indeed may be a misinterpretation on my part, that in the hierarchy of this publishing business a writer is a subcontractor to an agent/publisher.

No, let's not get into an argument that's all about whether a writer should follow agent advice - of course the writer should. That's not what I'm about here. What I am about is a perceived understanding, which again may be me reading too much into what people say, that a writer should do everything an agent tells them.

First off, the writer is not a subcontractor to the agent. The agent and writer have a symbotic relationship where they work together in a partnership where one produces a product and the other sells it. Because the agent makes a percentage of what is paid to the author, the author is slightly the more "senior partner", IMO.

However, the agent is the one with the business savvy and has insights and advice to make the partnership more profitable. The reason a writer hooks up with an agent is to gain access to taht business savvy, after all. It still remains for the writer to be able to produce the product.

This is why any agent isn't a perfect match for a writer. Some writers can just produce a marketable project, time after time, that the agent can sell and all is well. When the partnership doesn't work for whatever reason and the problems can't be resolved, it's time to go shopping for a new partner. It's business, not personal.

Could I do it? It depends on what the advice is. It all depends on if the requests changed the soul of the story and my geek-factor in writing it or not. I've gotten back rejections that said if I tweaked this or changed that, that they'd be very interested. Sometimes I could make the change and sometimes I couldn't. I would always evaluate the possibility, however, because sometimes the comments that I scream loudest against turn out to be the best thing I could do for the story. It all depends.

PortableHal
03-30-2010, 07:06 PM
I have a painter acquaintance who works closely with a gallery owner, and I think that relationship could work as a comparison for how I see a writer-agent relationship. The gallerist would never go to the painter and say; "You have to choose a new palette for this painting, because I can't sell that. And this use of depth here is wrong, so you have to redo the painting and come back to me when you've done it."


My wife is an artist and her gallery's owner did tell her, "I can't sell this" when she brought in one of her edgier abstract pieces. So she sells her more traditional paintings through that gallery and is seeking other representation (in a different city) for her darker stuff.

Maxinquaye
03-30-2010, 07:28 PM
My wife is an artist and her gallery's owner did tell her, "I can't sell this" when she brought in one of her edgier abstract pieces. So she sells her more traditional paintings through that gallery and is seeking other representation (in a different city) for her darker stuff.

Did the gallery owner tell her to change the painting? Honestly curious here.

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 07:31 PM
CAN you change a painting? That analogy doesn't work for me since to change a painting, major changes, I think are nearly impossible.

Maxinquaye
03-30-2010, 07:32 PM
First off, the writer is not a subcontractor to the agent. The agent and writer have a symbotic relationship where they work together in a partnership where one produces a product and the other sells it. Because the agent makes a percentage of what is paid to the author, the author is slightly the more "senior partner", IMO.

Well, I agree with that. It's partly why I frontloaded my OP with caveats. But I do get the sense sometimes that this is implied sometimes on boards like this. Again, I may be reading to much into it.


Could I do it? It depends on what the advice is. It all depends on if the requests changed the soul of the story and my geek-factor in writing it or not. I've gotten back rejections that said if I tweaked this or changed that, that they'd be very interested. Sometimes I could make the change and sometimes I couldn't. I would always evaluate the possibility, however, because sometimes the comments that I scream loudest against turn out to be the best thing I could do for the story. It all depends.

There's an ego reason for this post, though. I shopped around my novel "Council brats", and got a very long list of changes to do from an agent. I agree with most of the changes, and I'm very humbled that someone that busy has taken the time to do that job. But then there are a few things that I think would "change the core" so to speak, and which I will have to take a long and hard while to think about if I want to do it.

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 07:35 PM
There's an ego reason for this post, though. I shopped around my novel "Council brats", and got a very long list of changes to do from an agent. I agree with most of the changes, and I'm very humbled that someone that busy has taken the time to do that job. But then there are a few things that I think would "change the core" so to speak, and which I will have to take a long and hard while to think about if I want to do it.

I've never been in this situation, so take this with a large grain of salt... in other words, I have no idea what I'm talking about... but...

Can't you nicely and professionally ask the agent about the ones you have a question on? Give them your thoughts on how you think those will fundamentally change the story and see what they say?

shaldna
03-30-2010, 07:41 PM
Let's never forget that publishing is a business.

Maxinquaye
03-30-2010, 07:48 PM
CAN you change a painting? That analogy doesn't work for me since to change a painting, major changes, I think are nearly impossible.

Well, for me, when I do a rewrite I start from the beginning. I don't change an existing manuscript, I start a new one. I think that could work as a comparative model. My novel is in my head, just the way I think an image is in a painter's head.

Writing, painting, or composing music, is just a means to translate the thing in your head to a particular medium.


Let's never forget that publishing is a business.

So is the art business.


I've never been in this situation, so take this with a large grain of salt... in other words, I have no idea what I'm talking about... but...

Can't you nicely and professionally ask the agent about the ones you have a question on? Give them your thoughts on how you think those will fundamentally change the story and see what they say?

I honestly am curious about what everyone thinks about the general issue. In my particular case, I'll probably do exactly what you suggest, after having thought whether I'm needlessly protecting "my darlings" or not.

Mr Flibble
03-30-2010, 07:49 PM
Can't you nicely and professionally ask the agent about the ones you have a question on? Give them your thoughts on how you think those will fundamentally change the story and see what they say?

I'd do that

I haven't got an agent but I have been through this with an editor. 99% of the changes were *slaps own forehead, of course that'll make it better!*

One or two, while not changing things fundamentally, would have made other things rather awkward. I sent back the revisions listing what I'd done ( as per the revision notes) and listing why I hadn't changed the last couple, which the editor said was fine. But then she'd originally said she didn't expect me to agree to every change.

It's more about a willingness to look at the point in question, I think, than to blindly change everything. It's a partnership after all.

Chris P
03-30-2010, 07:56 PM
There's an ego reason for this post, though. I shopped around my novel "Council brats", and got a very long list of changes to do from an agent. I agree with most of the changes, and I'm very humbled that someone that busy has taken the time to do that job. But then there are a few things that I think would "change the core" so to speak, and which I will have to take a long and hard while to think about if I want to do it.

I know scholarly publishing is a completely different business, but in my scientific articles I have declined to make certain revisions and provided written justification. Some journals request this specifically. "I did not incorporate reviewer #1's changes because this is not possible with an aquatic insect species... blah blah..." or "because the reviewer does not seem aware that..." I don't see why the same thing cannot be done in fiction. 99% of the time my refusal to revise that material has been accepted without question, and never has is resulted in rejection of the article.

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 09:17 PM
Well, for me, when I do a rewrite I start from the beginning. I don't change an existing manuscript, I start a new one. I think that could work as a comparative model. My novel is in my head, just the way I think an image is in a painter's head.

Writing, painting, or composing music, is just a means to translate the thing in your head to a particular medium.



I guess that's where we differ. I fix the parts that need fixing, I don't redo the entire manuscript (at least I haven't since I gave up typing on a typewriter, where you HAVE to redo the entire thing each draft). That's why the painting analogy fails with me.

Don Allen
03-30-2010, 09:24 PM
Personally, toss the bullshit and produce a winner. Sales drive the business, if you can't produce something that sells, you won't get the chance to sell anything. Hence, play the game. If you can sell enough, eventually you will get the chance to market a more artsy type of work that may have less of a pop audience...


...And by the way, this is a 180 degree turn for me, I used to think the work should be valued for it's content not it's popularity, but I've changed my thinking, mainly because I realized that in publishing you're asking others to invest their money in your idea. They deserve a return,,, IMO.

Debeucci
03-30-2010, 10:05 PM
Sorry if I'm doubleposting but the people in the dejections section told me I should come here. Sigh...I can't do anything right today. Anyhoo...here comes my rant:

My agent and his assistant eviscerated my manuscript upon their review. I think my only redeeming value was they found it partially witty, enjoyable, and that I was a "servicable" writer with some bad habits. Don't get me wrong. They are absolutely right. His analysis that my manuscript was a "Hollywood Blockbuster masquerading as a novel" was dead on (Maybe they should just sell it to a studio instead!) and I am the first one to admit that action scenes are like mental masturbation for me.

While I would usually loathe to make wholesale changes...(I think the work is going to be a rewrite and replot of at least 200 pages of a 400 page book) their recommendations make sense. More character building, less masturbation.

The problem is...I don't think I know what I'm doing and it **hurts** during these rewrites. I want to club myself with my mouse and punch the nearest puppy. And I even love puppies! Even more than most humans. Not to mention...I'm not having fun which is all I usually do when I write! I know these changes will make my manuscript better as a "book" but I just can't get my head around all this character building. (Seriously...what's the big deal about growth? Can't we just be? Can't we just blow sh*t up?)

I'm starting to get confused and i think I'm ruining what I lovingly crafted but the desire to have a polished work and the grand poombah of being published is overriding my sense of who I am as a writer, which admittedly, is a completely flawed buffoon. But...I like my buffoonness. It makes me bearable to live with and enduring to the ladies. Is it really a crime to have mediocre taste? Can't there be a market of book readers who just love a good mindless guilty pleasure read?

As for what everyone is talking about, I have the other problem. My crap is not artsy enough. I must have a "pop audience" piece that needs to be more artsy. You have no idea how depressing that is for me.

Anyway...I'm ranting...and struggling...what do I do? How can I fall in love with my work and the changes I need to do again? Help!!
I'm sorry to all of you who bothered to read through my mindless diatribe. I hope you didn't lose too many brain cells over this.

NicoleMD
03-30-2010, 10:12 PM
If you can live with 80-90% of the changes, then you're doing good. Like IdiotsRUs said, no agent/editor is going to expect you to agree with every suggestion. (Keyword: Suggestion) If you feel strongly about not changing something, just talk to your agent about it. Maybe there are other solutions that you could both agree with. If not, then maybe it's just not a good match.

Nicole

Emily Winslow
03-30-2010, 10:17 PM
There's an ego reason for this post, though. I shopped around my novel "Council brats", and got a very long list of changes to do from an agent. I agree with most of the changes, and I'm very humbled that someone that busy has taken the time to do that job. But then there are a few things that I think would "change the core" so to speak, and which I will have to take a long and hard while to think about if I want to do it.

There are usually two steps in a critique: noticing something that needs fixing, and the figuring out how to fix it.

Usually, the agent or editor pintpoints the problem area, leaving the "how to" up to the author.

BUT, in the course of their description of the problem area, they may suggest specific solutions. Sometimes they're just throwing these possible solutions out there as examples, to make themselves understood. Or, they may really think what they're suggesting is the answer.

In either case, try this:
Look at the suggestions you disagree with. See if you can figure out the problem those suggestions are trying to fix. Then, figure out how to fix those problems in your own way, a way with which you're comfortable.

ishtar'sgate
03-30-2010, 10:32 PM
If you got an offer of representation, provided you changed big things - akin to changing the palette, and changing the fundamental techniques which would turn your novel into something else, would you do it?

So, I'm not talking about stuff here which one as a new writer should be humble and listening to the expert advice of someone way more experienced, but about stuff that change your vision and intent with your work of art.

Would you do it?

No, I wouldn't do it. As an unagented writer, having sold my first novel myself, I know what I'm looking for in an agent. Fortunately with the internet there's plenty of information out there on how various agents operate. I've heard about the agents that ask for huge changes and they wouldn't be my kind of agent. I want an agent that feels passionate about what I've written and is not looking at it with a view to changing it into something else. Obviously a good agent will likely suggest alterations and revisions but sweeping changes simply wouldn't be acceptable.

Namatu
03-30-2010, 10:44 PM
If the requested changes were a make or deal break and they affected the core of the story in a way I disagreed with, I wouldn't make them. I'll consider any proposed change, but if making it would alter the story into something I don't like and never wanted, then it's not worth it.


Anyway...I'm ranting...and struggling...what do I do? How can I fall in love with my work and the changes I need to do again? Help!!Are your struggles growing pains or "hell no, this isn't anything I ever wanted" pains? Growing pains aren't fun. If you're not used to characterization, I suggest stepping back from the manuscript revisions for now and taking some time out for exercises - exercises related to the manuscript, but not requiring you to change any part of the manuscript right now.

For instance, do you have a biography for your MC? Where he went to school, what he wanted to be when he grew up, how he learned all those awesome hand-to-hand combat techniques, who was his first love, what's the worst moment of his life professionally up to the point where your story begins, worst moment personally? Are his parents still alive? Does he like kittens?

Intimate knowledge of your MC makes characterization within a story much easier.

So do the bio, if you don't already have one.

And then throw your MC into a bar with his best buddy (whom you know from pulling together the bio). He's telling his buddy about this new job/situation and all the crap that's been going on. Just let the two of them talk. Throw in tangents ("Yeah, yeah, work sucks. What about that hot new neighbor you've got, dude?"). Have fun with it.

Once you're done the characterization elsewhere, it should be easier to write it into the story.

PortableHal
03-30-2010, 11:40 PM
Did the gallery owner tell her to change the painting? Honestly curious here.

Nope, just told her he wouldn't put that painting in the gallery. Along the lines, I'd guess, of your literary agent saying s/he wouldn't send your unchanged novel out to publishers.

When we finally signed with our own lit agent, she didn't understand or promote science-fiction (and our favorite ms is s-f). We signed our contract for the YA paranormal she did like and she was our agent for only that book.

Jamesaritchie
03-31-2010, 02:15 AM
Sometimes when I read AW I get the sense, which indeed may be a misinterpretation on my part, that in the hierarchy of this publishing business a writer is a subcontractor to an agent/publisher.

No, let's not get into an argument that's all about whether a writer should follow agent advice - of course the writer should. That's not what I'm about here. What I am about is a perceived understanding, which again may be me reading too much into what people say, that a writer should do everything an agent tells them.

I have a painter acquaintance who works closely with a gallery owner, and I think that relationship could work as a comparison for how I see a writer-agent relationship. The gallerist would never go to the painter and say; "You have to choose a new palette for this painting, because I can't sell that. And this use of depth here is wrong, so you have to redo the painting and come back to me when you've done it."

If you got an offer of representation, provided you changed big things - akin to changing the palette, and changing the fundamental techniques which would turn your novel into something else, would you do it?

So, I'm not talking about stuff here which one as a new writer should be humble and listening to the expert advice of someone way more experienced, but about stuff that change your vision and intent with your work of art.

Would you do it?

A writer should follow an agent's advice only if he agrees with it. Otherwise, it isn't advice, it's an order. Same with requests for rewrites. If you agree with it, and think it makes the novel better, and makes it a novel you're happy with, then, fine, follow it.

If the changes do not make you happy, but you follow them anyway, you aren't the writer, the agent is. And even if the novel sells, you'll probably be midlist at best, and off the list somewhere down the line.

Jamesaritchie
03-31-2010, 02:24 AM
First off, the writer is not a subcontractor to the agent. The agent and writer have a symbotic relationship where they work together in a partnership where one produces a product and the other sells it. Because the agent makes a percentage of what is paid to the author, the author is slightly the more "senior partner", IMO.

However, the agent is the one with the business savvy and has insights and advice to make the partnership more profitable. The reason a writer hooks up with an agent is to gain access to taht business savvy, after all. It still remains for the writer to be able to produce the product.

This is why any agent isn't a perfect match for a writer. Some writers can just produce a marketable project, time after time, that the agent can sell and all is well. When the partnership doesn't work for whatever reason and the problems can't be resolved, it's time to go shopping for a new partner. It's business, not personal.

Could I do it? It depends on what the advice is. It all depends on if the requests changed the soul of the story and my geek-factor in writing it or not. I've gotten back rejections that said if I tweaked this or changed that, that they'd be very interested. Sometimes I could make the change and sometimes I couldn't. I would always evaluate the possibility, however, because sometimes the comments that I scream loudest against turn out to be the best thing I could do for the story. It all depends.

Not if you're smart. If you're smart, the agent works for you, the writer. It is not symbiotic, it's employee and employer. And the writer better have at least as much business sense as the agent, or he's doomed.

There is no partnership, slightly larger, slightly smaller, or anything else. The writer hires the agent, and the writer fires the agent when and if teh agent doesn't do the job she was hired to do.

The real myth, even with big agents and writers, is that agents sell novels. They do not. Ever. The writer sells the novel, and the publisher buys it. All the agent does in this sense is play the middleman. She takes the novel from the seller and hands it to the buyer.

This is a remarkably easy job that requires pretty much no business sense. An agent's business sense only comes into play with money and the contract.

Nor do many agents know anything at all about writing a good novel, literary, commercial, or any other kind. Even the ones who do know something about it know zero about how your novel should be written.

Emily Winslow
03-31-2010, 02:50 AM
[Agenting] is a remarkably easy job that requires pretty much no business sense. An agent's business sense only comes into play with money and the contract.

Nor do many agents know anything at all about writing a good novel, literary, commercial, or any other kind. Even the ones who do know something about it know zero about how your novel should be written.

Wow. What a huge lack of respect for what an agent does. No, agents aren't magic, they're not heroes, they're not the be-all end-all. I do agree with earlier sentiments that if an agent wants changes that violate what the writer feels is essential, then the relationship isn't a good match. Yes.

But agents do need business sense, and they do need literary sense. I'm amazed you've managed to say they don't need *either*.

My agent isn't an editor, but she, like most agents, is a good reader. When she points out that something wasn't emphasized enough to be clear, or that a scene didn't deliver what it had appeared to promise, I take that as valuable feedback.

Not commands, valuable feedback.

Claudia Gray
03-31-2010, 03:02 AM
Wow. What a huge lack of respect for what an agent does. No, agents aren't magic, they're not heroes, they're not the be-all end-all. I do agree with earlier sentiments that if an agent wants changes that violate what the writer feels is essential, then the relationship isn't a good match. Yes.

But agents do need business sense, and they do need literary sense. I'm amazed you've managed to say they don't need *either*.

My agent isn't an editor, but she, like most agents, is a good reader. When she points out that something was emphasized enough to be clear, or that a scene didn't deliver what it had appeared to promise, I take that as valuable feedback.

Not commands, valuable feedback.


QFT. If you have an agent with no business sense nor any literary sense, you need another agent. I'm happy my agent delivers both.

RemusShepherd
03-31-2010, 06:52 PM
If you got an offer of representation, provided you changed big things - akin to changing the palette, and changing the fundamental techniques which would turn your novel into something else, would you do it?

This actually happened to me.

In 2001 I was shopping around a sci-fi short story, and I got a reply from one of the major sci-fi/fantasy magazines. The editor liked my story, but had some suggestions. In particular, she wanted me to change the sci-fi basis of the story into something paranormal. (It was a story about malfunctioning robots who were seeing things; she wanted me to change their hallucinations into actual ghosts.)

I wanted the publishing cred, so I tried to make the changes she wanted. She didn't like what I did, and asked me to try again. At which point I took a hard look at it and told her that I couldn't -- I just didn't know how to change the story into something completely opposite to my concept of the story.

So I lost the publishing opportunity. And that incident put such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn't write or submit anything for the next five years. (It wasn't a wasted five years; I did a webcomic.) Screw the publishing industry, I thought; they only wanted specific things and they weren't the kind of things I wanted to write.

I still think that's the case in some ways. But at least I'm trying again, now.

I *wish* I could have done what that editor suggested. I just couldn't. So there's the simple answer to your question -- yes, I would change my work around if possible. If the changes to be made do not destroy my concept of the story, I'll make the changes. But there's a limit, and changes beyond that limit I just can't do, whether I'd want to or not.

I will do anything within my power to work with an agent or publisher. But there is a limit to my power. The story must be true to itself, no matter what the author wants.

cwfgal
03-31-2010, 08:17 PM
I've been faced with the OP's situation before. Nearly ten years ago, after being let go by my publisher, my agent decided to retire. I was left looking for a new publisher and a new agent and I decided to use this as an opportunity to write something different from what I'd been doing. I'd been steeping an idea for a mystery series for a while, one that would be told in first person and have a main character with a very particular voice. I wrote it and then began to shop it around to agents.

I garnered the interest of a top-notch agent, who liked the work but wanted me to make some changes. The first round of suggested changes seemed very reasonable to me so I made them. Then she asked for more. The second round of suggestions had a bigger impact on the MC and how she came across. I made the ones I felt comfortable with but I didn't take all of her suggstions. Then came a third round of requested changes. These changes would have altered the personality and voice of the MC drastically and after a great deal of thought and angst, I declined to make them and we parted ways.

It took me seven years (three of which I wasted with another agent who requested no changes but also did very little to sell the work, and two that I spent self-publishing the book) to find the right agent for that novel. She sold it to Kensington as part of a three-book deal. That first book, as published, is essentially unchanged from the original I wrote some ten years ago.

So while I'm very open to hearing suggestions and considering them for any of my works, in the end I am the final judge and jury. I felt very committed to this character and her voice and while that commitment cost me several years of my writing career, I still feel it was worth it. And the great reviews the work has received from several sources, including PW, support my belief.

So in the end I guess it depends on how committed you are to your work, how strongly you believe in it, and how much you are willing to sacrifice to keep it the way you want it. It's very possible (likely even, I think) that the first agent would have sold the work if I'd made all the changes she suggested. But I wouldn't have been happy with it and it would have made any subsequent books in the series nearly impossible for me to write.

Beth