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View Full Version : When Is It Too Soon To Send Revisions?



Elaine Margarett
11-21-2011, 10:17 PM
One of the agents I submitted to asked for revisions. He made specific recommendations which I am totally on board with. (I had originally considered what he wants while I was writing, but for various reasons didn't do it.) He asked to see the first 50 pages again when I was done.

Is it okay to send in the 50 pages along with an email detailing how I'll be tweaking the rest of the manuscript before I've actually done it? I'm really excited how I was able to weave what he wants into those first 50 pages! I think it turned out really well (this coming from the Eeyore of writing).

From query, to partial, to full, to request for revisions was about two weeks. The request for revisions came last Thurs.. I was thinking that I could send in the 50 pages and be close to completing the remaining revisions by the time he gets back to me. By sending those pages sooner rather than later, I'm hoping to keep my story on his mind.

Good idea? Bad Idea? <shrug> I have no idea; and given the choice in these situations I usually go wrong.

PLease help. <g>

PS, I really, really want this agent. He's one of the best.

Drachen Jager
11-21-2011, 10:42 PM
If you've had beta readers you trust, ask one of them to look over the agent's notes and your revisions to get a third party opinion on whether you've actually fixed everything properly. If you don't have a beta you work with now might be a good time to find one.

There is no need to rush. Double check your work first, you could be shooting yourself in the foot by going too fast. As the saying goes, make haste slowly.

kaitie
11-21-2011, 10:43 PM
Do the whole thing first. He won't mind waiting a little longer, and, especially if he's excited about it, he might get back to it sooner than you anticipate. I've heard of some incredibly quick turnarounds before.

At the same time, I don't think it would kill you at this stage if you had to say, "I'm not quite finished with the entire manuscript, but I'll send it to you as soon as I am." Personally, I just think it would be better to have the whole thing ready to go in case he does get back to you the next day saying, "This is great, let me see the rest!"

Elaine Margarett
11-22-2011, 12:59 AM
Yes, you're both right. I'll follow your suggestions since my inclination was to send it off ASAP.

I told you I always pick the wrong option.<g> And I'm very good at shooting myself in the foot.

Thanks!
EM

MandyHubbard
11-22-2011, 03:15 AM
I concur with the above-- unless he specified that he wanted the first 50 pages when you'd done that much (and not that he wanted the first 50 pages when you were done revising), wait untli you're done.

And please do make it at least a few weeks between his request and your submission even if it IS done. It does NOT work inyour favor to turn it around in a week. the whole "i want to be on his mind" isn't an issue. It's us wondering if you rushed it. I actualy groan when I see R&R authors pop up a few days after I sent them notes. If the revisions were going to be super light, I would just have you do them as a client.

M

KalenO
11-22-2011, 04:59 AM
What Mandy said. I'm still working on revisions for a couple agents, and my first instinct was to rush through them as quickly as possible not just because I wanted them to remember me, but because it was like validation - 'you're close enough to see the finish line....'

...Except its not a race. If they were interested enough to ask for material from you in the first place, they're still going to be interested in it when you finally have it ready to show them. There's no expiration date on a good story. And the one thing no writer can do is finish the work any quicker than possible. It takes as long as it takes. Far better to have to refresh his memory three months down the road than to send him the fifty pages, get him all excited at how well you've revised, and then be like oh wait, hang on....need another month or so to finish the rest.

And for what its worth, one of the agents waiting on my revisions just waved to me the other day in a thread, so you know....relax. They remember you.

Elaine Margarett
11-22-2011, 04:35 PM
[QUOTE=KalenO;6757509] What Mandy said. I'm still working on revisions for a couple agents, and my first instinct was to rush through them as quickly as possible not just because I wanted them to remember me, but because it was like validation - 'you're close enough to see the finish line....'

...Except its not a race. QUOTE]

You're right, you're right , you're right. So close... and I've been in this position sooo many times with other mss. I wonder where I go wrong and I think this is it.

This particular story has been really difficult. In the middle of it I literally stopped writing for 5 years. Just. Couldn't. Do it. Anymore.

I so want to be done with it. I hate it. (Hope that doesn't show in the writing, lol!) This isn't my favorite story; not even close. Of course if it's the one that sells, then I'll love it. <g>

EM,
who has to suck it up and keep plodding

Drachen Jager
11-22-2011, 08:33 PM
As far as turnaround. I got some editor feedback passed to me through my agent recently. I took a week just to ruminate on it and come up with a six-page, point-form plan of action. I hope to be done the re-write within two months.

Astronomer
11-22-2011, 11:02 PM
It doesn't make sense that he would request just the first 50 pages if the entire manuscript is revised, waiting for him to review. Are you sure he doesn't want you to send in the first 50 pages when you're done with them?

If the revisions are major, an agent might want to see if you're capable of doing them to his satisfaction. Doing the "first 50 pages" is a way of accomplishing that without wasting your time making the revisions on the entire manuscript (or his time waiting on it if he has a similar project he's considering instead) if thing don't happen to work out.

Drachen Jager
11-22-2011, 11:40 PM
Doing the "first 50 pages" is a way of accomplishing that without wasting your time making the revisions on the entire manuscript (or his time waiting on it if he has a similar project he's considering instead) if thing don't happen to work out.

Doing revisions on your manuscript based on a professional's opinion is not a waste of time. EVER.

If you think your writing is better without listening to editorial advice I suggest you self-publish and don't even look for an agent or an editor so you won't be wasting their time.

MandyHubbard
11-23-2011, 01:34 AM
It doesn't make sense that he would request just the first 50 pages if the entire manuscript is revised, waiting for him to review. Are you sure he doesn't want you to send in the first 50 pages when you're done with them?

If the revisions are major, an agent might want to see if you're capable of doing them to his satisfaction. Doing the "first 50 pages" is a way of accomplishing that without wasting your time making the revisions on the entire manuscript (or his time waiting on it if he has a similar project he's considering instead) if thing don't happen to work out.

If this is an agent who typically requests a partial and then a full manuscript, it makes perfect sense. He'll know in 50 pages if the writer is pulling it off. No need to request the rest if she's not.

I have on rare occasions asked a writer to just revise the beginning. But I am VERY clear-- as in I state, "If these notes make sense to you, why don't you revise the first fifty pages and send them my way, and I'll see if you're on the right track?"

I've signed one author this way-- the first half was revised (there was a very clear breaking point at the midway) and i signed her and waited for her to revise the second half before we sent it out.

I think the agent would be pretty clear if they wanted you to revise just 50 pages and send it, versus "please revise the manuscript and send me the first 50 pages."

Astronomer
11-23-2011, 05:39 PM
Doing revisions on your manuscript based on a professional's opinion is not a waste of time. EVER.I'm sorry, Drachen, I must not have been clear. I know incorporating feedback -- especially from a professional -- is always worthwhile, but that's not what I was getting at.


If this is an agent who typically requests a partial and then a full manuscript, it makes perfect sense. He'll know in 50 pages if the writer is pulling it off. No need to request the rest if she's not.This is what I was getting at: economizing the selection process. Thanks, Mandy, for saying it more clearly than I did.


I have on rare occasions asked a writer to just revise the beginning. But I am VERY clear-- as in I state, "If these notes make sense to you, why don't you revise the first fifty pages and send them my way, and I'll see if you're on the right track?"This is exactly what happened to me (including "If these notes make sense to you..."), but for me, it was the first hundred pages.