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Undercover
07-23-2012, 05:32 PM
I thought it was another rejection. Agent read my first three chapters and said it was vague and she didn't get a real sense of where the MC was. But she likes the idea behind the story and the direction enough to want to see the full.

I'm worried she won't like it or want a major rewrite. Doesn't it usually take a few chapters to warm up to a story to begin with?

Cyia
07-23-2012, 05:37 PM
It could very well mean a major rewrite, or even purging those first 3 chapters. General advice is that the book should start where the story starts.

Of course, this is only one agent. Advice and opinions aren't universal.

Jennifer_Laughran
07-23-2012, 05:50 PM
SHE WANTS TO READ THE FULL.

Hello, that's a GOOD thing.

Of course she might not like it. Had she ADORED the first three chapters she might not have liked the rest. Not liking the rest is always a potential outcome.

Her LOVING the rest is also a potential outcome. Asking for a revision is yet a third potential outcome.

But you won't know unless she reads the full. And isn't it lucky for you that she wants to!

Katrina S. Forest
07-23-2012, 05:59 PM
I'm worried she won't like it or want a major rewrite. Doesn't it usually take a few chapters to warm up to a story to begin with?

And what's wrong with a rewrite request if it comes to that? It's about the most positive response you can get outside of an offer.

In response to your question, a strong novel should hook the reader from page 1. If it takes a few chapters to "warm up" to a story, you're going to have plenty of people who've put the book down before they get that far.

Be happy for what you've accomplished and be prepared to revise when you have to. Best of luck!

Langadune
07-23-2012, 07:10 PM
If you're at the stage where you're corresponding with an agent, then surely you've accepted that a rewrite might be part of the process.

The fact that your agent wants to see more is definitely promising. Way better than something like "not right for us at this time."

If it's a rewrite then it's a rewrite. At least that means it's still alive. Remember, the agent doesn't make money if a publisher won't buy the book. He's just trying to give you the best chances of that happening.

whirlaway
07-23-2012, 08:26 PM
You can worry about that if you want--it's a free country. But worrying about whether the agent will like it or will request a rewrite doesn't buy you anything. Better to focus your energy on something that you can control--like writing your next novel.

Undercover
07-23-2012, 11:05 PM
Thanks guys. I just always assumed if an agent doesn't "Love it" then it's a pass. I am surprised she even wants to read the whole thing.

I'm worried about the rewrite thing because I've rewritten this novel before and that agent (a different one) only wanted to see a whole nother round of major revisions. She said if I ever change it, to send it to her. I never did mainly becuase I didn't agree with the changes. So I've been sending it out to others. This one other agent (that I am referring to) just didn't seem to like it. But I guess there was something there that made her want the rest.

I have 8 other requests out right now so who knows. Funny thing you commented on this Jennifer, you were one of the ones to reject it from the query. Although I do appreciate the response. There are others I have queried and nothing. I hate that.

csorensen
07-26-2012, 03:31 PM
I thought it was another rejection. Agent read my first three chapters and said it was vague and she didn't get a real sense of where the MC was. But she likes the idea behind the story and the direction enough to want to see the full.

I'm worried she won't like it or want a major rewrite. Doesn't it usually take a few chapters to warm up to a story to begin with?

Dear Undercover,

I know I'm fairly new on the boards, but...

ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!

Get that ?@$?@ manuscript to that agent ASAP:-)

Good for you for taking the next step. You start your post saying that you "thought it was another rejection" - that's awesome it wasn't. All of the positive energy that every writer who has ever queried an agent has bent toward you to have a non-rejection.

That's an A+ day for sure. Whatever feedback you get from the agent, take it and run with it to make the manuscript even THAT much better.

Unless of course they take you on as a client (which I'm sure you will still have things to change).

Congrats again and all the best!!!

Sincerely,

All those writers who are waiting for their non-rejection

PS - keep us posted

Barbara R.
07-26-2012, 03:43 PM
Thanks guys. I just always assumed if an agent doesn't "Love it" then it's a pass. I am surprised she even wants to read the whole thing.

I'm worried about the rewrite thing because I've rewritten this novel before and that agent (a different one) only wanted to see a whole nother round of major revisions. She said if I ever change it, to send it to her. I never did mainly becuase I didn't agree with the changes. So I've been sending it out to others. This one other agent (that I am referring to) just didn't seem to like it. But I guess there was something there that made her want the rest.

I have 8 other requests out right now so who knows. Funny thing you commented on this Jennifer, you were one of the ones to reject it from the query. Although I do appreciate the response. There are others I have queried and nothing. I hate that.

There must have been something in those chapters she liked, or she wouldn't want to read more. It's perfectly possible for an agent to like a book but feel it needs work. Probably more the rule than the exception, because what doesn't need work?

Agree with you on the no-response agents. I know all about the deluge of email submissions, etc. Still no reason why you can't program an auto-reject, just so writers know where they stand.

Undercover
07-26-2012, 06:49 PM
Thanks, I will definitely keep you guys posted as to how it turns out. I'm really nervous about this one because it undoubtedly will mean a rewrite. Like I said, I've rewritten it for a couple of agents (2 others before) and it didn't work out. It's so grueling to go through that process. Just not sure if I am up for the challenge. I will certainly try though. Thanks again!

Undercover
08-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Still haven't heard from that one agent that upped it to a full, but it hasn't been that long so I have to continue to wait.

But get this...

I have another agent that's pulling the same thing sort of. She said she likes the story, but is conflicted so she wants to see the full. I of course sent it. And she did mention she'd get back to me soon, hopefully. But the thing I am questioning is why are these agents not sure but still want to read the full? I mean, I thought agents were supposed to love it from the get go. Why would you even want to read the entire ms. if you weren't sure from the beginning?

Tortuous I know. It just seems like a rejection waiting to happen.

mccardey
08-05-2012, 10:16 AM
This is getting quite exciting! (For us, if not for you. For you, I would imagine, it's more like a root canal...)

Good luck! Keep keeping us posted. :)

Terie
08-05-2012, 10:49 AM
But get this...

I have another agent that's pulling the same thing sort of.

How is this 'pulling something'? Why isn't this just a normal way of doing business?

You do this very kind of thing all the time. When you see a book cover that intrigues you, do you simply take it up to the counter and buy it? Doubtfully. You turn it over and read the blurb. If it doesn't sound at all like your cup of tea, you put it back; if it sounds like exactly your cup of tea, you might buy it, or you might open it up to read a page or two before you decide.

When you need work done on your house, do you just call the first name in the phone book and hire them to do the work? No, first you get some quotes, you talk to the folks to get a feel for whether they're the sort you want to give your business to, and you might even consult with some previous clients.

Seriously, Undercover, your negative and adversarial spin on pretty much every aspect of agenting isn't helpful to your goals. Have you considered that your own attitude might be a major factor in your previous two agents both dropping you almost as soon as the contract provisions allowed?

river.rising
08-05-2012, 06:50 PM
I've heard that a lot more agents are requesting authors to revise before signing them on. Maybe they do it to see if the author is willing to revise to specifications, I'm not sure. I don't have an agent, but if you get publisher who wants your novel, be prepared to edit. A Lot. My editors have put me through the ringer, lol, but I look at it this way, yes it's a lot of work, but we all want the book to be the best it can be, and if it takes a lot of editing, then so be it. My name is going to be on the book, so I want it to be the best representative of my talent it can be.

Undercover
08-05-2012, 07:08 PM
Terie, my second agent didn't drop me. I dropped her.

And yes, if I need to do revisions, barring the fact I agree to them, I will be prepared to edit.

Thanks Mccardey, it's nice to get that kind of support.

Little Ming
08-05-2012, 09:35 PM
Still haven't heard from that one agent that upped it to a full, but it hasn't been that long so I have to continue to wait.

But get this...

I have another agent that's pulling the same thing sort of. She said she likes the story, but is conflicted so she wants to see the full. I of course sent it. And she did mention she'd get back to me soon, hopefully. But the thing I am questioning is why are these agents not sure but still want to read the full?

Maybe...

Because the agent knows a good novelist might not be a good query writer.

Because the agent knows a good novelist might not be a good synopsis writer.

Because the agent thinks you started the story in the wrong place, but still sees potential in the rest of the novel.

Because the agent sees some minor problems in the first pages, but thinks they are fixable problems.

Because the agent is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that whatever the problem is right now, that it will get better, or at least it is fixable.



I mean, I thought agents were supposed to love it from the get go. Why would you even want to read the entire ms. if you weren't sure from the beginning?

Ever read a book that was great at the beginning, but fizzled out by the end?

Ever read a book that was slow or uninteresting at the beginning, but when you pressed on it was actually really great?

Ever read a book that was good, but you thought with some editing it could have been better?


Tortuous I know. It just seems like a rejection waiting to happen.

Undercover, I get this is a tough business, and the waiting is just making it tougher. But I think you're turning a potentially positive situation into something negative. An agent is not in love with your MS yet, but is still going to give you the benefit of a doubt that it will get better, or is at least fixable. That's a good thing.

Undercover
08-12-2012, 03:25 AM
Well I got a response back from one of the agents that requested a partial then upped it to a full and here's what she said:

"Thank you for sending your manuscript for our review. We both were very intrigued at the start of the story and there is much that is intriguing about it.
There are a few loose ends and some that needs work, in our humble opinion. (NAME) tells me that you have the story out to several agents. We will be
happy to send you a more pointed list of suggestions if you do not chose someone else to work with."

They wanted an exclusive, but I told them other agents were reading it. It sounds to me that they will only give me the suggestions if I don't work with any other agent. But it doesn't guarantee they will rep. me either. Also, does this sound like a lot of revisions? I don't know that either or what they want me to change. I emailed them back saying I would love to hear the suggestions, so we'll see what that's all about. I just don't want to commit myself to them and make all these changes and not go with anyone else and them still not wanting it. What do you think?

Cyia
08-12-2012, 04:20 AM
It sounds to me that they will only give me the suggestions if I don't work with any other agent.

It's entirely possible that this is the agency's policy. I had agents say similar things. They had in mind things they wanted to address, but weren't allowed to discuss them with non-clients.

thothguard51
08-12-2012, 04:53 AM
Undercover...

You've had a couple of agents request full reads and that is more than many writers will get. But it sounds like you are waffling about what you are willing to edit, before you even know what they suggest.

Don't get stuck on the "Golden word syndrome."

From my experience, every agent who has asked for certain edits was not trying to test me, but to make the book stronger, so they could sell it. They know what editors they will present the book to before you even sign the contract with the agent. They know the editors style, likes and dislikes. But their suggestions are just that suggestions because there is no guarantee that even then they will be able to sell the work. Too many variables to point to one thing in general.

As to the agent who gives you a detailed critique on what they want to see edited. Why shouldn't they? Why should an agent take a chance on you if you are not committed to them? Hell, you could take their suggestions and go elsewhere without some agreement on your part.

Lastly, there is no guarantee. Why should they sign you before you show them that the edits they ask for, you can do?

To me, this all sounds like the impatient bug and golden word syndrome is getting the better of you. I could be wrong though, your call...

Undercover
08-12-2012, 05:20 AM
I totally can understand them not giving me detailed suggestions unless I go with them. But I don't want to do it and find out I burned all my bridges and they still don't want me, ya know? Just afraid I guess. It would be a gamble. I know there's no guarantee they'll sell it. But if there was at least a guarantee they'll want to represent it, then I'd feel much better. But that's not even a sure thing.

Well, it's the weekend, so I doubt it if I'll here back. So back to the waiting process I go. Thank you Cyia, and Thothguard51 for replying.

Sage
08-12-2012, 05:33 AM
Unless this is an agent that you absolutely would love to work with, more than anyone else, I would wait out the 2nd full (and any others that might request) before doing anything with them. It is impossible to know the extent of revisions when you're only getting vague information about them. Sometimes big revisions are necessary, but sometimes an agent thinks a novel needs something that the author is not willing to do. I'm not talking about Golden Word Syndrome. I'm talking about book-gutting changes that do not make sense to the author. It would be a shame to ruin a potential opportunity with another agent only to find out that the revision suggestions don't work for you.

Leave the option open with that agent, that if other agents pass, you would like to hear their revision suggestions, but don't withdraw your novel from the others.

Undercover
08-12-2012, 05:40 AM
Yeah, I thought the same. I did send an email back that I'd like to hear the suggestions, but I did NOT say I was going to go with them, nor did I say anything to the others of this either.

If she comes back with "we will only give suggestions if you don't go with anyone else" again, I thought of telling them thank you and I'll think about it sort of thing.

I have 4 fulls out still. I wouldn't want to ruin any communication with them. Not when they haven't made their decision yet.

Amadan
08-12-2012, 06:10 AM
Echoing what others have said: why are you so bothered that an agent might ask you to revise?

It's fine to wait and see whether you get a bite from any other agents, but you are overthinking this.

Old Hack
08-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Most agents are going to ask for some revisions on a book from a new author. This is not necessarily a big thing.

It achieves a couple of things. It makes the book stronger; and it show to the agent that you can work with editorial suggestions, and you aren't going to be precious about your book.

Making those notes takes a lot of time and effort, so I'm not surprised that the agent isn't prepared to write them unless you make some sort of commitment to her.

I'm concerned that you've now emailed back and asked to see those notes, but are still not making that commitment. I might well have got the wrong end of the stick here but I hope you've made it clear that you're not committing to her yet.

And good luck: this does sound very positive, and I wish you well.