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The_Ink_Goddess
01-20-2015, 01:11 AM
So this time last year, I started querying a dark contemporary. Things progressed as they are wont to do - revision, fulls, rejections. The first agent who requested it (a year ago...yesterday :D) told me in the summer she wanted an R+R, but never actually told me what the revisions were. I nudged once in September and once now - and she's got back to me. She's still saying she's not sure - which I actually agree with, in the hindsight of a year, I think it needs work. Can I say this, or does it look like sucking up? However, she's asked me if I'm working on anything new, as she thinks there's a likely possibility I might have something near to submission-ready.

I don't...at all. I had a lot of shitty first drafts that didn't work, but now I'm working on something that I think MIGHT be submission-worthy - it needs a lot of outlining so it's been a hard old slog - but I was just wondering how everybody thinks I should handle this. Do I send her just a quick one-line synopsis thing to show her that I *am* doing something, but add the caveat that it's not ready? Or do I say nothing? Because it's really not ready, and I don't want to burn my bridges.

Please help a squirrel in the wild :D

Old Hack
01-20-2015, 01:16 AM
Tell her you don't have anything ready to share with her yet, but as soon as you do, you'll send it in.

Debbie V
01-20-2015, 01:40 AM
Tell her you don't have anything ready to share with her yet, but as soon as you do, you'll send it in.

This. Be honest.

The_Ink_Goddess
01-20-2015, 01:41 AM
Tell her you don't have anything ready to share with her yet, but as soon as you do, you'll send it in.

Should I describe anything about it? Or just keep quiet?

Aggy B.
01-20-2015, 01:54 AM
Should I describe anything about it? Or just keep quiet?

Is it the same genre?

I have a friend who has been in discussion with an agent who found herself in a similar situation. The agent liked her novel, but felt it wasn't something they were suited to sell. She showed them a second novel, which they also liked but felt the market wasn't right. She then pitched a third novel and they said, yes we want to see that.

If it were me, I would probably say that I am working on a <insert genre here> with <an interesting twist> at the moment, and when I have a finished MS I will be sure to let her see it.

The_Ink_Goddess
01-20-2015, 02:06 AM
Is it the same genre?

I have a friend who has been in discussion with an agent who found herself in a similar situation. The agent liked her novel, but felt it wasn't something they were suited to sell. She showed them a second novel, which they also liked but felt the market wasn't right. She then pitched a third novel and they said, yes we want to see that.

If it were me, I would probably say that I am working on a <insert genre here> with <an interesting twist> at the moment, and when I have a finished MS I will be sure to let her see it.

Ish? There are a lot of things in common (dark female-driven YA), but I think it might be horror, which she doesn't rep - but, at this point, it could just as easily be thriller...[/whine]

Jo Zebedee
01-20-2015, 02:50 AM
Sorry, this isn't going to cheer things. :( given you have a lot of first drafts sitting, and have struggled to finish them, how do you know you can complete this one?

For that reason, I'd be honest, polish the start and ask if she wants to see a sample to see if it's something she might be interested in? If so, it gives the impetus to keep going, if not the hideous pressure to finish something is over

The_Ink_Goddess
01-20-2015, 02:54 AM
Sorry, this isn't going to cheer things. :( given you have a lot of first drafts sitting, and have struggled to finish them, how do you know you can complete this one?

For that reason, I'd be honest, polish the start and ask if she wants to see a sample to see if it's something she might be interested in? If so, it gives the impetus to keep going, if not the hideous pressure to finish something is over

Because I've been working on it really hard for a while, and I can generally tell...there's just more - stick. Sorry, completely vague and pretentious answer. Obviously you never know for sure, but because she specifically mentioned that it'd been a year, I felt weird/bad suggesting that I hadn't written anything because I I don't want her to think I've been sitting on my hands and not writing for a year, though I just haven't really found my ~groove~ again until now. I HAVE been writing, but this is the one thing I feel really sure that I can take through all the betas and the world. :D (But, also, if it wasn't her thing, I think I would just take it to the main querying trenches? Obviously I feel very moved that she's interested in it, but you know...these things happen. Get up and move on.)

Moonchild
01-20-2015, 04:02 AM
I think I'd keep it simple and truthful: just tell her that yes, you've been working on something new, but it isn't quite ready for submission, and leave it at that. Or add something about asking her if it would be OK to send it her way when it's ready in a few [weeks?] [months?]

I would imagine that most agents realize most of us have either day jobs or school or families or all of the above, all of it competing for time with our writing. The important thing is that you have not been sitting on your hands: you've been trying to find your groove again and now that you've found it, you're working with it.:)

thothguard51
01-20-2015, 04:13 AM
I have to agree with the other three, just tell her you have something you are working on, but its not submission ready yet. No need to explain anything else.

Becca C.
01-20-2015, 12:58 PM
I agree with everyone else! You have something else in the pipeline, it's a [X GENRE] with [X FEATURE], but it won't be ready for a while. I'm very sure she'll understand, and honestly, if it's taken this long up to this point, waiting for the WIP to be ready will feel like the blink of an eye to her. Agents really are SUPER busy.

And I know what you mean about the feeling of a new WIP "sticking"! I totally get that feeling -- you just know from the beginning when something is going to become an actual thing. Trust that feeling! :)