View Full Version : R&Rs on Partials

11-01-2015, 02:31 PM
My first two partials are R&Rs, saying pretty much the same thing. More suspense and get to the heart of the story faster. Is it just a matter of cutting down and summarizing more? and adding suspenseful scenes? I don't want to cut too much. I'm grateful they are both willing to look at it again, but I'm afraid I'm not up for the task. I've revised it since then, but I think I need to speed it up more. It's the first 50 pages mainly. The book is only 60K so I don't want to chop too much off.

I have 2 more partials out and 1 full but I'm afraid they are all going to come back saying the same thing, a slow start. So like I said, I'm in the middle of revising. Another question, if another agent requests more work, do I send out the revised copy or stick with the original until the revision is complete? Again I'm only focusing on the beginning, but making sure it all connects as I go along. There were a few areas that were slow and dragging the story down that didn't effect the story at all, which I was glad to get rid of. I've cut about 5 pages worth. But again, I don't think it's enough.

Do you think that because two agents now said slow start that my other requests will crumble? Or do those still stand a chance?

Aggy B.
11-01-2015, 05:18 PM
Just because one (or five) agents don't like something about the MS doesn't mean a different agent (or five) might not still love it. So, I wouldn't try and guess about whether your other requests will flop or not because its really hard to tell. (I've had one agent hate something another agent specifically said they loved.)

However, getting the same feedback from more than one person usually means you need to consider what they've said. And it sounds like you might agree with the assessment that it has a slow start. I totally get not wanting to do more revisions. It can be exhausting and, to a certain extent, requires second guessing everything you have already written. But, I think, you also want to be certain you are sending out the best MS you can.

So, here are some things you might want to think about.
1. Are you sure you're starting in the right place? I had issues with this on a MS that had a slow start.
2. Is there some other subplot or conflict that might be brought in during those earlier pages? After I found the right point to start my MS, I added in more of the internal conflict the MC was dealing with as the main plot/external conflict was gearing up.
3. If you cut some off the beginning, are the points in the middle that can be expanded? I thought there weren't in my MS, but when I went through it again I found scenes where I could expand on things I had glossed over previously. Or add things that were completely new.

I know it's rough, trying to work through a MS again. (Especially when you thought you were done.) But sometimes it's just necessary.

As far as sending more materials, if you think you are going to make revisions, then you should probably give the other agents the option to continue with the current version or look at the new one. So, if you get a full request off the partials you still have out you thank them for their interest and mention that you are working on revisions based on other agent feedback and ask if they would like to see the revised MS when it's ready. (I usually mentioned what the revisions were addressing so that they could make a relatively informed decision in that regard.)

Best of luck.

11-01-2015, 09:15 PM
That's a common complaint, and usually one to listen to. More often than not, it means you're starting the story too soon. Move ahead, find where the real, hard story starts, and begin there. And once you start, don't back off. Give the characters, and the readers, a chance to breathe now and then, but only now and then, and not for long.

Too many manuscripts come in that begin slowly, usually with backstory. This is seldom good.

I'll agree with Aggy B, at least for the most part. When five agents don't like something, you have may have a problem, and should stop and consider it. When five agents all have the same complaint, you have a manuscript that needs some serious work before you submit it anywhere else.

11-02-2015, 12:20 AM
Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice.

Aggy, that's a good idea about expanding the middle more. I didn't think of that. I've been focusing so much on the first 50 when I should be looking at it as a whole. This was just 2 agents so far, I have more pending. I'm definitely listening. It's awesome to finally have feedback again. The last novel I queried garnered some fulls, but not one had feedback. It was just "didn't fall in love with it" or "didn't connect." So I am definitely absorbing it this time around and I'm already making changes.

11-02-2015, 03:12 AM
I think you must be onto a good concept if you're getting R&Rs on partials, as opposed to R's. I'd say this is a very good sign!