What to do about a full request on a manuscript I now want to revise?

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EVanMoore

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An agent requested my full manuscript based off a query I sent last month using literal word for word suggestions given to me by AW. So, that's amazing! And I'm glad there's such an awesome forum for us writerly folks to get feedback and help.

But now i want to revise the story yet again....
I queried my manuscript after many drafts, dozens of readers, beta readers, posting it on reddit etc. I was very proud of my work and I believed it was a polished manuscript. I watched so many youtube videos and read so many articles about writing, querying, and knowing if your work is done and I felt confident in mine. I didn't have reason to think otherwise until I posted it on AW. The feedback I got was useful and I appreciate everyone's time to give it.

So, please just be gentle with the question I'm about to ask, and work under the assumption that while you may shake your head at my writing, I genuinely was proud of it and felt good about my work until I posted it to AW.

Since posting it on here, I want to revise the story again. But now this agent has requested the full manuscript.
Do I sent the original one? Which I loved and was really proud of...
or do i wait and send the revised one, making changes based off the criticisms from here?
Or do I send the original and let the agent know that I had some changes I was considering making?

Really not sure how to proceed from here...
 

Unimportant

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If it were me, I'd go with door number three. If the agent wants to see the full, you take advantage of that!

In my experience, if I'm making even minor-ish changes to a story (not just a word here and there) I need to revise it, then let it sit, then re read it and see if it's still making sense and if the changes are helping, then polish it, then proofread it.... It'd take me at least a week for a short story, so I'd expect a novel to take a lot longer.

So I'd send the existing ms and explain what the changes are that I'm considering making; I'd probably note in the email that I'm planning changes and that they're explained at the end of the MS, so that the agent can choose to hear about those changes, or not, before reading the complete MS.
 

Jazz Club

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So, please just be gentle with the question I'm about to ask, and work under the assumption that while you may shake your head at my writing, I genuinely was proud of it and felt good about my work until I posted it to AW.
Aw I know what you mean. Criticism can be tough.

I assume you also sent the first 50 pages, and the agent has asked for the full MS based on that? So maybe they like your current style OK? At the same time I'm sure you could improve it, but you have to ask yourself how long that'll take. Would you be happier rewriting and then sending to betas etc again before you send the full to the agent? That would take a while, and I'm not too sure how quickly agents expect you to send it. Other more experienced people can tell you that.
Do I sent the original one? Which I loved and was really proud of...
or do i wait and send the revised one, making changes based off the criticisms from here?
Or do I send the original and let the agent know that I had some changes I was considering making?

Really not sure how to proceed from here...
Oof I'm really not too sure. Way beyond my pay grade. But congrats for getting the request!
 

CWNitz

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I honestly don't know, but congratulations on the request!
 

Brigid Barry

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An agent requested my full manuscript based off a query I sent last month using literal word for word suggestions given to me by AW. So, that's amazing! And I'm glad there's such an awesome forum for us writerly folks to get feedback and help.

But now i want to revise the story yet again....
I queried my manuscript after many drafts, dozens of readers, beta readers, posting it on reddit etc. I was very proud of my work and I believed it was a polished manuscript. I watched so many youtube videos and read so many articles about writing, querying, and knowing if your work is done and I felt confident in mine. I didn't have reason to think otherwise until I posted it on AW. The feedback I got was useful and I appreciate everyone's time to give it.

So, please just be gentle with the question I'm about to ask, and work under the assumption that while you may shake your head at my writing, I genuinely was proud of it and felt good about my work until I posted it to AW.

Since posting it on here, I want to revise the story again. But now this agent has requested the full manuscript.
Do I sent the original one? Which I loved and was really proud of...
or do i wait and send the revised one, making changes based off the criticisms from here?
Or do I send the original and let the agent know that I had some changes I was considering making?

Really not sure how to proceed from here...
Your work is good, I'm sorry that posting it here made you feel less good about it. I'm doubly sorry if what I said contributed to you doubting yourself.

Imho - and I have to admit that my full requests were like, 10 years ago - if you submitted opening pages with your query and got a full request, don't touch it.

If you haven't already made said revisions and polished them until they shine, send the current version because you can send it quickly.

I don't have any current industry experience, so I could be wrong.
 
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ruthlesswhims

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If it were me, I'd take the bird in the hand and send it.

While the changes may feel big in your mind, they are probably less significant to someone coming in from outside (I assume you're not talking about major structural changes). From my understanding, if the agent responds to it they'll almost certainly want changes anyway and you can incorporate your new ideas then. Changes always feel bigger to me than my readers :)
 

Janine R

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If it were me, I would send it as is. The agent’s interest is based on your current manuscript. You never know if the agent will remain interested over the period it takes to revise it or even if the revised work will appeal to the agent as much as the current one.
There's a lot of wisdom in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
There's a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood...

Oh, and congratulations!
 
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VeryBigBeard

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Seeking publication too early is the easiest mistake to make and one of the hardest to undo.

Don't rush. Really. You get nothing in this business by rushing. Publishing moves glacially anyway.

The good news is this mistake is also very common and it's easy enough to get crossed-up between queries and revisions that it happens. You can withdraw a query by sending an email, maybe say you're making revisions. It's not a big deal, probably won't hurt you long-term. As others have said, though, you have a full request now, you might not in the future, so why not send what you have and see what happens? It shows you have confidence in your work, even if you secretly don't--faking that is a professional skill you will need. And who knows, the agent might really like it and offer an R&R or some guidance. Just don't expect that.

In future, this is why you only query (or self-publish to Kindle et. al) when you're 100% sure the MS is ready. That's not really about your state of mind or what a video tells you, it's about your sense of the book's craft as it's writer. If you have nagging doubts or haven't received heartbreaking critique yet, you're probably not ready, which is fine. Take another pass. Wait a bit. Write another book. When you get to a point where you don't think you can improve the current MS any further, you put it in a drawer and either query or leave it there.

Just remember: publishing is a business. It is not going to be gentle.

Addendum: Congratulations, too, on the full. You can usually give those about 2-3 business days before you need to respond one way or the other. A week, tops. Don't ghost them. Just be polite and honest one way or the other. Agents have seen it before.
 

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I’m torn. You want to send your best work & if your novel’s not there, you don’t want to waste the opportunity by sending it.

However, telling an agent that you’ve decided to revise it might give them the impression that you queried before it was done. It’d be different if you could say you were revising off feedback from another agent.

I might be inclined to send it with a note that you’ve decided to make revisions based on feedback you’ve received, and that you could send the revised version if the agent preferred, but if not, the original is attached. It gives them the opportunity to read as soon as they’re ready if they really want the original, gives them a chance to tell you if they want the revised version instead, shows you’re accepting of feedback, & gives them the chance to ask about the revisions later if they decide it’s close but not there yet.
 

Nether

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Or do I send the original and let the agent know that I had some changes I was considering making?

Probably makes the most sense. Unless it's a fast revision, you shouldn't keep an agent waiting more than a few days (and the less time the better). The only issue with #3 is that it could give the impression of not being finished
 
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Fiender

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Yeah, to echo some of the comments here, I've heard agents getting very turned off at hearing that the book "wasn't actually ready" when you queried them. You can say you revised based on another agent's feedback, or because this professional said such-and-such, but some agents will only hear "this wasn't ready" or "this would be a client that doesn't know how to put a project down."

I'd say, send the version this agent requested, and if they want to set up a phone call to discuss the book (and possibly offer representation), that is your chance to ask 1) what changes they might want you to make and 2) that you have received feedback and were considering further revisions.
 
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hjrey

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Writing is so subjective. While of course you need feedback, you do still have to trust your own feelings on your work. If you were proud enough to send your work out there and it led to getting a request for full, then don't doubt yourself!

The only possible way I would think you need to go back in and revise, rather than sending to the agent, is if the changes people have suggested feel like necessary changes to YOU. If you are excited to make those changes because you know it will improve the story, then that's a good sign you should revise it. If it doesn't excite you and you struggle to see how to fit those changes into your story then don't do it.

Stories go through so many changes. We edit ourselves, then get beta feedback and edit again, then query to agents who no doubt will have their suggestions to make, as will publishers and editors... And even then, you'll still see readers both loving and hating a book that's gone through all those many, many changes to be in its print stage. Trust yourself on your book because you're never going to please everyone with it but you do need to be proud of it yourself.