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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: aishwarl on September 01, 2020, 08:39:12 PM

Title: R & R
Post by: aishwarl on September 01, 2020, 08:39:12 PM
I received a detailed rejection and an R&R; I see the point  (where agent/reader says story veers off and pulls away from the main plot); in my mind, the veering off furthers the growth of the central character, but I can see why agent/reader would feel so, if they are really invested in the first 2/3rd. of the novel and are wanting a linear continuation of the story.

The R&R would essentially involve redoing the last 2/3rd. of the novel. (The novel has undergone many revisions and I have played it several ways. I am just not sure anymore.)

My question is this: do R&R's have a good success rate (on re-submission)? Particularly for literary fiction?  So far on this forum, I seem to see R&R for genre fiction; rarely for literary fiction.

 Any thoughts? Stories that people might have to share?
Title: Re: R & R
Post by: Tabris on September 02, 2020, 06:29:52 AM
Sit with the potential changes for several days to a week before you make any decisions. This sounds huge, and it might or might not help the story.

A decent R&R would take a month to two months to do anyhow, so it's not as if the agent is expecting a new manuscript in her inbox right away anyhow. So I suggest you reply now with, "Thank you for such a detailed analysis of my story. I will consider the best way to implement the changes and whether it will have the effect you suggest. If I decide to go ahead with this, I will show it to you first. I probably won't be able to turn it around to you until November at the earliest." (Or whatever is true in your situation.)

Then figure out if those changes are going to work for you. COme up with a large-scale plan for whate would need to be done and all the knock-on changes that come from removing a side-story. Figure out how to work that character development into the mainline story OR figure out how to work the side quest into the main storyline right from the start. Duplicate the document so you're not working on the real version and just see what happens if you begin making the changes. You may find you like it. You may find you hate it.

I agree in theory that you shouldn't have "character-building scenes" and "plot-advancing scenes" if you can instead have one scene that advances both, but only you will be able to tell if that's true of your novel.

As for the success rate--I've never gotten an offer based on an R&R, but I've gotten a much-improved story, so that's something. ;-)
Title: Re: R & R
Post by: aishwarl on September 02, 2020, 11:14:57 AM
Thanks, Tabris.
All good advice. Language to the agent is very helpful.

(Sorry, I meant major revision on last 1/3rd of novel, not 2/3rd. Revision to 2/3rds would mean a new MS!)

I do value the agent's advice; anyone who has put thought into your MS and is willing to share is a good thing. They haven't really prescribed what I should do; simply pointed out the place where story veers off (and slows down), but it is meant to veer off (that was kind of the point). I see the agent's point that the last 3rd. might not be the place to bring in a wholly new (secondary) character and setting, but if I take it away the MS turns into a "campus novel."

I also get the feeling the pressure on a previously unpublished writer to have a fast paced plot is immense.

It's a hard call.

Title: Re: R & R
Post by: MegTravelz on September 04, 2020, 01:11:13 PM
Hi Aishwarl, I agree with Tabris on this. Definitely sit with the changes for a few days, and decide if you agree with them (sounds like you do). If so, make your plots and excel sheets and whatever else you need to re-organize the story.

I just got a detailed rejection with an invite for an R&R, should I chose to revise. The comments the agent had were spot on-- there are some issues with my story, and she nailed them haha. Whether or not she likes the revised manuscript, I feel truly confident that I will have a stronger book either way. So it's essentially a win-win! And, as Tabris said, if you make the changes and decide you actually hate it, you can go back to your original manuscript.