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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: swanndown on May 16, 2011, 09:34:34 PM

Title: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: swanndown on May 16, 2011, 09:34:34 PM
Hi folks,

Do RRRs tend to come out of an agent's sense that the story would benefit from specific structural changes, or more from an agent's general sense that the story has potential, but is not yet fully realized?  Anyone care to share experiences about what sorts of things were asked for in an R and R that you received? I'm curious about the process.  Thanks for any light you care to shed!
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: Kimmy on May 17, 2011, 05:30:39 AM
Hey, interestingly enough I got a R&R in December for a novel I was considering putting away for a while. So I revised the entire thing with my two wonderful betas and sent it in, and she said thanks but its still not what we want. She never gave specifics, she just said "I saw on query tracker that you are revising and wondered if you want to send it back in"...
Good luck to you! It always a good thing because it means they see something worthy in your writing! But it doesnt always mean an offer  :'(
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: Sandbox on May 17, 2011, 07:24:14 AM
I've had 2 R & R over the course of my querying. The first involved a phone call where the agent was very excited by the writing and concept but had issues with the way I'd structured it. I agreed with most of it and went about completing a revision (which I now see was in haste--but it didn't seem hasty then, of course) And that agent never got back to me after the resubmit. Lesson learned. What lesson? 1. too fast. 2. You can't count on these people no matter how much love they seem to throw you. 3. You are always on your own.

I then continued to query with what I felt was a better book-- but still kept on getting rejections. Lots of requests and lots of rejections, mostly personal but nothing that really SAID anything I could put in my pipe and smoke. UNTIL I received a golden rejection from an agent who had been an editor. She spent a page telling me, showing me, exactly where I'd gone wrong and it made perfect sense to me. It had to do with narrative drive. And when I read what she had to say, it made all of the other rejections fall into place and I could see that they were all saying different things, but it all came down to the same thing.

So that is what I am working on now. I've pulled out of querying. I've even turned down subsequent requests, explaining I am revising.

As always, this is a learning process. You do what you need to do, what you have to do when you have to do it, and then you reevaluate. You move on.

I feel grateful to have a renewed sense of what I need to do. But I'm scared, also. This is some really hard sh**--writing a novel. I am continuously amazed at how hard it is, how close I get, and still how hard it is to get it right.

SB
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: swanndown on May 17, 2011, 08:07:44 AM
@sandbox:  Thank you for painting that picture.  It sounds like you have experienced a huge break-through in terms of your understanding of what you need to do now.  I love that you turned down requests, in order to do justice to your story.  Wish I had more to give you than a little electronic Karma!

@Kimmy:  What an interesting story in terms of how that RRR developed. 
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: Duff on May 17, 2011, 09:04:58 AM
Sandbox, that advice sounds like it was golden. Can you imagine, if all rejections from submissions were so helpful? The work would still be as hard, but maybe a bit more heartening.
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: JeanneG on May 17, 2011, 09:48:12 AM
Sandbox,

I love your attitude. Yay for having the courage and strength to stop querying so you can revise your book the way you believe it needs to be done. Karma to you.  :up:

I've recently made a similar decision. My new wip has earned me a prestigious residency and scholarship, and I know in my heart that I need to put all of my attention into the writing of this book. Since my querying efforts for the first novel have resulted mostly in dead ends, I've decided to stop querying that work right now and concentrate entirely on writing the new work. My goal is to have a good first draft completed by the end of summer.

And, as hubby and I were talking about this decision, something wonderful happened. I suddenly realized how I needed to revise the first book.

So...no more querying for me for now. Summer is writing time--and fall may be rewriting and editing time. When I'm finished, I will have two good books ready to query. Now, that's exciting!  ;D

JeanneG
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: swanndown on May 17, 2011, 09:54:33 AM
That's great JeaneG. What a delicious experience you're about to have!!
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: JeanneG on May 17, 2011, 10:01:09 AM
Okay, I'm notoriously weak when it comes to querying or not querying. An addiction, you know.  :wink: So, if you get even a wisp of a hint that I'm about to query anything before August, you have permission to slap my typing fingers away from the keyboard!  ;D

I gave hubby permission, too.  ;D (Step away from the keyboard. Do. Not. Type: "Query" in your email. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds...)

JeanneG
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: swanndown on May 17, 2011, 10:05:11 AM
Snicker, snicker. We'll be watching you!  If I can find my glasses......
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: dzolidis on May 17, 2011, 04:52:27 PM
I think another factor is that agents want to see how easy you are to work with. They might just be feeling you out.

Remember it works both ways as well: if your prospective agents gives you lots of notes that you disagree with, then it's likely that the two of you aren't going to see eye to eye on a lot of things.
Title: Re: a question about revise and re-submit requests
Post by: Sandbox on May 17, 2011, 04:55:47 PM
Sandbox,

I love your attitude. Yay for having the courage and strength to stop querying so you can revise your book the way you believe it needs to be done. Karma to you.  :up:

I've recently made a similar decision. My new wip has earned me a prestigious residency and scholarship, and I know in my heart that I need to put all of my attention into the writing of this book. Since my querying efforts for the first novel have resulted mostly in dead ends, I've decided to stop querying that work right now and concentrate entirely on writing the new work. My goal is to have a good first draft completed by the end of summer.

And, as hubby and I were talking about this decision, something wonderful happened. I suddenly realized how I needed to revise the first book.

So...no more querying for me for now. Summer is writing time--and fall may be rewriting and editing time. When I'm finished, I will have two good books ready to query. Now, that's exciting!  ;D



JeanneG

Thanks, Jeanne! Hopefully, both of us will have the willpower to take our time.

SB