Author Topic: Unusual Move  (Read 2648 times)

Offline kynelleharris

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Unusual Move
« on: July 27, 2012, 02:00:05 PM »
An agent had my full for over six months. Meanwhile, I felt I grew as a writer and the ms. needed punching up here and there, so I emailed the agent and asked to withdraw it from consideration for the time being.

Anyone else do or consider such a move?

Once I see at least a few comments (and I'll bet I'll get a pile) I'll reply with an update.

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Offline WhiteGardenia

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 02:27:44 PM »
K.H.,

Geez, I've thought of doing the very same thing.  My full has been out with an agent (Agent-A) for four months with no response yet.  During that time, I've gotten feedback from two other agents on partial submissions and revised my ms. 

I considered sending another email to Agent-A with the updated version of the ms, just in case she has not started reading it yet.  I figured one of two things can happen:  she will scrap my original version and read the updated one, or she can assume my original ms was not-ready-for-prime-time and reject me all together. 

Of course at the time we send out a full ms, we think it's polished.  As time passes, we find things to change, things to improve. 

Okay, gross-out alert: 

I compare myself and my writing to a little kid with a scab...I just can't stop picking at it! 


I think, even by the grace of God, IF I get published, I will still want to edit my story after it's in print.  Hah!

As far as "withdrawing" it goes, I'm not sure I would go that far.  First off, the agent will want to know why I am withdrawing it.  If I told him/her because I need to improve it, again, my ms may come off as "not ready" for submission when I first queried the agent six months ago.  Secondly, I might lose out on the opportunity with that particular agent (meaning, would the agent's interest in my project cool off, and would the door still be open for me to resubmit later?).  Seems like a risky move, so personally, I would wait until I have a revised version to 'swap out.'

Since you already contacted the agent and withdrew your ms, I'm curious to know how it plays out. 

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!



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Offline kynelleharris

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 08:28:18 PM »
I suppose I can reveal the spoiler.

The agent set up a website with a message board on which I contributed a lot, and did some tech support/advice on it.

The agent switched to a Facebook group, and I've been contributing there.

In short, the agent is well aware of who I am and what I do and what I can do.

I felt I also demonstrated growth as a writer.

I was therefore comfortable requesting my ms. be withdrawn from consideration temporarily. The agent approved. I resubmitted a shinier new copy a little over a week later, and the agent accepted that one.

I asked her if anyone had ever done such a thing before and she said I was the first.

I wonder how many others may have done this, but there may be no way to find out. Maybe a few others have.

Between the withdrawal and resubmission, I heard from one of her authors that he was a beta reader for three writers who were submitting to her, and he suggested they rewrite their partials/fulls before they officially submitted the first time.

I would think an agent would think you're brave to suggest such a thing and would allow you. I'd just not go too long to resubmit.

--K.H.
Hard to believe that five rows of keys can provoke choking bloodshed... or earth-wobbling ecstasy.

Offline Tabris

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 08:40:36 PM »
I emailed an agent with my full and explained that after a writing conference, I'd figured out how to revamp the whole book and was in the process of rewriting it from the ground up. I asked if she'd prefer I pull the ms from consideration for now, and she said yes, she'd prefer to see the revised version.

Then I got an offer of representation on a different manuscript, so I took that, and I never gave it back to the other agent. :-)  But yes, it does happen that writers get revision suggestions and pull their manuscripts from consideration. It only makes sense if you're going to make such drastic changes that the agent might end up offering on a manuscript that's totally different from what you end up creating after revisions.

Offline dscanon1

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 12:15:21 AM »
 I'm glad this turned out for you. It sounds like a good strategy; sometimes we have to take risks.  :clap: I didn't pull my manuscript, but I have something similar to this and hope I haven't screwed up. We'll see.

I have a full ms out to a good agent. She's had it a little less than four months. The ms recently won the suspense category in the Novel Rocket contest and the judges had some good suggestions to improve and polish the manuscript. I polished it up a bit, reduced the word count by about 200 words, and overall had a better product. So...I followed a link to agencygatekeeper blogspot and there was a post "Will you consider my revision." It gave really good advice on the right circumstances for resubmissions, a sample letter to accompany said resub, and some other good tips. Also, I confess, I wanted the agent to see that the ms had been vetted (to a certain degree)by the contest in hopes of nudging them along. I really hope I haven't nudged a no.  Cross your fingers for me...Thoughts?
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Offline koevoet

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 06:04:07 AM »
If there's anything I've learned in this business, it's that there are no absolutes and with each new agent all bets are off. I guess that's what makes this whole process so darn frustrating - there are no hard and fast rules. I know it isn't very helpful advice on whether to withdraw the R&R, but I think in the end you just have to go with your gut and do what you feel is right.

I agree completely with WhiteGardenia that it would probably be best to wait until the R&R is complete before withdrawing the first version if you decide that's the way you want to go. But when when is a ms ever "done"? That's the answer I'm looking for!  :shrug:
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 06:06:12 AM by koevoet »
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Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Unusual Move
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 09:00:51 AM »
i've never pulled a MS, but if i finish my R&Rs before i hear back from the other agents who have it, i plan on sending them an email asking if they want the revised one. I figure i'll be safe from a flat out rejection as long as i highlight that the revisions came about due to agent request/suggestion
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