Author Topic: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off  (Read 8286 times)

Offline AlythiaB

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When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« on: November 07, 2015, 09:29:51 PM »
So I was thinking about you guys while I went through edits from my agent today. She noted how much she loved the magical touches throughout the ms. It's something I love about this story as well, but when I was still querying, I was worried that I had it all wrong.

One agent had told me the whole thing wasn't heavy enough--it was too bright and cartoony, almost. The work had only received multiple form letters at this point, and this was the only feedback I'd received. Now, he said it super nice, and even offered to review it again if I revised. But I happened to love the colorful-ness of the world. His advice didn't give me an 'aha!' feeling. It gave me a 'meh' feeling. So I thanked him, but never resubmitted.

I guess my point is, I'm so glad I didn't sacrifice the things I loved about my work in order to land an agent when I felt I was running out of options. And I hope you never do either. You may hear only crickets or form rejections from most people, but that doesn't mean you have to take the rare advice you may gain if it doesn't feel right. If you are keeping it because you believe in it (not just because you don't know how to fix it), you're going to find someone who loves it, too.
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Offline bswb97

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 11:27:02 PM »
This is fantastic advice for those of you in the trenches. Just because you get R&R feedback doesn't mean that you have to do it. I wouldn't say to dismiss everything that doesn't sit right, but definitely give it a few days to really consider if it fits your vision. If it feels really wrong, then that agent doesn't share your vision of your book, and that could mean that you're slightly conflicted across your career.

Offline Pandean

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 11:37:38 PM »
 :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good post and important to remember.
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Offline Curious Author

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 07:43:23 AM »
You are so right! I had an agent tell me to get rid of Character 1's side of the dual narrative and only keep Character 2. I did not take the R&R, made Character 2 stronger, and found an agent who loved both characters. Now, editors are reading, and Character 2 is a favorite!

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2015, 09:09:23 PM »
This is fantastic advice for those of you in the trenches. Just because you get R&R feedback doesn't mean that you have to do it. I wouldn't say to dismiss everything that doesn't sit right, but definitely give it a few days to really consider if it fits your vision. If it feels really wrong, then that agent doesn't share your vision of your book, and that could mean that you're slightly conflicted across your career.


Yes, totally sit with it! Because sometimes an R&R might make you flinch, and the 'aha!' may not come for a few days. Great point :)

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Good post and important to remember.

:)

You are so right! I had an agent tell me to get rid of Character 1's side of the dual narrative and only keep Character 2. I did not take the R&R, made Character 2 stronger, and found an agent who loved both characters. Now, editors are reading, and Character 2 is a favorite!

Ah!! That's so awesome!! I love stories like that :) Just goes to show that some things are worth fighting for!
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Offline awarwick

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 09:27:48 PM »
This is great to remember! I'm doing an R&R right now, but all of the agents comments were spot on. Even if she doesn't end up liking them, I know I'll have a stronger MS in the end to give other agents who request it :)

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2015, 11:44:29 PM »
This is great to remember! I'm doing an R&R right now, but all of the agents comments were spot on. Even if she doesn't end up liking them, I know I'll have a stronger MS in the end to give other agents who request it :)

I love that feeling! I actually went with my agent because she had more edit suggestions than the other offering agent, but her ideas were brilliant and I knew they wouldn't compromise my vision. That's so awesome that you're doing an R&R! Be bold and dig in!
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Offline Pandean

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 05:31:44 PM »
This is great to remember! I'm doing an R&R right now, but all of the agents comments were spot on. Even if she doesn't end up liking them, I know I'll have a stronger MS in the end to give other agents who request it :)

Wow! I didn't know your querying was going so well. :)
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Offline awarwick

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 08:56:06 AM »
This is great to remember! I'm doing an R&R right now, but all of the agents comments were spot on. Even if she doesn't end up liking them, I know I'll have a stronger MS in the end to give other agents who request it :)

Wow! I didn't know your querying was going so well. :)

It's going very well!  :) Though I'm putting a hold on it until I finish revisions.

Offline otherside

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 01:43:28 PM »
Amen, AlythiaB! Way to follow your gut. We all need to remember this!
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YA Contemporary; 85k; shelved forever
YA Contemporary; 75k; querying again after breaking up with my agent...

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 03:02:46 PM »
Amen, AlythiaB! Way to follow your gut. We all need to remember this!

:)
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Offline KimE

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2015, 10:31:50 AM »
Agree 100%. One of my rejections was on a partial (from an intern... insert deep sigh here) and she said that I should cut out a particular "peripheral" character... who just happens to be the common thread connecting several major players and ties into the entire way the third act comes together... so I ignored it. That character is one that my now agent adores (she is also a comic relief character). And the intern's closing comment was "That's just one opinion. We've been wrong before." (All it needed was an emoji--)

I do hope to prove the she is very correct about bring wrong. You have to go with your gut sometimes.
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2015, 02:01:44 PM »
Agree 100%. One of my rejections was on a partial (from an intern... insert deep sigh here) and she said that I should cut out a particular "peripheral" character... who just happens to be the common thread connecting several major players and ties into the entire way the third act comes together... so I ignored it. That character is one that my now agent adores (she is also a comic relief character). And the intern's closing comment was "That's just one opinion. We've been wrong before." (All it needed was an emoji--)

I do hope to prove the she is very correct about bring wrong. You have to go with your gut sometimes.

Totally! I like that the intern threw in that opinion disclaimer, though! And I think if both you and your agent love that character (who sounds like an important component of your plot), then you're probably on the right path. Now it will just be a matter of finding the editor who loves it, too! Or have you already sold?
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Offline KimE

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2015, 02:33:40 PM »
I'm on submission... but it's only been a few months so I try not to obsess too much :wink:
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Offline quiarahb

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Re: When NOT Taking Advice Pays Off
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2015, 12:53:57 PM »
Great advice to take in. As we start sending in our work, it's good to learn what advice is helpful to our MSS and what advice is not helpful. Thanks for this, AlythiaB!