Author Topic: Revise & Resubmit Questions  (Read 336 times)

Offline MKWrites_318

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Revise & Resubmit Questions
« on: June 08, 2021, 07:08:35 PM »
I've gotten my first R&R request! I'm excited because obviously there's something worth digging into with my MS, in this agent's eyes, and she was very complimentary of my voice which has gone straight to me head. :emb2: But I'm not sure that I want to implement all of the suggestions. :huh: There are a couple that I do think I need to address. On the others, I don't think she's wrong, but I do feel (hope?) that it's just a matter of taste, and I'm just very on the fence. I need to do some soul-searching and re-reading and see how I feel. But I need to reply to her in a timely fashion so...

1. How do I reply to her without shutting down her suggestions but also without implying that I'm definitely going to apply them?

I'm thinking:

Dear Agent,

I appreciate so much that you took the time to give me thorough feedback on my manuscript TITLE. You've raised some good points, and I'll be taking another look at my work to see how best to implement your advice.

If/when the complete revisions you've requested are finished, I will absolutely be resubmitting my manuscript!

All the best,
Me

(I think "if/when" might be too informal, but my maniac of a brain can't figure out how to rephrase it right now.)

2. How long should I take to make those revisions if I choose to?

I've seen 1-5 months. Definitely not 1 week or less, unless the revisions are very minor. They're medium sized revisions. I don't have to do a whole plot overhaul, but I will have to go through with a fine tooth comb and reassess multiple conversations and bits of narration. I don't want to wait too long to decide that I want to enact her suggestions and then not have enough time to finish them before some invisible timer dings, you know?

Any advice?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 09:25:43 AM by MKWrites_318 »

Online Tabris

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Re: Revise & Resubmit Questions
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 08:19:46 AM »
I like your reply. That's fine.

Also,I don't think they're expecting you to accept all their suggestions. As with most editorial changes, the problems they identified may not necessarily pair best with the solutions they suggested. As long as you address the problem, it should be okay. eg, for one R&R, the agent told me to remove two characters entirely, but instead what I did was remove one, then give some of that character's actions to the other, and then overall downgrade the other one's presence. This put the focus where it needed to be but retained the role we needed retained. The agent didn't have an issue with that.

Here's why: sometimes when you fix one problem, the other problem fixes itself. eg, if the agent said, "You have too many POV characters, so please remove six of them and focus on the three key players," then the agent's other advice (pulling this out of a hat....to speed up the plot flow) might become redundant because removing the other POVs has the side effect of downgrading those characters' subplots. Or if the agent tells you to remove passive voice AND reduce your word count, well, the easiest way to reduce word count is to make everything active.

How long it will take will vary from manuscript to manuscript. Some R&Rs might well be done in a week or two if you're writing full time at home and are currently between projects. There is no invisible timer, but I think an agent would expect you to get the changes done within three to six months.

Consider this: if the agent gets you a three-book deal with a six figure advance, and the publishing house comes back to you with edits of a similar scope, that agent is going to darn well expect you to get those edits done on the publisher's timeline--and it may be rather a short timeline. So in part, an R&R is a test of the writer's flexibility and ability to improve, but also it's a test of how professional you are. Authors who write back with, "Of course I need 12 POV characters, you moron!" have automatically failed the test, but so do authors who say, "I'll fix this" and then...never get it fixed. Or do the edits over the course of ten years. Just because the market likes your particular genre/trope now doesn't mean it will still be friendly to that genre in eighteen months, after all, so it's to your benefit to implement the changes thoroughly...and in a timely fashion.

Good luck, and I hope any of this helps!

Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: Revise & Resubmit Questions
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 09:37:10 AM »
As usual, Tabris, you're a big help!

3-6 months is reasonable and totally doable. That's a relief. And it makes sense that R&Rs would be a bit of a litmus test for how well an author can work with a deadline too.

Thank you for taking the time to explain and for helping me out!

Offline richardclin

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Re: Revise & Resubmit Questions
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2021, 10:40:21 AM »
Dear MKWrites,


I agree with all your assumptions and those of Tabris. I have conducted four R&Rs for four different agents and just received suggestions for a fifth (from one of the prior four). Each time I've resubmitted within 3-6 weeks, although one agent specifically mentioned she thought her R&R suggestions would likely take me months, not weeks, to complete.


With one R&R, I ended up regretting resubmitting too quickly as it was quickly rejected as not being sufficiently revised. Later I did another R&R that addressed this issue further and greatly enhanced my MS. If I had waited to submit this more complete R&R, I might have moved further along with this particular agent.


So my only thought is to really make sure you have thoroughly implemented those R&R suggestions that you would like to incorporate before resubmitting the revised pages.


All this being said, I often find one agent's suggestions to be contravening those of another. And oftentimes their recommendations are not always that clear or detailed. So, to be candid, I've not found it easy in terms of knowing how to achieve what the agent is suggesting. Moreover, I find myself avoiding asking the agents for more details as they often seem to be too busy to provide much beyond their original assessment.


Sincerely,


RCL


Sincerely,
RCL




Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: Revise & Resubmit Questions
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2021, 01:51:12 PM »
Thank you! I appreciate you sharing all this with me!

Quote
So my only thought is to really make sure you have thoroughly implemented those R&R suggestions that you would like to incorporate before resubmitting the revised pages.

This is good advice. Your experience of not making enough changes as far as the agent was concerned is what I expect would happen in my case. I feel like this agent and I just diverge in our tastes in a couple areas. I'm still grateful for her feedback though. She showed me a few weak points, and that's always helpful. So while I'm going to take on most of what she suggested, I'm fairly certain that I'm not going to change enough in the MS to satisfy her wants and justify resubmitting. Which is a shame, because I like her. But I don't want to waste her time.

Thank you again!