Author Topic: Re-writes??  (Read 11325 times)

Offline Abbey

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Re-writes??
« on: December 03, 2007, 05:17:32 PM »
Newbie, here, seeking advice!  (I hope I'm posting in the right place - and that I'm not being redundant - I didn't see any recent threads on this topic).

I've been lurking for a bit and really like the tight-knit community here.  You all seem very informed and savvy to this crazy agent/publishing world. 

With that said, I have a question about doing revisions for agents who have NOT yet offered representation...

Here's the situation I'm in - I submitted 50 pages of my novel to an agent last June, and she asked to see the entire manuscript (exclusively). I sent it to her and 5 months later she sent back the entire manuscript with only a handwritten note suggesting a change for the first chapter (and adding "May resubmit"). I thought about it, agreed with her suggestion, worked hard on revising the opening, and sent it right back to her.

Today, not even six days after I'd sent it, I received the entire manuscript in the mail again. Inside was a brief letter - no comment at all regarding the revisions I'd made, but she'd added advice regarding Chapter 2 (it's pretty clear to me this agent hasn't read the entire manuscript, btw). At the end, again, "May resubmit."

Honestly, from the pattern I see being formed here, I'm starting to wonder if I'll end up just sending the entire manuscript and this agent will continue to read one chapter at a time, sending the whole thing back, suggesting changes. It's already cost me about $60 to send it twice (with SASE boxes), so it doesn't seem like a very good deal, on my end.

Curious to know what people think....is this a normal way to do re-writes for an agent who has not offered (or given a strong indication of ever offering) representation? I wish she would've just kept the whole manuscript and emailed me to see if I'd think about making changes. Sure would've saved me some money...

Thanks in advance for any opinions you can offer...
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline audal

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 05:26:39 PM »
Hey Abbey... and welcome to QT.

(Hey everyone - did you see that - she thinks we're informed and savvy!  Who knew?!  ;D)

Just kidding, Abbey.  We try.

I can see how your patience & diligence may be wearing thin with your current situation.  I think you're probably going to have to make a gut decision.  Weigh out the following - Do you want this agent because of the agent's track record, or do you want this agent just because you want representation period?

It's not abnormal for an agent to request a rewrite, but for one to do it time and again one chapter at a time does make one wonder if the agent will ever be satisfied.

Then again, I don't know exactly who the agent in question is... You don't have to share if you don't want to, but perhaps I'd consider another draft if he/she were at one of the elite agencies.  Then again, how long do you want this drawn out - especially since not even a hint of representation has been offered.
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Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2007, 05:40:55 PM »

Weigh out the following - Do you want this agent because of the agent's track record, or do you want this agent just because you want representation period?

It's not abnormal for an agent to request a rewrite, but for one to do it time and again one chapter at a time does make one wonder if the agent will ever be satisfied.

Then again, I don't know exactly who the agent in question is... You don't have to share if you don't want to, but perhaps I'd consider another draft if he/she were at one of the elite agencies.  Then again, how long do you want this drawn out - especially since not even a hint of representation has been offered.

Thanks for the welcome!!  You pose some insightful questions, indeed.  I'd say, in this case, it's probably more a matter of me wanting ANY representation, rather than this particular agent.  I don't mind sharing the agency with you - it's the Seymour Agency (has anyone had any dealings with her?  I'd be very curious to know...).  She's a very small agency that in the past has dealt with romance and/or Christian non-fiction, I believe.  She's been very nice in her correspondence, but I'm just not sure about the way these re-writes are being done (with respect to me having to send the entire mansucript back and forth to her for a few-page revision that could've been easily done by email). 

Honestly, I think I'd be more encouraged if she'd read the entire manuscript, indicated that she had some faith in it, and then asked for certain re-writes.  At this point, it does seem she's only reading chapter-by-chapter and stops whenever she sees a chance for a re-write.  I just didn't know if this was common or not... :huh:

You're right - ultimately, I'll have to go with my gut on this...

Thanks for your input!!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 06:01:19 PM by Abbey »
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline audal

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 06:07:29 PM »
Abbey (ooh - just realized we've gotta be careful here 'cause we already have an "Abi!")...

For what it's worth, there are a couple comments in the following discussion that may help make up your mind.  Or they may help confuse you even further.  But it's worth a look, as it seems you are not alone:

Go here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28520
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Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007, 06:14:59 PM »
Abbey (ooh - just realized we've gotta be careful here 'cause we already have an "Abi!")...

For what it's worth, there are a couple comments in the following discussion that may help make up your mind.  Or they may help confuse you even further.  But it's worth a look, as it seems you are not alone:

Go here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28520

LOL - I'm actually "ChelseaWriter" on that thread (and a newbie on that board, as well).  I probably should've mentioned that.  I had chosen "Abbey" as a name over here because I had seen another "Chelsea."  Oops!   :emb:
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 06:17:08 PM by Abbey »
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 06:20:48 PM »
It sounds to me as if you are being jerked around by that agent. Perhaps not intentionally, but so what? It's still your money and your time being wasted.

I can tell you from my own recent experience that settling for "ANY" representation is not advisable in the long run. Although the agent I had was a very decent fellow, he simply didn't have the necessary Right Stuff to be an effective advocate for my novel. Do you really think Ms. Seymour is the very best you can get? I'll bet not. In which case, start querying like mad.


Hi Lannie!  Thanks for the warm welcome! 

It's funny - I used the same wording just this afternoon, as I told a friend, "I wonder if I'm being jerked around..." (as you said, intentionally or not - from all indications, I really don't think it's on purpose on Ms. Seymour's part, but still...). 

I do already have another agent requesting some pages from that same manuscript, so I think I'll turn my attentions elsewhere for awhile...
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline audal

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007, 06:22:02 PM »
 :lol: :lol: :lol:

Equally as funny - I actually wondered if you were CW!

A little personal opinion sidebar... I actually did some homework on the agency because it was inexplicably based in the tiny upstate NY town where I went to college.  Something just seemed a bit "off" (perhaps the prayer cards?)... And ultimately I just decided to try other agencies first.  Lots and lots of other agencies.

And then a few more after those.

Ms. Seymour is legit from all I've read, but her methods are just different than the norm.
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Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2007, 06:33:07 PM »
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Equally as funny - I actually wondered if you were CW!

A little personal opinion sidebar... I actually did some homework on the agency because it was inexplicably based in the tiny upstate NY town where I went to college.  Something just seemed a bit "off" (perhaps the prayer cards?)... And ultimately I just decided to try other agencies first.  Lots and lots of other agencies.

And then a few more after those.

Ms. Seymour is legit from all I've read, but her methods are just different than the norm.

LOL!!  Too funny, that you thought I was CW!  Spot on!

Yep, I know what you mean about something feeling "off."  Like you, I think she's legit, and she does have books sold.  But, as you said, she has "unusual" methods.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  lol
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline audal

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2007, 06:42:07 PM »
SUNY or St. Lawrence?  ???

St. Lawrence.

It was a great choice, I think.

Abbey - it was your "new" AW status that made me wonder... Thought, "Wow, two people at virtually the same time having the same experience with an obscure agency..."

Yup, real savvy, we are 'round here  :draw:
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Offline joanjunkmail

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 06:44:23 PM »
nah, there's savvy 'round these parts, 'tis true... and more than a little gullibility.

say, where's chelc?  *snort*
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Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 06:50:30 PM »
Yup, real savvy, we are 'round here  :draw:

 :lol:
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 06:52:54 PM by Abbey »
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 08:51:10 PM »
I'm going to hijack this thread now with my own question (Sorry Abbey!):

:hijack: :hijack: :hijack: :hijack: :hijack:

What is the protocol for requerying an agent with a completely rewritten MS once they've rejected a partial or full? Just don't do it?
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Offline justwrite

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2007, 09:42:12 PM »
Hi Senshi! No...unless they asked you to re-submit.

Abbey...my suggestion is to tell her you'd be happy to revise, but only by email and you'd like to know if there is any chance of representation. Otherwise, forget it.

Offline Abbey

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 10:14:30 PM »
Abbey...my suggestion is to tell her you'd be happy to revise, but only by email and you'd like to know if there is any chance of representation. Otherwise, forget it.

That's an excellent suggestion!  It's "to the point," but still leaves an open door...

There's another agent who just requested 10 chaps (tonight!) by email, so I think I'll wait and see what happens there and then possibly re-visit Seymour...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 10:16:13 PM by Abbey »
The unexamined life is not worth living. --Socrates

Offline justwrite

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Re: Re-writes??
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2007, 10:56:09 PM »
Ten chapters? Cool! That whole thing with the agent sending the ms back to you was odd. Didn't they have to pay for that? Very strange! Maybe they just wanted an old-fashioned pen-pal.  :)