Not so perfect irony…

I’d been planning to blog about the fact that I’m always hearing (on loops, blogs, and in RWA meetings) about writers who submit to agents and then get critiques or suggestions on how to improve their work. I’d been planning to query the readers of this blog for the situations that had spurred such feedback, but with everything else going on (I swear, this time of year is as busy as Christmas), I haven’t really been blogging at all. And in the interim–you guessed it–I got some feedback of my own.

Basically it was suggested that I tighten things up. Having only read the first five chapters, the agent postulated that I could cut 40-50 pages of filler and have a tighter, stronger manuscript. Then she offered, if I took her advice and revised, to look again. As usual with me, I’m a little torn. I could probably tighten. No, I’m pretty sure I could definitely tighten. But I’m not sure I could tighten 40-50 pages worth. And I know that’s just a guess–an estimate–but in a 300 page book, it seems like an awful lot. Not to mention a considerable amount of effort.

Even so, I’m taking this response as somewhat good news. She likes the story, and I assume is reasonably satisfied with my writing, she just wants less of it. But it wasn’t a rejection.

Any words of wisdom?

Posted in Uncategorized on 05/24/2008 11:56 pm


  1. I’d say to take that as good, promising news and get to revising girl! :)

  2. Well….I’m assuming this is an agent you’re interested in. Or you wouldn’t have submitted to her/him. So…if that’s the case…I’d try revising. At least give it a shot. You might be surprised with how the ms shapes up.

    I ended up cutting about 10,000 words based on the advice of an agent. After that, she sold the book in about a month.

  3. This is great news! If an agent likes your work enough to ask you to revise and resend it to her/him and like barrie said, you are interested in working with this agent then I say work on the revisions and send it back.

    You can always save the new revisied manuscript under a different date so as not to lose your cut words. And if you decide it’s too much cutting you’ll still have said words to put back in.

    I’m excited for you!! It’s always a great thing to have an agent interested in your story.

  4. Travis Erwin

    I agree with the others. You should sit down and at least take a serious look at tightening. Sure it is tough and time consuming, but you’ve gotten a foot in the door, now kick that sucker down.

  5. I’m with Barrie on this one…. but only if you agree with what the agent has to say. You have to be comfortable with what you’re being asked. Congrats btw on getting this far with the agent!!!

  6. Melissa Walker

    I’m just here to second and third everyone else. This is exciting!

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