Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Question from a Writer - Asking for Revisions

This is a follow up from yesterday. Anon asked...

My question is, do you ever ask for revisions and resubmission, or are you more inclined to just pass and look for the diamond a little less in the rough?

This is always a tough question. I honestly have to say that in a perfect world, I would be able to provide revision ideas for every writer and then have the writer re-submit. That is what an agent would normally do with a current writer when he or she turns something in that needs the work. The problem, however, stems from that nasty little 4 letter word - TIME. There simply isn't enough time in the day to deal with reading a project several times over until the agent has a committed interest in that author.

With that said, I have given revision notes to some authors and have asked to see a project after the work is done. In these situations, the writing really had that special something that was able to draw me in. In some cases, the writing was unique enough to fit into a niche that I knew was out there. Very rarely, though, do authors follow through on this one.

One author told me that was a lot of time to invest in an agent and a project that could still reject your writing. Along the same lines, the author noted a comment that I had made in the past about how one agent might hate it but another like it (and the same goes for editors). This is all true. Remember though, the time commitment is the same on our end as well.

If I don't get back to all of you later this week. I want to wish you all the happiest Thanksgiving. Remember though, this does not mean you stop writing. This also goes for:

Leslie who should be plowing through that National Book In a Month Program!
Susan who is writing an amazing story
Ann and Bronwyn who have serious deadlines to catch up with
Ryshia who has a few rough edges to work through.
Kate (and myself) who have some reading to do over the break.
Julie who has a conspiracy to dig up.
Lois who is likley looking up Medieval meals to go with that great story.
and Mary who has some great writing but needs a good day to be Thankful for all she has.


1 comment:

  1. Scott, thank you for the response.

    I'm sure most writers understand that the critical issue for all concerned is TIME but it seems logical (to me anyway) that the aspiring author's time is less precious than an agent's.

    I don't mean to be disparaging against aspiring authors since I am one but that's just the way it is. It really surprised me when you said "Very rarely, though, do authors follow through on this one" regarding suggested revisions.

    Usually on blogs and forums you see so many writers begging for critiques and wondering why agents don't always offer them!

    I don't know the details, perhaps the suggested revisions were outlandish (lol) but I hope the authors who refused your suggestions appreciated your attention and didn't go on to regret not taking you up on them.