Thursday, November 13, 2014

To Revise Or Not To Revise, That Is The Questions

After I pass on a project, there are a lot of times when I get an email back from the writer asking if they could revise the project and send it in again. This is a great question to ask and I certainly do encourage writers to ask that question of the editors and agents. But, with that said, there are some things to consider before doing this.

Authors have to remember, first and foremost, that the rejection they just received is just one person's thoughts and comments. The rejection might simply be a situation of a story not fitting with the right person. It might not be about the story or the writing at all. For this reason, dedicating the amount of time necessary to revise and edit that project on the gamble of that one single person might not be worth the effort.

As a connection to this, authors should be taking the time to see if there are patterns to the comments they get back from the editors and agents. If there are indeed several who have said the same thing, then we can take that "subjective" reason off of the table and maybe it is time to go back and make those revisions.

There might be a better approach, however. Instead of taking the time to go back and try to "fix" the project, learn from those comments and build something new for that editor or agent. Show that person you can take revision notes and grow from the knowledge that person passed on to you. I would also add that if you do take this approach, I would actually include in the query letter some of the comments that person said on the prior project AND THEN, highlight how you made those changes with this new manuscript. Don't just say you did, show it.

Here at Greyhaus, I do not look at revisions. I like to see new projects from authors and should one of the newer stories work, we can always go back and see if we can do something with that first rejected story.

Still, it is always good to ask. Just consider ahead of time, is it worth the time for this one chance?

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