Thursday, March 10, 2011

Revisions Happen, Now Prove You Can Execute

If you are a fortunate, unpublished writer, you have received a revision letter from an editor or an agent. The question is, now what?

For the most part, editors and agents won't send out revision letters for new submissions. Doing that for every submission would really swamp all of us. When we look at a submission, we have to really see something that jumps out at us, has a great story, great characters and awesome writing.

Now, with that said, there are times when we stumble across a story and writer with something that isn't right, but for some reason, we can't put the story down. In those cases, we will often recommend revisions. I should stress, don't get your hopes up yet. You have far from sold the story to the editor or agent. At some level, you have to simply see this as the editor and agent needing to see a bit more before a better decision can be made.

This is a test for you. Yes, the nay sayers will claim this is just another hoop we are making the writers have to hop through, but I am sorry to say, this is far from the truth.

We need to see if you can execute the revisions. We liked something in your story, but changes need to be made. So, we give you some things that we would want to see before we can do anything. At some level, you have just been given a second life.

For many writers, they would all claim you should jump on those revisions. But, before you do that, you need to stop and really think. I would have to say, if this is an editor a writer WANTS to work for, then I would go for those revisions. If the editor took the time, to write the revision, it would be well worth it.

If, however, an agent has suggested the revisions, you have to really stop and think. Again, is this an agent you really want to work for? How far to the top of your "wish list" is this agent? Since this business is subjective, what doesn't work for one agent might be perfection for someone else.

Since you know my approach to submissions, I would only submit to people I want to work with. If one of those people said to revise, I would take the gamble. There are no promises, but it might be worth the effort.

Good luck everyone.


1 comment:

  1. I don't see why people would complain. It's an insight from an agent! Lots of writers - myself included - would kill (or just enter a lot of contests) to get some feedback from an agent. So I say take it as a learning experience, even if down the road this agent passes, or if another one offers to sign you with no revisions. The worst that can happen is you get much desired feedback from an agent that gives you insight on what your novel needs and you get to make it better - with the advantage of having had it seen from the agent's vantage point. Win-win situation!