Waiting for Agents, Revising the Manuscript, and Milking Cows

Waiting for Agents . . .

Waiting for agents to confirm that they hate my book (or not) has been somewhat stressful. As I wait for those who have my partial/full to finish partying in Frankfurt (there’s a giant book fair thing over there right now) and read rejections from other folks, I grow more doubtful of my manuscript and query.

Not fun.

It’s popular advice for writers with novels out on submission to begin working on another projectβ€”their next book, short stories, poetry, or whatever. Aside from getting your mind off the wait, it also prevents you from altering the manuscript that’s currently out on submission. You know, just in case the agents you’re waiting on actually love your MS and would be appalled by changes (because that totally happens).

Against this advice and my earlier wishes not to revise, I’m going to begin outlining and implementing major revisions for my novel.

Revising the Manuscript . . .

The plan is to condense, combine, and excise entire scenes; save the awesome, and replace everything else with more awesome. The current ending will be altered to become part of the rising action. Then, I’ll add a new ending which I came up with while listening to music in my car (a scene of unprecedented awesomenessβ€”you can verify this claim after you put some money in my wallet).

And, well, I could always revert back to an older draft if an agent actually likes it.

Milking Cows . . .

Harvest Moon SNES North American CovertTo deal with the waiting, I’ve been playing the original SNES Harvest Moon. I’m pretty sure it was the first video game in which you grow crops, tend livestock, and marry local a townswoman (my farmer avatar is wooing the mayor’s daughter by bringing her mushrooms). The game still holds up pretty well (it helps if you simultaneously watch Netflix).

Alright, time to get to work. My chickens will have to wait.

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39 thoughts on “Waiting for Agents, Revising the Manuscript, and Milking Cows

  1. Good luck with it all, but I do agree with the experts, I think when my picture book is done and out there I will start on a new project. I hear they like to see that you have many books to offer. May as well keep myself productive and stay away from candy crush for that is my down time game. Yours sounds like a lot more fun although I live on a dairy farm already.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pft. Experts.

      Well, the primary plot will be the same, so my query will still technically be true. It’ll just be describing a smaller portion of my book than it currently is (my plan is basically to concentrate my 76k word MS into 60k which will increase the speed of the pacing, and then add another 15-20k words for a better ending).

      Oh, and: (1) thanks; (2) dairy farm, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “The game still holds up pretty well (it helps if you simultaneously watch Netflix).”

    I’m really uncomfortable with this sort of thing. It reminds me of playing multi-player games with others and hearing that someone made a mistake because they were watching television or a movie or were meaningfully involved with something else at the same time. This sort of thing is conceptually distinct from listening to music when writing, as the former is about dividing attention and the latter is about focusing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, the original Harvest Moon gets repetitive. It really doesn’t hold up. Haha. I probably wouldn’t play it again if I couldn’t increase my level of entertainment with something else.

      Also, as distinct from multi-player games, my performance in Harvest Moon does not affect other people’s enjoyment. Things are different once you’re responsible to other people. πŸ™‚

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  3. I agree that working on a new project would assuage your concerns. I have an agent and don’t hear from them for long stretches but that’s fine as I spend the time working on other things. My aim is never to be caught out by the question of what I am currently working on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The waiting game sucks! I feel for you, hope you get some positive feedback soon πŸ™‚ I actually had an agent get back to me six months after a submission asking for the full MS, by which time I’d actually split the book in two and condensed the first three chapters (which I had submitted to them) into a few pages. So I had to ring and confess my changes (though to be fair they had taken six months to get back to me) and ask them if they wanted the revised version or the original. They took the new version and, ultimately, it didn’t work out anyway. So go for it! Good luck x

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    • Thanks. I’m not changing the story enough that my current query won’t match the planned changes, so if an agent asks for my full far down the line, they won’t even have to know I’ve changed it. πŸ™‚

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    • Hello. I wrote a post a while back about traditional publishing versus self-publishing in which I note the strengths of both paths. My conclusion back then was essentially that I’d try for traditional publishing first because it would be easier to market my novel with a fancy imprint (and, hopefully, with some funding from the publisher) and because I believe that in trying to perfect my query and MS to garner interest in the traditional route, my novel will ultimately come out stronger and I can improve upon my own writing process.

      If I wasn’t chasing a traditional publisher, I might have just given draft 8 to an editor and then self-published straightaway. All of the awesome structural changes I’m making now (and over the last drafts) would never have been made, and my novel would have been released to the world in a lesser form. I think I’ve learned a lot, and have improved my MS a lot by trying to get the attention of agents. So, whether I do get picked up by an agent and publisher, or whether I ultimately opt for self-publishing, my novel will be all the better for having been reforged over and over. πŸ™‚

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    • Yeah, I’m hoping for at least some constructive feedback if not R&Rs or offers of representation. Hm, well, I guess you would’ve guessed as much. Still, sometimes it’s better to say what everyone’s already assuming, if only to annoy people and waste their time as they read it.

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  5. Sounds stressful. I’m just entering this phase of the process. I’ve told myself I can’t change it after this last set of edits. Luckily, I’ve already begun my next book so that should keep me busy. Good luck!

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  6. Good luck to you. I tried that game – the submitting to agents and publishers game – for about 6 years and totally wasted my time. I would have been far more productive focussing on new projects and taking the self publishing route a little earlier, but that’s just me. It’s possible for someone who puts a lot of work into it. I hope you get good news. The longer the wait the more carefully they are considering your work.

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  7. When I finished my first novel my agent at the time wanted so many tweaks made to my MS that eventually my MS didn’t feel like mine any longer. So after going back to my original MS I decided to self publish which initially was expensive and hot foot my novel to every bookstore large and small. The expense and hard work eventually paid off in spades though. Four fantasy/erotica novel’s later I eventually got to pick from the cream of the crop publishing houses as they came to me. So sincere good luck wishes while you wait! If the wait becomes too long give self pub a try. It may surprise you just how quickly not only the money starts rolling in and also how well your novel will do!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I self-published on CreateSpace.com, probably prematurely, since I know I have editing errors in my two newest books, Brides. I am working on Book 3 to complete the Trilogy, in the hopes someone will see my story, and like it enough to polish, and edit it under a big publishing label. I do think the story is good in spite of my pathetic punctuation. Since you have such impressive credentials, might I ask, “Am I wasting my time?” Before the housing market crashed I was a drafts-person and truss designer, so I was putting buildings together instead of words. Now, I am an orple-keeper, using my orples as props to build a following, and due to time (or better, lack of it), I am combining my orples blog (children’s books) with my adult books—probably another mistake. I wanted to mention CreateSpace to you in the event you are not already familiar with it. πŸ˜‰

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    • Hi. I think if you want a traditional publisher to pick up your book you should avoid self-publishing it anywhere. Agents and publishers are very reluctant to pick up anything that has been previously published (this includes posting the work online). Good luck with your projects. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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