So, I’m still waiting on that second agent. And the truth is, I don’t know if I want a yes or no.
That feedback the other agency gave me was good, and I’ve started incorporating it. So now I have two versions of the book sitting here – one I’ve sent out, and one that’s a little better. Not only did the feedback inspire a change at the beginning of the book, but also gave me a great idea for the end of the book, too.
And the stuff I did at the end (which I’ll do regardless, since the agent I’m waiting for hasn’t seen the end) sets up the book for a possible sequel. 🙂 Which is something that should probably go in the query letter.
To be honest, I’ve been a little too busy with work and daddyhood to think much about waiting for this agent. It’s been more than a week; his website said if I don’t hear from him in two weeks, I won’t. (I know there’s a valid reason for that, but when they all say it, it seems more intimidating, somehow.) So in a few more days, it won’t matter what I do to the book. 🙂 That said, though, it also means I haven’t sent this new version out, in part because I haven’t finished it yet. Basically, what I’m doing is taking a scene that’s in Chapter 1 out of it. Well, two scenes, really. One of them, while interesting, really isn’t necessary for the story. And the other one is, but it doesn’t have to be in Chapter 1. So I’m looking for the best place to move that, and to filter in the few tidbits from the other unnecessary scene that do have to be shared somewhere, but can be done in other ways.
I guess it’s fine-tuning. I’m not sure I’d have believed how many minor tweaks could go into a 93,000-word story if you told me that before I started.
Of course, it was to pass on my book. But, I got a reply within a day of my first email! Hey, it’s a small victory, but I’ll take it.
So, I finished my second, more significant revision of the book, got it all formatted, and emailed queries to two agents. I didn’t truly expect to hear from either of them, particularly so fast, but one did reply with some good feedback. Told me what she liked and why she was passing, and she’s right; there are things in the first ten pages (which is all they asked for) that probably shouldn’t be there. I hadn’t thought of it the way she said it, so I’m grateful to get that feedback. Of course, it’s still an agent checked off the list, but that’s life.
I have to say, the initial writing was so much more fun than the various revisions. And I knew that; as a journalist for 20 years, I’ve always felt better about the stories that didn’t need major revisions. When I have to back up and rewrite a second draft, I get uncomfortable; can’t tell you why. But if I don’t hear from this second agent (one that said if I don’t hear from him in two weeks, I won’t), I’ll consider making a few more changes. Fun, fun!
Apparently, I edit in bursts. Over the past several weeks, I finished a revision of the book, my second one. But unlike the writing process, or even the first edit, I did this one in the matter of days. As in, a day here, a day there, often with more than a week mixed in.
I did four chapters of it about two weeks ago. Five days later, I did four more. Then, it was another eight days before I got back to it; I finished the last eight chapters over the past two days.
This isn’t necessarily a good way to do this. For one thing, after eight days the changes I made to lines of dialogue and minor plot points aren’t as fresh in my mind; I sincerely hope I didn’t miss something. But at this point, I think I’m ready for a fresh look, preferably by a professional editor. So, yes, I’m to that point again. Which is great. And perhaps the most daunting part; finding an editor and an agent. Wish me luck!