Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Edits By Committee...Not

So, the new agent (99) hadn't been back to me since the last small revision, but recently wrote saying she had some peeps in her office read the manuscript.  They all had some pretty out-there suggestions, which she passed along.  Stuff like "make the kids twins" or "make one of the characters more villainous." I told her that I had to think it over, that I wasn't into edits-by-committee, that I didn't agree with their notes, and that maybe she and I should talk about what to do next. Her edits had been really great and right-on-the-mark, but these were pretty weird. Agent 99 wrote back immediately and said I should call her tomorrow any time and that she agreed with me. She wanted them to read my novel "because once I submit here in the states, then these will be the people working on your behalf in other territories." I liked that last sentence! I'll keep you posted on how the conversation goes.

6 comments:

snoekbrown said...

Way to stick to your creative guns! But more importantly, I'm thrilled you're boldly going where few of us have gone before--and showing us how to do it right!

Keep us posted!

inket said...

ignore them! when put on the spot for suggestions, people feel the need to say something, anything. "make them twins!" "make them alien triplets!"

the comment to make one character more villainous seems interesting. perhaps the reader felt there wasn't enough contrast among some of the characters, and suggested villainy.

Writer, Rejected said...

The character does something very, very villainous and is a young person, so I think the comment was more about another change I'd made with another character that now kind of undercuts the build-up of the villainy. Everything edit has a consequence right. I have to figure out how to fix it now. But also I think the authorial stance is compassion, not blame. That sometimes throws a reader off. Thanks for the support, you guys. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

You need to change it to first person (or, if it already is first person, change it to third).
Hope this is helpful.

Anonymous said...

You might also think about making this a period piece. For the costumes.

Cari Hislop said...

It used to be that an editor would find a book they liked and they'd publish it; now it seems most agents and editors feel its their job to play Dr Frankenstein.

I think this Editor-God compulsion is why so many late 20th-21st published stories end up being disappointing. These poor stories are like babies with an extra hand sewn to their foreheads and monkey tails sewn on their rumps because the editors think the additions will make the baby more exciting, edgy, or whatever.

Pure story, straight from the story teller has been devalued, probably because most of the editors and agents are blocked writers who instead of writing their own stories spend their energy rewriting other people's work and thinking they're making it better when they're not.

As a writer, I know when my stories are right because they feel right and no self-important pen pusher is going persuade me otherwise.