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September 9, 2010

Revision request from an agent

I'm getting excited now. If you've read my last post, you'll know that I'm 'in discussions' via email about my MS with an agent. Well, all the long discussing is happening on my side of the email equation, while she writes two line replies. But anyway...

The agent has read my revised synopsis and had some further questions about the 'romantic elements'. How did I feel about including more romance?
As I write primarily for the women's market, and I'm a member of writers' organisation Romance Writers of Australia, I feel like romance is kind of my thing. I love romance. So being asked to put in more romance is not a request I'm ever likely to refuse.

I've sent off a summary of suggested revisions to the romantic elements, and now I'm waiting to hear back. Fingers crossed!

This did make me think though. So far, I haven't had any trouble saying yes to the revisions suggested or requested. They don't run counter to my own ideas about the manuscript and will definitely make it better. But what if I was asked to do something which I didn't agree with? Like, for example, including lots more horror or violence to suit a particular part of the genre market - when that doesn't really come naturally to me. Or deleting an entire character or sub-plot. Is there a request you would baulk at? Or would you happily do any change, any revision, in order to get published?

As I said, romance is something I love, and is an integral part of most things I write. But I know there are people - particularly, perhaps, male writers - who don't feel that way at all, and resent the fact that they 'have to include romance' in genres like fantasy (and many others for that matter) to woo readers.

I think when a writer is forced into creating something which doesn't come naturally to them, and which they don't enjoy, it will show in the writing. So that's my litmus test for now. If the idea of a particular revision makes me feel miserable, then I'll question the need for it. Otherwise - even if it means lots of work - I'll grit my teeth and submit, knowing the book will end up better because of it.

What's your take on this?


Rachael Harrie said...

Congratulations Adina on your discussions with the agent and your planned revisions. Can't wait to hear how it all works out. I heard a piece of advice once which has stuck with me...Stay true to yourself in your writing and remember that it will be your name on the book at the very end. If your manuscript ends up as something you wouldn't be happy holding up in an author photo, that might be a good gauge of how your revisions are tracking at the time you make them.

Adina West said...

Very true Rachael! As I said, I love romance, so no way I'm saying no to that one...but I'm dreading the time I don't see eye to eye with an agent/editor on an issue. Here's hoping such differences of opinion are few and far between.

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