10.26.2005

Frayed Not


I have a novel I want to sell and it's now out with an editor who asked for a revision a year or so ago. (I don't like this revision without a contract thing, but I'm a nobody, so I do it.)So, given that she'll probably reject it, here is my question. I sent this story out a few years ago before this major revision and received a few rejections on a partial and on my query. Seeing that it was sorta out there a few years ago, does this make my manuscript shop worn? Is it, in the industry, considered a loser because it had a history of a few rejects (most of them queries or partials). In fact, when I think about this, hardly anyone has read the whole ms. What's your take on mss that have evolved over time (5-6 years) gone through many incarnations (I don't write a book a year like many of my writer friends), and have grown along the way? Is it death for a book?


There was an idea floating around in the Renaissance that you become a whole new person every seven years. I kind of like the idea. Makes some of those high school year book mug shots less agonizing to look at.

The question here is really, when is this a new novel. Once you've shopped it around it does become shopworn. Editors are much less likely to be able to buy something if the exec editor says "yea, we saw that and passed on it five years ago.".

First thing of course is you need a new title and a new opening. Then shop it as a new novel if you've changed significant parts of it.

You might consider this as your practice novel though, and think about writing an actual new book. I'm always surprised at how much better most of my author's second novels are. You really do learn a lot by actually finishing one and starting the second.

4 comments:

Feisty said...

Thanks, Miss Snark for answering that question. I agree with the new beginning thing and the new title. How very brainy of you to come up with that.

And by the way, this novel is like the fifth or sixth I wrote. (I wrote three or four really bad novels that would curdle the brain of some editors but I did sell the next one after that.) This one has languished because I had to get a job. It was either that or starve.

Thanks again.

brainlesionssuck said...

I agree with Ms. Snark...my first novel is under the bed...I still love it and would love to re-do it someday, but as is, it stinks. But it served its purpose. My second novel is agented and I wrote it in six months in contrast to the first one which took me three years!!!

Kathie at Housewifecafe.com

Candice Gilmer said...

I agree as well. My first novel was decent, but my second is doing great. Well, I consider it great, anyway, I've got an editor and agent looking at a partial right now, so I'm giddily waiting for a reply.......... That's much farther than I did with my first book, so I'm doing the happy dance.

Laraqua said...

I don't understand. Do you mean that the second novel an author thinks is publishable is better than the first one they thought was publishable? Just that I've been writing with great frequency since I was fourteen and have easily wrapped up about 1 000 000 words in the past six years (not all were completed works but most ran in the 50 000 word range and many were rewritten drastically with new settings/characters/plots/premise alterations and most of those stories did see editing, even those that weren't finished). Am I just twisted? Or did I misunderstand?