Dear Miss Snark:
An agent has had the full (fiction) ms for about 10 weeks. He didn't ask for an exclusive nor give me an approximation of how long he would take to read it. In the meantime, based on comments I received on partials, I have rewritten the opening chapters.
Do I let him know the material has been revised or is that the sign of a nitwit extraordinaire?
Get out your Blackberry. Click on the calendar portion. Count up how many days make up 10 weeks. 70. Even on my machine that is calibrated to Agent-Time (which we all know runs sloowwwww) you know that full novels are allowed 90 days.
No, you don't get to email him that you've been rewriting. If you do, you won't be a nitwit you will be the Prime Example on Miss Snark's Top Ten Annoyance List. I cannot tell you how much I hate it when people send me "revised, reworked, touched up" or other editions of their pages.
Why do I hate it so much? Well, for starters, I have to go find your manuscript. You'd think they're in alpha order? Of course they aren't. They are in order of date receieved (sort of) which means all the mss that came yesterday are on top of yours probably. Then, once I've found it, I have to reshuffle the new pages in. And the few times this has happened, the reworked pages aren't enough better to justify the work.
If this was considered "ok" to do, I'd spend an hour a day doing only this cause I gotta tell you I've never met a writer yet who wasn't revising, reworking or tweaking their work. Well, ok, the dead ones aren't but that's about it.
At some point, your ms is DONE. Right now, for this agent, what you sent is what he's going to read. Send the revised version to other agents, or when he offers you representation tell him you reworked the first three chapters.
Under no circumstances do you get to send him revised pages. Don't even ask.