Miss Snarks Top Ten Annoyance List: "reworked pages"

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.


Anonymous said...

Darling Miss Snark - You are a godsend. Thank you so much for answering my question. Before you came along, there was no one to turn to for answers. You are funny, beyond-clever and full of wisdom.

Please keep writing this blog. It's a wonderful service for writers slaving over their books and trying to get published. It's comforting to know there are other poor souls out there filled with self-doubt. And I've learned so much reading the comment trail.

P.S. My black lab loves reading Killer Yap's blog and wants to take a turn around the park with her someday.

Anonymous said...

How much more annoying is it if we send the reworked pages on pink paper with kittens and unicorns?

Anonymous said...

Received... I before E except after C. There, now I'm brilliant!

(And I have no doubt that yours was just a typo!)

I just had to comment on that as just yesterday I was reminded of how brilliant I sometimes am not!

I used a phrase that I thought was intelligently enough spoken.

I told the woman to whom I was speaking, "That will have to remain between you and I."

"You and me," she calmly corrected.

The fundamentals of grammar evade me.

It's Eye before See, except after Me!

Greta LaGarbeaux said...

Miss Audrey, don't feel too bad: Pretty much the entire U.S. population of English-speakers is confused about when to say "you and I" versus "you and me," or "him and I" and variations thereon.

Handy tip: Think of when you would say "us" as in "good news for us" versus "good news for we." Or, say, "We are going out" versus "Us are going out."
Us=me, him, her, them, whom
We=I, he, she, they, who

none said...

My agent has forbidden me to rework my novel while it's on submission.

Hence I sit on my hands a lot.

Christopher said...

My agent has forbidden me to rework my novel while it's on submission.

Hence I sit on my hands a lot.

Start a new one while you're waiting.

Benny said...

I think KY is supposed to be a guy...