2.02.2007

How full is a full?

Dear Miss Snark,

If an agent requests a full after reading a partial (say chapters 1-2), then do I have to resend the partial or assume that the agent has held on to the pages and just requires the remainder of the manuscript (i.e. everything but chapters 1-2)?

If the agent hasn't specified, ask him/her. There's no industry standard on this. I ask for the entire thing all over again, but I also ask for it electronically, not on pages. I do this because as I've read the partial I've noted all the typos and told you about them, and expect them to be fixed not just in the partial but in the full. This is one of the things that tells me a lot about what an author is like to work with.

For example if I've pointed out the misuse of "lay" (and that's the #1 error on otherwise well honed mss) on page 3, I expect you to search out all uses of "lay" in your ms and FIX THEM before I see a full.

Don't worry about asking question at this point. If an agent is interested in your work, your questions aren't in the "don't bug me about your query" category. I'm interested in working with you, you're interested in working with me, we're getting to know each other.

10 comments:

David said...

Anyone who doesn't know the difference between "lie" and "lay" should not be allowed to write a novel. There oughtta be a law.

Not really. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Anonymous said...

Send the whole thing. If you send the bit that was in the partial, it will trigger the agent's memory about the great partial they read. That can't be bad.

jamiehall said...

By sending the whole thing, you don't leave them with any nagging questions, such as whether you fixed anything in the early part.

Anonymous said...

"I'm interested in working you"

Gives me the image of a writer being shackled to a yoke and prodded with a large stick

A non-writer

Chumplet said...

I've got a request for a full, and the editor is sending me my partial via snail mail with her edits. Should I wait till I receive it and include her corrections before I send the full?

(See how I snuck in there that I have a request for a full? Yay!)

Brady Westwater said...

If I had to lay out (i.e., punch out) everyone who gets wrong... lay and lie... on TV - both news broadcasts and TV shows - I wouldn't have any time left to get laid myself.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know one of those easy-peasey tricks for figuring out lay/lie/laid/lain? I just don't get it.

Twill said...

I rewrite sentences to avoid the words "laying/lieing" because I can never remember the nuances of usage and I always worry about the spelling of the latter.

It doesn't really matter, because you don't want to use words that just lay there anyway. No lie.

Anonymous said...

I would've expected the #1 error to be either 'it's' for 'its' or else 'may' for 'might'.

That one drives me nuts. The narrator on the Discovery Channel telling me, in a deeply scientific voice, 'The police knew that the intruder may still be in the building...' What, NOW? Five years later, when I'm watching the documentary?

Nicole said...

I don't mind their, they're and there errors so much.

What get a bee in my butt is "to" and "too".

Oh. My. God.