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Thursday, August 19, 2010

When To Let Go Of Your Book

Despite parting ways with my agent I am in my happy place this week; revising! Due to his changing business model my agent could no longer invest time in critiquing unpublished clients. While I was disappointed I understand. Things are tougher than they've ever been and not just for us writers. So what is a writer to do when their manuscript has been on submission for nearly a year and they suddenly find themselves agentless and not yet published?

Have your moment of sadness. Go ahead, you have permission. Done now? Get back to work! There is still a chance for that novel, in some form or another.

Sometimes you have to let your manuscript go. Knowing when to do that it isn't easy. Like I've said, you have to look deep into the heart of the novel and your characters. If you cannot change the muscles, sinew, and flesh of the novel and it won't sell, then you must let it go. However, if you can maintain the heart and the skeleton and transform everything around it, and still be in love with it, then do it! If you can't, put it away for a while. Perhaps it was a timing issue. You may be able to come back to it some time later and resubmit if you don't want to change anything about it.

I found I can take many of the elements that I loved from that novel and use them in a new one and you know what?  I'm falling in love with this re-envisioned story. The new concept feels more like what the book should have been in the first place. Have you ever had to put a novel in a drawer or have you ever used something from an old one to make something new and different?

13 comments:

  1. Im so sorry to hear that your agent relationship ended--but Im glad you're in your happy place and excited about what you can do with your manuscript now! Good luck!!!

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  2. Oh noes!!! I hope you find someone better suited, that falls madly in love with your ms.

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  3. Thanks Frankie. I'm looking to the future!

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  4. I hope so too Candyland. There are a lot of great agents out there, especially for YA now so I'm optimistic!

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  5. Heather!! Hang in there! You have such an amazing outlook and attitude and I really think that you will bounce back higher because of it. I truly believe things are "meant to be" and that this only means you have a different road you are supposed to take. I'm sure you'll have no problem not only getting a new agent, but actually learning from the whole experience and making your writing better because of it.

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  6. That means so much to me Lisa, thank you! I've definitely learned a lot that's for sure. And I'm planning on attending two writers' retreats next year and possibly a conferenc in October! There is always more to learn!

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  7. I'm so glad to know you'll keep going. That you captured an agent to begin with speaks volumes for your writing. You've got talent. You can only get better!

    I had an agent for my first novel, and after it was rejected by 8 publishers, she more or less forgot about me. I had faith in my abilities though, so I dusted myself off, considering it a learning experience, and wrote another novel. I found another agent, and this one rocks!

    You will too.

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  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your agent. I hope things straighten out soon--good luck on your new(ish) project!

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  9. Heather, you are such an encourager! I love your attitude and your approach to writing. So refreshing. :) And yes, my current WIP is actually a combo of two other manuscripts that never really sang. Good luck revising!

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your luck with your first agent. I now how it feels! Good for you for writing another novel. That's what we have to do, keep going no matter what. Congrats on finding an agent that rocks! I hope I can too!

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  11. Thanks Kari! Things are already on their way up, I can feel it!

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  12. That's so encouraging to hear Samantha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who repuposes novels that didn't make it!

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  13. I'm so sorry! But so proud of you for plunging ahead and choosing to use your circumstances to better yourself. You are an inspiration, Heather!

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