Purple Prose + revision request

Rockin’ Revision Requests

You’ve been querying agents and you landed a revision request. Now what?

First, celebrate. A revision request means the agent saw something in your writing (i.e. it doesn’t suck like you had originally feared), and she wants to see if you can make the story stronger. She also wants to see if the two of you will mesh well as a team.

Take the time to make sure you understand what she is looking for, and that you both share the same vision for your story. Once you’ve finished the edits, have beta readers go through it and edit it if need be. Don’t rush to send it out and skip this step in your haste to get it back to the agent. You don’t want to blow this one chance she’s given you.

If you land a revision request, consider pulling your material from agents who have requested it, and explain why. Let them know you would love to resent it to them once you’ve finished the revisions. I did that for two agents, and received emails saying they would love to see it when it’s ready. My friend did the same and got a similar response. The agents appreciated that we didn’t waste their time with a manuscript we felt could be stronger, thanks to the professional feedback we had received. Of course, having another agent interested enough to offer a revision request no doubt helped, too.

In my case, I knew it would take a while to do the edits, which is why I contacted the agents. If you don’t contact them first, you can try sending the revised manuscript to them when it’s ready, assuming they haven’t gotten back to you in the meantime. (For more info on that, check out this post.)

And remember, just because an agent sent you a revision request, it doesn’t mean she’ll end up loving your book. More often than not, writers put in all the extra work only to land a rejection. But on the bright side, you now have a stronger manuscript for when you start querying again.

Have you had a revision request before? Do you have any suggestions?

(I know the cartoon had nothing to do with the post, but I couldn’t resist it. *grins*)

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Rockin’ Revision Requests + revision request