Posted by Heidi Yantzi at 21:25
I'd written, rewritten, and revised. I sent it around to be read and critiqued. I made more changes. I added a few scenes, clarified some details, but most importantly, chopped thousands of words.
I thought I was DONE!
People I trust suggested changes, some of which I used, others I couldn't bring myself to make.
After purging a couple hundred more words, I believed I had a lean mean publisher's dream! This time, yes, finally, it will go somewhere! This new query is hot! This manuscript will be literary agent catnip.
I sent it off, honestly thinking it was READY!
An agent I really like, after reading the whole thing, made a few suggestions I'd already heard. Of course, anybody's opinion is just that- an opinion- but this settled it. Despite my hard work, this book really was not as done and ready as I thought.
This may feel like a defeat or a setback, and it's always a disappointment to get a rejection, but it can actually be a blessing to be rejected by an agent. Writers never stop learning. I've got the knowledge now to make this book even better. The agent who rejected me- very kindly I must add- has done me a favour.
I'll set aside my stubbornness and pride to make some of those changes. If my critique partners and an agent are all saying the same thing, there must be some truth to it.
It won't be easy. After so many years of work I've gotten so emotionally involved in this story and characters. But rewriting a book for years a big advantage: I no longer believe that every word is precious. I can eliminate whole paragraphs and feel pretty darn good about it. I'm capable of tackling it one more time. As many times as it takes.
As long as it takes to be ready.