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Agent asking for rewrites

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CeriBeynon

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Hello, I have just joined Litopia today, so hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. I have a quick question. I sent the first 10,000 of my novel to a literary agent, and she said she liked the idea, but wanted me to rewrite the opening. Is this a standard request?

I hope everyone is enjoying their chocolate today. I've been enjoying watching popup submissions.:)
 

Amber

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Hello, I have just joined Litopia today, so hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. I have a quick question. I sent the first 10,000 of my novel to a literary agent, and she said she liked the idea, but wanted me to rewrite the opening. Is this a standard request?

I hope everyone is enjoying their chocolate today. I've been enjoying watching popup submissions.:)

Without any more information and being totally unqualified to answer this question I'd have to say, it sounds good.

As long as they don't ask for money.....
 

Rachel Caldecott

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Welcome to the colony. I agree with Amber. It does sound good. Very good. Take on board what she says, perhaps try posting your first chapter here or on one of Pete's wonderful Pop-Up sessions and get some other opinions. Then decide. But I think you can allow yourself to be cautiously optimistic that you are on the right track.
 

Carol Rose

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Hello, I have just joined Litopia today, so hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. I have a quick question. I sent the first 10,000 of my novel to a literary agent, and she said she liked the idea, but wanted me to rewrite the opening. Is this a standard request?

Not a typical request, but it might mean you're onto something here which is great! Re-write it, but keep your original version as well. And keep submitting to other agents. Good luck!
 

NickP

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Basically only rewrite if the suggestions make sense to you and will make the work better.

Otherwise you are wasting your time - when you've finished the Agent may well say, "not quite what I'm looking for". Don't do unpaid work for somebody else. There is no contract.
 

Kitty

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Hello and welcome. As others have said this isn’t a typical request at all. Has she given guidance on what doesn’t work for her? Does it make sense to you? Will the suggested changes make your manuscript stronger?

It all sounds very positive :) Go for it!
 

Katie-Ellen

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Hello. This question came up in a recent pop up. @AgentPete cautioned against it. An agent wants to sign you up or does not. If they sign you, it might mean rewriting if they offer editorial support. Need to be open to editorial suggestions. But here, you could rewrite it, spend all that time, and the agent will just pass on it anyway. What is she offering to you, that you should do that work just on her say so? Is she wasting your time? Tread with care.
 

CeriBeynon

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Welcome, Ceri.

Have you actually spoken to the agent? Or is this by email?

Hi, @AgentPete It was by email. She told me that she thought the opening needed to be more 'in the moment' and would like to look at it again when I've rewritten it. I have also submitted to pop up submissions, so I would be interested to hear your input. :)

Thanks everyone for your views. I really appreciate your input. I agreed with her that perhaps the opening needed changing, so I've rewritten now. I prefer the rewrite, so I think it has strengthened my work anyway. It is very exciting, just hope she likes the new version. :D
 

Katie-Ellen

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Nothing amiss with that, if you're glad you did the rewrite. Stronger is better. BUT (since she's acting as editor) will she now ask you to rewrite the whole thing, or do you now see a need to do that anyway in consequence of the changes made?
 

CeriBeynon

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Nothing amiss with that, if you're glad you did the rewrite. Stronger is better. BUT (since she's acting as editor) will she now ask you to rewrite the whole thing, or do you now see a need to do that anyway in consequence of the changes made?
That is a worry. I took the middle section out of the book as part of the rewrite, because that is the part she asked for in the opening(where my character is receiving counselling). It still flows quite well, despite having the middle chapter cut out. She has an editorial background, and I think she is quite a 'hands on' agent so maybe this is just the way she likes to work. I am open to changing a few things, but hopefully not rewrite the WHOLE thing! I suppose it comes down to the question of integrity in the end, and what lengths you are prepared to go to in securing an agent. :D
 

Katie-Ellen

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I recently asked @AgentPete about this very same thing, having noticed some agents say they will work with authors prior to approaching publishers, and I wondered what that might mean in practical terms. Peter suggested a writer needed to have a telephone call with the agent in that situation, check out if they were seriously interested or not. If it was me, and it isn't, having done that bit of rewriting, I'd next want to see her put up or shut up.
Good luck with it :) The story's obviously got something :)
 
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Welcome Ceri and fantastic news :)
and yes, you have come to the write 'right' place, LOL
Agent Pete will soon shine the light on any doubts you may have.
 

Geoff

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Hi Ceri and welcome.

I will try and join this afternoon, because I having a similar experience. Every time I submit a draft to the Agent, it always needs 'tightening up'. It will be interesting to see what Agent Pete advises.
 

Erica Verrillo

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I don't want to throw cold water on you, but asking for a rewrite does not necessarily mean they intend to represent you. A couple of agents have asked me for re-writes and then passed. In my experience, you either get an offer of representation or you don't. (And when you do, they will want to talk to you on the phone.) On the bright side, the times I did a revision for an agent, my books got better.
 
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