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Category Archives: Literary Agents

If An Agent Or Editor Wants Changes: Here’s What To Do | Writer’s Relief

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If An Agent Or Editor Wants Changes: Here’s What To Do | Writer’s Relief

It’s what every writer hopes for: A literary agent has offered representation for your book, or an editor has accepted your short story or poetry for publication. Start the happy dancing! But wait—what if the agent or editor wants changes to your work? At Writer’s Relief, we know a good editor or literary agent will approach your work with sensitivity and care, and the suggested edits would only make your work better. However, what if the changes are more extensive: You’re asked to delete entire passages, to change POVs, or to rewrite your ending? Here’s what to do if an agent or editor wants changes to your writing.

What to Do When an Agent or Editor Requests Changes to Your Writing

Have a conversation. You may automatically want to defend your work and your choices. But before you do, have a conversation with the agent or editor to clarify why the revision is being requested. Keeping an open mind and talking about alternative ideas might lead you to agree on a revision you’re both happy with.

Be open-minded. Instead of being at odds with your agent or editor when it comes to revisions, swap thoughts and ideas about the proposed edits. Even if you disagree with the requested revisions, give the suggestions a try. Until you roll up your sleeves and get your fingers on the keyboard, your reaction is probably going to be driven by your emotions—not your logical, thinking, writerly brain. The worst thing that will happen? You’ll revert back to your original draft.

And the best thing that could happen? Exploring the unwelcome edit might lead you to an agreement or compromise with the agent or editor.

Remember, you are all working toward the same goal: getting your writing published! Whether it’s a novel, short prose, or a poem, you and your editor want the writing to be the best it can possibly be. Approach any discussions (or even negotiations) with this fact in mind. A revision doesn’t mean your writing is bad; it means that the agent or editor understands what readers are looking for and is trying to help you reach your audience.

Agree to disagree. If you’ve given the suggestions a genuine try and still don’t agree with the edits, you should do what feels right and say “no thank you.” Your literary agent or editor will appreciate that you took the suggestions seriously and attempted to incorporate them into your writing, even if you ultimately rejected the change. Your open-mindedness to the revisions and genuine attempt to incorporate them into your writing will speak volumes about your confidence and professionalism as a writer.

Sometimes a few small edits don’t make a major change to the overall story, poem, or book, and you can gladly agree to the revisions. And even larger edits may be acceptable once you understand the thinking behind the change and how it benefits your manuscript. But if, after making an honest attempt, you aren’t comfortable with the suggested edits, it’s important to be true to yourself and your writing.

 

Question: Have you ever been asked to revise your work? What did you do?

Get A Literary Agent With The First 15 Pages Of Your Novel | Writer’s Relief

Once you’ve finished writing, proofreading, editing, and formatting your book, the next step toward getting it published is to try to get a literary agent for representation. While each literary agent’s submission guidelines are different, the submission strategists at Writer’s Relief know you’ll need to prepare a query letter, synopsis, and the first fifteen pages… Continue Reading

How To Use Feedback From Editors And Agents To Improve Your Writing | Writer’s Relief

Every writer who submits work for publication has received at least one: a form rejection letter from a busy literary agent or editor. But once in a while, you may see a publishing industry unicorn—a rejection letter with personalized feedback about your writing! Getting well-informed critiques from editors or agents can help you feel better… Continue Reading

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do To Get Published (And One You Should!) | Writer’s Relief

The day has come—you’ve sent out your writing submissions to carefully researched markets. How exciting! You deserve a pat on the back for all your hard work. While you’re eagerly awaiting the replies (and hopefully acceptances!), Writer’s Relief recommends getting started on another writing project. This way, you’ll be less likely to obsess while waiting!… Continue Reading

5 Writing Tips To Improve Your Final Draft | Writer’s Relief

You’ve been writing, editing, proofreading, and rewriting your short story, poems, or novel. At long last, you’re at the point where you feel your WIP (work in progress) is done! Pat yourself on the back, do a happy dance, get a celebratory snack—but don’t start submitting just yet. The experts at Writer’s Relief know that… Continue Reading



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