If: A Word That Gives Hope

So, last month I did a post about when it’s time to revise. Then, two weeks ago, I talked about timing and how that plays into querying strategy. I had this whole plan for finishing out my querying for DUET, not because I want to give up on it but because I’ve been working on something else that excites me, too.

And then I got an email that changed my plans. Not an offer of representation but the next best thing–an email that said “if.”

You know the one I mean. It’s the one that says, “I love the idea of this and I want to love it enough, but I don’t quite. However, if you do xxxx, I’d like to see it again.”

I feel a bit like Cinderella. If I can make these revisions work, I can go to the ball. Not that I’m comparing the agent to the wicked stepmother. It’s just that I know I have a lot of work to do and then maybe I’ll get an agent. (Here’s where I sing “Someday My Agent Will Call” to the tune of “Someday My Prince Will Come.” I must be in a Disney princess mood :).)

I’m not going to share the nature of the revisions, but right now the manuscript looks a bit like this picture:

Back when I was writing the first draft of my new WIP, I said it would be nice to have a pattern to follow, like the patterns I follow for my cross stitch projects. The same week I posted it, I realized I’d been doing the stitches vertically when the pattern was actually horizontal. Ahhhh! I decided to take out the stitches–about a thousand of them–instead of starting with a new piece of cloth. I took this picture to show how it looked when I started over. You can still see the residue from the threads I pulled. I had no idea how appropriate that analogy would be later. Because the revisions I’m doing make sense so far. It’s looking more and more like I wrote DUET vertically when it should have been horizontal.

And here’s where timing continues to play a crucial part. Several agents still have the current version of DUET, but until I know I can make it work the new way, I’m not ready to ask them to hold off on the version they have. I’ve also entered a couple of contests that if I advance to the next round, I have to decide whether to withdraw or ask them to accept an updated entry. So, for now, I’m revising as quickly as I can, and I feel pretty confident about the changes I’m making. In the meantime, you may not see as many blog posts from me as usual.

Anyone else been where I am?

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About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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15 Responses to If: A Word That Gives Hope

  1. Ahahaha, I’ve been there, and it was a wonderful feeling… *wistful sigh* But it was a fantastic experience even if it didn’t end in an offer for me, and my fingers are crossed super tight for you!

    • Thanks! That’s the thing–I know there’s no guarantee it will work out. If I do like it better this way, though, it’s a big enough revision I’ll be able to go back around with some other agents, too. We’ll see…

  2. oo wow! That’s exciting! Sounds like you are headed on the right track! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you 🙂

  3. Joanne Fritz says:

    That’s fantastic, Michelle! An “if” is certainly miles better than a rejection. I’m not there yet, having only queried a few agents. Best of luck! And if you have to take a blogging break to revise, we’ll understand and we’ll be here when you get back.

  4. Andrea says:

    Congratulations, Michelle! That’s very exciting! DUET has such an original premise and you work very hard. The combination of the two I’m sure will lead to success! Good Luck and Happy Writing!

  5. Very exciting, Michelle. I’m glad that the agent’s revisions resonate with your own thoughts. I have my fingers crossed for you.

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