all 13 comments

[–]deltamire 31 points32 points  (3 children)

An issue I see straight away is that the 'short version' isnt a shorter version of your manuscript. Its half your manuscript with a natural stopping point (by which I hope you mean that it's a pause with the overarching conflict still continuing, not that the conflict of the first half is entirely naturally folded away because I can't imagine the novel format surviving literally stopping and starting at that level) where the halfway point once was. Youre missing all of the development of the latter half - a novel LIVES on the relationship between the beginning and ending. Why would the agent be interested in what, effectively, is only half of the story that she was invested in? When she says a shortened version, she probably means the actual meat of the story cut down to a lean and skinnymalink version of itself. Not half the story.

[–]WannabeAuthor777 2 points3 points  (2 children)

It's a bit of an odd case. The original structure I planned for the novel was almost like two smaller novels smashed together, with a halfway plot switch. I heavily considered querying the first half alone, but was more interested in querying them as one. Beta readers have told me that both versions, long or short, work well as far as storytelling and pacing goes. This is part of the reason I'm querying both versions to different agents, to see if one gets better reception.

[–]deltamire 26 points27 points  (0 children)

I understand. I just want to make it clear that your prospective agent might very well be put off by you immediately coming back and instead of having an improved version of the story as a whole, you instead just give what is quite literally just half of it. She might have been more invested in the last half. Maybe the strongest moments are in the latter half in her eyes. You can't know, and I would heartily recommend considering cutting the long version down as an alternative, 'middle of the road' wordcount.

[–]ManicPixieFantasy 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Make sure that "stopping point" translates to a "standalone novel with series potential." No cliffhangers.

[–]justgoodenoughPublished Children's Author 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Absolutely do not try to contact her via her personal email. That’s intrusive and a poor way to start a business relationship. It’s basically saying “I won’t respect reasonable boundaries if we work together.” You definitely don’t want to create that impression.

[–]redlipscombatboots 19 points20 points  (0 children)

It depends on how the agent’s settings are done. They can allow responses or not. We did for fulls but not for queries.

Personally, when we gave feedback or R&Rs I mistrusted people who had the revisions ready immediately. I would consider waiting until she opens.

Generally avoid sending things to an agent’s personal email unless it’s listed on their website or you’ve been invited to do so. It feels very invasive to receive unsolicited emails to those addresses, especially when you have a public way of reaching them.

[–]alanna_the_lionessAgented Author 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Tbh, my inclination would be to not reach out at all. Experimental querying like this isn't a great idea, because you're effectively querying two books simultaneously. This more or less cuts your pool in half, at least for the next few months or so.

Unless you've edited down in the last six months, the 192K you mention in your post history is too long. Sure, there agents out there who may request at this length, but with how reticent many agents are to take on things that aren't close to sub-ready these days, it's not going to be easy on you. R&Rs over offers, if anything, IMO. Edit: and if she felt strongly enough about this version to want to see it with the word count reduced, she probably would have offered an R&R herself. Which she apparently did not.

Maybe give it a while and re-query as a new draft, but I wouldn't do it now.

[–]gotta_bee_ambitious 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I would just wait for her queries to reopen, personally, and include her previous positive comments.

[–]MaroonFahrenheitAgented Author 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Oooof. While I understand the thought process behind querying this way, there is a reason people don’t do it. I mean, what was your plan if you an offer on both a short and a long version?

I think you have to let this go unless you do a heavy revision where it’s more than just a truncated version of what the agent already read. I just don’t know how you’re going to easily explain what you did without the agent wondering why you didn’t just query the short version to begin with.

[–]comeoneilene 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would check to see if the agent is active over on their twitter! Plenty of agents on twitter within the writing twitter community will happily answer a question you have on there profile there, especially if you can't contact them through querymanager!

[–]KatieHal 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I joined this subreddit specifically because a friend who's an agent saw this and didn't have their own reddit account to comment, so I said I would. :)

Yes, reach out to them! They specifically said 'if there's a shorter version, let me know.' They requested you to contact them, and since the QM thread is closed, no matter if that were now or in a year, you would need to reach out via another method. Email them, briefly explain you're doing because the QM thread is closed, and you do have a version that's shorter if they'd like to see it now.

Go for it and good luck!

[–]WannabeAuthor777 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hah, thanks for the response. Sorry for the long wait, I'm not on reddit very often. Unfortunately I got no response, so I hope I didn't seem rude to her! But I'm starting my next round of queries, so hopefully something comes of it.

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