Finally – my agent’s thoughts on my book. Gulp.

I got the word from my agent on my novel today. Not at all what I envisioned. I had this fantasy vision that he would tell me how wonderful it was, and I would tilt the handset, or maybe even put it on speakerphone so all my co-workers could hear. Wait, I need to explain why.

Back story – my co-workers are professional newspaper critics. Once I mentioned I was writing a novel and one of them let out a huge laugh. So it was my underdog dream to be able to to hang up the phone, stand up and say “my New York agent LOVED – no adored my manuscript!!”

With baited breath, I waited for my agent to say the first sentence.

“It’s a mess. I didn’t even read every page or type up notes. There’s no plot. You need to start all over. It’s very funny and heartwarming, but those elements are secondary tot he plot. and setting, you need more setting. Yah, you need to start all over.”

Can you imagine working for almost two years (not counting a year of outlining a “non-plot”) to hear those stinging words. I would most certainly not be standing up bragging. Instead, I watched as my teardrops fell on the notes I was scribbling, pretending to be cool with it.

It needs revisions. LOTS of them. But – I’m happy about that. He gave me great detailed info that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I took a lot of notes. I silently sobbed while I wrote them because he was harsh in a tough love kind of way. At first I had a knot in my stomach, but then I relaxed. Like my dad always say, it can always be worse. He could have said “Give it up,” or not shared any tips with me. Despite the discouraging feedback, he said he still strongly believed in me as a novelist. Nothing is ever perfect the first time around. Right? Well, except for newborn babies, puppies and a fresh jar of Mod Podge. Anyway, it feels so good to have an expert in the industry offer valuable advice on what to do to make it better.

I’m not paranoid anymore, I’m inspired!

Actually, truth be told, I’m depressed. I have a lot of work to do if I’m really serious about this book. Am I? If so, why? I should be focusing on things that are more “for sure” than a crazy, cliched notion of writing a stupid novel. Do you know the odds of first time novelists getting published? Do I really have what it takes? I’m thinking maybe I need to shelve this project and get back in sync with my family. I need chocolate.

All day I’ve been replaying the book in my brain, and I already know what kind of editing surgery I’m going to perform on it if and when I’m ready again. 

At least I feel like I’m one step closer to being “in the club”. I’ll explain: I talked to a few friends today (experienced published fiction authors!) who told me, “Welcome to the club!” I guess no matter how many books you have under your belt, revisions and suggestions are ALWAYS a part of the game. I have two non-fiction proposals to bang out, and then I’m diving back into my fiction manuscript. Live and learn, right?

Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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