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  1. Sis

    Sis New Member

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    Has anyone sent work without having finished their novel?

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Sis, Oct 23, 2019.

    Hey all,
    I'm new here . I'm currently working on my first novel. I'm hoping to be finished by around Christmas and then send it out in January.
    My question is if anyone has sent their first three chapters out without having the whole novel finished? I'm asking because I am reading online that many agents take up to three months if they are going to get back.
    I was thinking of maybe sending my first three chapters out and to one agent now and by the time they (hopefully) get back letting me know, I'd have it finished if they wanted MS.
    Just wondering about any ideas on doing this?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Imagine an agent actually buys into your query letter and sample pages/chapters. But your writing isn't progressing as fast as imagined for a number of reasons and the agent moved quicker than you think. Now you look incompetent as you have to explain it isn't actually finished. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
     
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  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Play for the long game. You get only one chance with each agent. What if you do not have the novel finished/polished if it's requested? What if you complete the novel with a different path/ending than 'advertised' in the query letter? What if you decide that there needs to be changes to the first three chapters by the time you reach the end.

    A writing career can extend into decades. Being impatient over several months? Maybe not a prudent move.
     
  4. Sis

    Sis New Member

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    Thank you both. It's true; I need to be more patient.
     
  5. Gary Wed

    Gary Wed Active Member

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    I have no idea what your novel looks like, but my first eight serious and complete novels were not worth publishing, and when I finally did publish, that wasn't worth publishing either. I pulled it, rewrote it, and the publisher was happy to see it back. Even then, it's not even close to my current work, some thirty novels later.
    I think that this industry is the only one on earth, wherein folks do something one time and think it's automatically professional. Further, should a publisher take the offering and publish the book, how does that book make you feel, ten years later?
    My first fantasy series offers another insight worth thinking about. I loved the first book, but before even attempting to find a fantasy publisher, I wrote the next one (took another year). That 2nd book was 100% better than the first one, so I had to keep editing that 1st book to death. While I was editing the 1st and 2nd books, I wrote the 3rd book. It was 100% better than the second one. By then I was two years past finishing the first book, and those first two books were editing out well enough to be close to book 3, but I then wrote the best one of all, book 4. By then I realized that I was seriously tired of fixing books 1-3, and wished to hell I could just publish book 4 without all the fuss. Ultimately the publisher took books 1-3, but that series panned out there, and they never saw the best book of all.
    Since, I've learned to either not write a series, or to write them in ways where I could publish out of order.
    But, I am a little off topic. My primary points are these:
    1) Your first book ought to be your worst book. If it isn't you are not growing as a writer.
    2) It represents you, nonetheless. For life.
    3) People severely underestimate how big of a job editing is. Writers create whole strategies toward the process of continually editing, to the degree that 3/4 of our writing days is editing (minimum).
    4) Generally speaking editing a first book takes years, a fifth book a year, a tenth book six months, a twentieth book three months, etc.. Even now, dozens of novels down the road for me, and actively in several peer groups, I'd not even consider sending a novel to a publisher without at least giving myself three months of space (and that would be a major rush job). I did that once.
    5) You want to send the first three chapters and those are, ironically, the three most likely to need major work. This has been true with every single book I have ever written.
     
    Thundair and EFMingo like this.

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