No matter how many weeks, months, or years you’ve been working on your epic masterpiece, I guarantee you some editor/agent is going to rip it a new one with the stroke of a red pen. Not once, not twice, not even three times. In fact, you’re going to get sick of looking and re-looking at your own work.
I’m not trying to scare you, but to tell you that it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. You’ve been looking at your work for WAAAAAAY too long and you need new eyes. Professional eyes. Eyes that have seen every corny, cliché, ridiculous piece of drivel out there. Your friends, your family, your ex boyfriend, your AA sponsor, your parole officer, your personal trainer, the kid in the mailroom at work, and your sixth grade English teacher aren’t going to cut it. You need a pro.
That’s where the TRUST comes in…
Those who are looking for representation should know this going in. If— scratch that —WHEN you get signed to an agent, the first thing they are going to do before the ink dries is hand you revisions, or what I like to call a list of demands—hostage negotiations, if you will. You need to learn humility and be open to suggestions. If you throw a temper tantrum over every stupid issue, then this tells the agent two things:
1) You’re hard to deal with
2) You think waay to much of yourself
None of these are a good look for any writer to wear, so leave your ego at the door. Don’t be a Yes Man either. Express your concerns with decorum and respect and you will get it in return. I completely understand the anxiety with writers. It’s a nerve-wracking and almost cruel violation when someone marks up your pride and joy. I once told my agent (the lovely Kathleen Ortiz) that having people revise my work feels like giving my newborn son to a palsy-ridden doctor for a circumcision: Shaky.
There’s a whole lot of trust involved in this process. Trust that the agents and editors are trying to make your manuscript better. If your work was BAD, you would have never got past the partial submission stage. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. But it CAN be. Just be aware that this process is an eye-opener that will knock you off your pedestal quickly.
But with the support from the right people who know what they’re doing, they will put you back up there better than when you started.