A little over a month ago I sent out my first tentative queries to a handful of agents. I've received several rejections and one request for a partial. The good news is after requesting the partial the agent responded back to me yesterday. The bad news is that she didn't request a full. However, she did offer very useful and constructive comments about how to improve the story and characters...which I suppose is more good news. All the things she pointed out as problems were things I suspected anyway and I had already begun to outline necessary revisions.
So now it's back to the drawing board. I believe in this story and these characters and I'm determined to find the formula that works for this novel. I'll have to make some drastic changes, but I know it can be done and the story will be that much better because of it.
I first realized the story may need this kind of overhaul shortly after I'd sent out my queries and I was devastated, mostly because it felt like starting over, and the sheer scope of it was overwhelming. I refused to believe it at first, depressed by the thought of such major rewrites. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense, so I started trying to work out the changes that needed to be made.
My goal is to have these revisions done in a month so I can begin the query process again. I have no idea if that's a realistic timeline, but I know what I'm capable of and I know these characters and their story so I'm pretty sure a month is doable. It's still an overwhelming task to face, but now that I'm in a more positive state of mind I'm ready to face it and conquer it!
Have you ever faced this kind of overhaul of a novel? How did you handle it?