The Agent Calls

My writing for publication goes first to my agent, then to an editor, then (if accepted) to a copy editor and production.   So the agent’s call or email to give me his reaction to whatever (book, shorter work) is usually my first *professional* assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.   The eyes on the work are new, and moreover they’re very, very experienced.   Moreover, they see it in ways I can’t, because I don’t have the same experience of other peoples’ writing, the market, the editors, etc.   On November 30, the agent called.

In my current situation, coming on three years since the publication of my last book, knowing I’ve had a concussion in the meantime, that my new work will be affected but not how,  having an agent who is willing to read the rough draft and give his opinion of it…the same agent who has read *all* my book manuscripts…is invaluable.   Between the time I sent it to him and his call, I was also re-reading it as a whole and starting to fix what I saw (more clearly, because one does after the thing is “finished”) as its problems.  What he said did not surprise me–I had already spotted the flashing LEDs on the magenta and lime-green elephant squatting in the book–but I’d been staring at the obvious without seeing any way to return it anything useful.   Thanks to him, I now have a Plan.  We discussed several approaches, discarded some early thoughts,  and I now have a more tenable plan than “Gotta fix that, gotta fix that, how the heck can I fix THAT?”

Neither of us wants me to be writing less and less interesting Vatta books into my 90s.  My 90s, if I get there and if I’m still writing, should be full of what *I* want to do, she says selfishly.   So Vatta’s Peace the group needs to come to an end.  No end satisfies everyone, but an end that satisfies me, my agent, and my editor.  This  book isn’t  the end, but the next one or two will be.    Someone in one of those may say something like “You can’t kill us; we have no intention of killing you.”  I know who will say it, if someone does, but am not yet sure I believe them.

Meanwhile back at the tiny ranch where two horses are munching away on breakfast hay, I need to find a title for New Book, but until I’ve converted that garish elephantine hole in the book into the right kind of PlotStuff, it’s going to be hard to think up a good one.  You are free to wander about your imaginations and think of one.

7 thoughts on “The Agent Calls

  1. Happy horses eating is always a good start. The elephant reference made me laugh. *mumble* years ago, working at a Ren Fest, an elephant ride was added 2nd weekend. I’m sitting backstage watching the handler walking, followed (loose) by an elephant with a camel’s lead in her trunk and another elephant holding onto the first elephant’s tale. Across the road someone came out of a porta-privvy and the way the door was angled, they apparently couldn’t see the handler. So, to them it looked like they came out to see an elephant taking a camel for a walk. I could just see the thought bubbles over their head “at least it isn’t pink” and they stepped back into the privvy and closed the door. Hopefully your elephant is as well behaved as that one was and wanders away to its home leaving the book in better shape.

  2. Eowyn: Thanks–I actually laughed at that little mental video.

    I offer in return Elphick Event Ponies on You Tube, the first day of “Vlog-mas” in which Meg is riding a 14 hand Welsh cob down a curving line of 9 bounce jumps (curving because her arena isn’t long enough to do it straight) and counting in Spanish as she goes over them. You get to see the set-up, the realization that no, there’s no way to fit them all in, in a straight line, the curve, and the graduated way that Bear (pony) is eased into jumping the whole thing, boing-boing-boing-boing-boing-boing-boing-boing-boing.

  3. Bear and Meg are so much fun to watch. I wonder if she got tired after all those jumps. The red sequin cape / tree skirt is so funny.

    1. Yes…I’ve not seen personally, but have seen lots of pictures of, horses dressed up for Christmas on various horse groups on Facebook and elsewhere. There’s a horse trainer in New Mexico who dresses up every horse on the place every year and then posts the pictures…usually it’s reindeer horns and/or a Santa hat, but every horse manages to tip things at a different angle.

  4. did you watch the Elphick Ponies photo shoot for the intro to Vlog-mas? I’ve never seen horses dressed up for Christmas.

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