One of my greatest fears happened the other day. Sort of…
One of my critique partners had queried an agent and sent along the first four chapters of her manuscript like four months ago. No big deal right? Now the agent has requested the entire novel.
Good for her, except we’ve been working on her novel for like 2 months. She’s completely rewritten not only the first four chapters, but almost half the book thanks to my recommendations. And who am I?
Her book was, apparently, good enough to have the whole thing requested as is. So what should she do? Send the original MS without my helpful hand? Send it with my rewrites included? What if my rewrites and suggestions are the things that make her novel no longer worthy in the eyes of the agent?
She told me she sent the one with my suggestions because she likes it better. If it gets rejected now, will it be my fault? I know she didn’t have to follow my suggestions, but I can’t help but feel responsible.
It scares me because what if one of those lines I crossed out was the line that spoke to that agent? I mean what the hell do I know, right? I haven’t been published.
Then again, two of my last three critique partners were picked up. If she gets picked up is the common link me? Am I the man behind the curtain or do I just have phenomenal luck when it comes to critique partners?
I mean, let’s be real here, I don’t want to be an editor. I only do it so that someone will read my manuscript and poke all sorts of holes in it. The end goal here is to either get published or self-publish a novel that so that when Sally gets home after her dog bit her, her boyfriend dumped her, and her boss fired her, she can escape for just a few minutes into my world.
Still, I can’t help feel responsible. I hope this agent likes her book, because I’m going to feel like it’s my fault if she doesn’t. Which, I agree, is totally stupid.