Revision: How Much is Too Much?


How attached are you to your MS? While waiting for my book to come out, I submitted a second MS to my publisher. I wanted to see if she would pick it up. She really liked it but wanted me to make it fictional. The premises of my MS, “Squirrel Mafia” is my year-long war with the squirrels in my backyard. The book is 100 percent true.

When she told me she wanted it I took a step back. It would mean a major rewrite if not me totally starting from scratch. I did like the idea for I could envision where I would take it. But I love this MS a lot. I love it so much that I turned that down and decided to keep it as it is. Yes I could have had a potential book being published. Now a days who am I to turn that down? But I did not want to take away from the vision of this book I wanted the world to know how truly evil squirrels are. I should know. I been observing them for a while now.

So again I ask how attached are you to your MS? Would you have broken down and rewrote your MS or not? I can imagine there are authors out there who do make the change that is asked of them to get their book published. I don’t mind slight revisions but when it is no longer what you had in mind then I have to say no.

Will this hurt me in the long run I don’t know. I been submitting “Squirrel Mafia” actively since August. But I am now done. I have had some nibbles and am hoping someone goes for a second bite. Just this week I had one publishing house ask for a formal TOC and a cover letter with my marketing plan for the MS.

I believe in this MS. Even if it means I end up self publishing it. I don’t want to change it so much that it is a shadow of what it once was. For me that would be worse than it not being published at all.

4 thoughts on “Revision: How Much is Too Much?”

  1. it’s a test, stand your ground- my Irish tenacity would kick in instantly and I’d be like who’s story is it anyway. Improvement ideas yes changing the direction/concept of the whole story no- I’d walk. that’s one big reason I self publish, that and the lack of a strict deadline.

    1. @Jo I can see your point. I can envision this book being fiction but that would way down the road. I like the way this book is so I declined and decided to submit it to other people. No harm no foul.

  2. I don’t mind making a few tweaks here and there, but honestly I’m not a conformist and agree with Jo. I’ve been hearing the same thing for a long time. I write in third person omniscient. I head hop several times in a scene instead of holding the reader’s hand by and telling them when a POV shift is coming. It’s my style and it’s not wrong, juts not in vogue at the moment. It helps I’m massively stubborn as well.

    1. @cp The beauty of having a nice relationship with my publisher. When she made the suggestion I declined. I like how it is and rather not change it. And if I can’t find someone who likes it as is will self publish it. I love having a second plan. You stubborn? Have you met my Irish friend Jo? 🙂

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