STATUS: One of my goals for this travel week was to get caught up on the fulls we have requested. The week is drawing to an end. I’d better hop to it!
What’s playing on the iPod right now? SOS by Rihanna
You know I almost never respond to questions in the comment section but one astute reader asked a question that really got me thinking. Have I ever asked for a full manuscript, started to fall in love, and then had the manuscript jump the shark halfway or three quarters of the way through the full?
The answer is yes. In fact, that should be in capital letters– YES. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it can be a huge sad moment.
It’s one reason why agents always read until the end—even if they are sure they love the voice, the plot, and what have you. There really is such a thing as a manuscript suddenly taking a sharp left turn and leaving the agent stunned and confused.
What’s interesting though is this. I don’t keep a running track record but I do know of a few authors whose first projects I read, really liked, had this happened so I ultimately passed on that novel who then went on to get agented (and sold) with a later manuscript. Sometimes it’s just that last little kernel of knowledge that the author needed to learn about plotting before having it all click on a more mature manuscript.
In fact, one of the authors I have right now is a writer I passed on originally for her first manuscript (not exactly for this reason but for something close). I then took her on for her second novel and sold it at auction.
So when I see it, I always tell the writer that the manuscript diverged too suddenly for me (and why) but we see talent here and would be open to seeing future stuff.
Sometimes they take us up on it. Sometimes they end up represented by an agent friend (which is how I ended up knowing about it). Otherwise I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t remember as I don’t keep track.