Regular readers of this blog (hi Mom!) have followed the journey of Blades of Grass since it began last fall with NaNoWriMo. In a nutshell for you latecomers, I churned out 50K words, chucked them all and started over in March. Along the way, I had my wonderful agent, Stephen Fraser, checking in with knowledge and advice. Upon my urging, Steve gave me an end of summer soft deadline for getting him a manuscript to review. I translated that into a hard August 1st deadline for myself. And, ladies and gentlemen, I met that deadline!
So last week, I sent Steve the book before I jetted off on a vacation to Portland and Seattle. About midway through the week I heard back from Steve and…wait for it…he liked the book! I launched into my happy dance, which looks pretty much like this…
But with the “like” came some suggestions of how to make a good book great, which leads me to the point of this post: How strictly should a writer adhere to his or her agent’s advice on a manuscript? Steve and I chatted a bit about the book and he concluded the discussion with:
“Don’t make any changes you aren’t comfortable with. It’s your novel.”
Frankly, I didn’t disagree with any of the advice he gave me, and I’m perfectly willing to see if I can weave each of his comments into the book to, in his words, make it perfect. The fact is, I trust him to know what will work and what won’t. That isn’t to say I have blind faith, of course. It is my book after all. But I respect his opinion.
So, back to the question at hand: