I have a list of edits to do. Some (manageable, mostly small) were discussed with the agent. New ones were emailed over once she had read the book again. Ah. BIG changes. My immediate reaction was predictable but surprisingly painful.
I know the book is flawed, I've said it enough here, but a couple of her suggestions - which is how they are posed - just don't sit right with my vision of the book. The main problem is that she would like to put the bad guy - well, girl - front and centre, and I have slowly introduced her. I've managed to advance her introduction to the first scene, and boost her appearance throughout. I think the agent is right, she's thinly written, I think I was trying to keep her mysterious, but as a reader once I'm curious about a character, I want more information. Damn, I've just agreed with her again...
How do we let go of our stories? My niece has just had a baby, and she suggested writing a book was a bit similar. It takes ages, you bring it painfully and with a lot of effort out of yourself, and it's yours. Then someone else wants to substantially change it?
Here's my thinking. I want to be the kind of client who trusts that the agent has far superior knowledge of what editors are looking for, and takes advice. I want to do a good job producing a manuscript that will go far, and deliver a good read.
I also want to be true to myself, true to the work, and retain some small certainty that the book works. After all, I am the writer.
So far I've changed seventeen things, some small, some whole chapters. I've decided not to completely change two ideas, doing my best to find a compromise. One thing I know I can't do unless I rewrite two thirds of the book and lose the main focus. I hope I'm doing the right thing but it is my baby! What would you do?