Monday, August 20, 2012

The Revision Decision

So I’m in this fantastic situation of revising my manuscript for a couple of unbelievably great agents who loved it, but who want me to turn it into a YA novel because they feel teenagers and adults will eat it up*.

At first I thought this would be really easy. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll get to work on that right away!” After cracking my knuckles, I sat down and opened my manuscript. And then I came down with a case of Complete Brain Spaz, otherwise known as CBS. (What?! It’s not just a network—it’s a thing, I promise!)

See, when I envisioned doing these revisions, I thought I’d just go by the synopsis I’d prepared for a YA version. Easy as pie (which, when you think about it, doesn’t really make sense. Who said pie was easy? Honestly, I’ve never been able to bake a really good … *sigh* Okay, okay, I’ll get back on track.)

My question is, how much of a risk should you take when doing revisions? Changing a novel from adult to YA changes a lot of things, including the dynamics of the characters’ relationships. I could rewrite the start, which would be like writing the prequel and merging it with the current story—but then there’s the chance I’ll be shredding what the agents loved about the novel in the first place! Argh! 

I know you guys can’t answer this for me. There is no simple solution. Part of me is hoping that by putting this post out in the world, the right answer will come and smack me upside the head.

But for those of you who’ve been where I am, how much of a risk did you take?

*Caution: eating novels may cause indigestion.