Agents are rejecting my picture book manuscript. I’m worried that a passage that I like in the manuscript might be hurting me in submission. Or maybe I’m just getting paranoid?? I go back and forth about taking it out. How do I make this decision?
Cut or Keep?
Dear Cut or Keep?…
Rejections are par for the course – unfortunately. But here’s what it comes down to: You must feel confident about your submission. Will you always wonder if this one passage tanked the project, and regret not removing it? It’s okay to cut it – the manuscript you submit for agent representation almost certainly won’t be the final text in the published book. You’ll be revising this with your editor after contract, and very possibly with your agent before they pitch it to publishers. You can get their weigh-in on this passage later. If you have worries about the passage, and it doesn’t ruin your creative vision to remove it, take it out so you can feel confident about submitting it.
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, has been editing books for over 25 years and specializes in Middle Grade/Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books. For her editorial guidance in making your manuscript ready for submission to agents and publishers or for self-publishing, click Editorial services. Learn more in her books: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction.