I've been agonizing about my favorite creative effort, a novel loosely based on my childhood experiences, highly fictionalized, but emotionally honest. I completed the first draft about ten years ago, then polished and rewrote and polished and rewrote. The title changed. The plot metamorphosed. The characters grew older, then younger.
I began to submit it to agents. I was signed by the Joy Harris agency and assigned to an agent who "loved the novella!" We worked on it together for a year. I accepted her suggested edits. The point of view changed from adult reminiscence to child present tense. The language level dropped to juvenile at her suggestion. The submission to publishers was about to begin when someone higher in the agency took a look at the work and suggested drastic changes that would have, to my mind, destroyed the theme of the work.
I changed agents. The David Black agency assigned me an agent who "loved the book!" We did some edits together. Went through the same process. She, my new agent, submitted to YA publishers, many of whom praised but didn't accept it for publication.
What to do? Keep submitting? Keep revising? Revert to the adult voice? Give up? Self publish?
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS AND THEMES AND THE PLOT.