The assistant for a very good, old school New York agent requested a partial of my thriller, then requested the full. Two weeks later, the assistant wrote back to tell me that she hadn’t read the full herself, but she’d given it to her intern, who had written up an extensive report about it, and the assistant was giving me an R&R.
The problem is that the intern’s comments, criticisms, and suggestions were largely off-base (sometimes painfully so), showed a real lack of insight into my novel, and betrayed a palpable inexperience about people and the world at large.
So, I’m in a bind. It would be a dream to sign with this agent, but I can’t revise according to the intern’s comments, because they would wreck my novel. Should I let the assistant know about the intern’s mistakes and hope she’ll be sympathetic? Should I just chalk the whole thing up to experience and move on? Or is there a third option?
Thanks very much.
The third option is to simply say you don't agree with the intern's assessment and suggestions for revisions. If you can use some examples of the painfully off-base criticisms, put those in your reply. Of course you'll leave out any kind of comment on the intern's state of mind, experience etc. You'll keep it solely about the work. Leave it in the assistant agent's hands about what to do next.
Be prepared for the assistant to say sayonara.
Meanwhile you KEEP QUERYING.
You don't say how much time has elapsed between getting this intern critique and writing to me. Before responding to the critique, you'll want to make sure you've given it at least a week. I can always tell when someone is replying in the heat of outraged rejection and inevitably, they have a more temperate reply a week later.
And make sure you're not shouting "off my lawn, whippersnapper" before you reply. Sometimes those inexperienced babes in the woods see things that us more seasoned folk have long since stopped noticing.