[A reader] commented about 'fiction novel' and it made me think about a comment I'd gotten.I think who ever told you that is an idiot.
'Don't say novel, use manuscript. Agents freak out when you call it a novel and it hasn't been published.'
I had not heard or seen this anywhere. What do you think?
Well, either an idiot or more likely parroting some numbskull agent who's too busy trying to feel important to actually dispense useful information like why "safety deposit box" is always wrong, and joint accounting is a tool of the Devil.
Let me be clear:
It's a novel when you're writing it.
It's a novel when you're revising it.
It's a novel when you're tearing out your hair, trunking it, and never speaking of it again.
It's STILL a novel when you dust it off ten years later, give it to your agent and she sells it for a gazillion dollars.
It's in manuscript form some of that time.
But it's always a novel, unless it's non-fiction or a memoir.
In other words, whether something is a novel is based on CONTENT not publication status.
And anyone who tries to make you feel stupid for saying novel instead of manuscript has entirely too much time on her hands, and should come to my office for refresher course in Agenting 101.