I have a full request out with one of my top-five favorite agents. After my heart soared from the full request, I read everything left on the internet that I hadn't read prior about TFFA, over analyzing the garbage out of whether or not TFFA would like my manuscript, but I was disappointed to find (buried in a very recent interview on a little-read blog) my book contains something that I am almost certain she will reject. And it's not subjective. It's a bloody book, and she seems pretty clear on her inability to handle gore. TFFA even gave comp titles on level of acceptable and unacceptable gore.
To complicate matters, my current WIP (which is drafted, through edit 7, critiqued, and on its way to a final draft in the next 2-5 months) is literally RIGHT up her alley. It's in a different age range and genre that she represents FAR more often (still scratching my head as to why she requested my bloody full) and despite there being no guarantees, it just seems like a far better fit.
Now, I know the answer to this question (or at least I think I do) but I'd rather look stupid asking a question than look stupid doing something silly.
1) Based on what I know, should it be on my radar at all to retract my full for fear of TFFA getting the wrong first impression and not wanting to touch my second (very non-violent) book with a 10 foot pole?
2) Or should I just wait it out and let her reject or (by some miracle of gastric fortitude) accept my blood soaked pages?
3) Has a first impression in terms of genre/style/common trope/pet peeve in writing ever set you off badly enough that you had a lurking impression on future submissions?
4) (and you can feel free to answer this one quietly) Am I... perhaps... just a tiny neurotic bit... over thinking this?
Let's take the questions in reverse order.
(4) No you are not over-thinking this. This is a serious question of strategy.
(3) Sure, but that's not what this is. First impressions when someone says "please get back to me soon" are the ones you want to avoid.
Here's what you do. VERY SUCCINCTLY (and I think we can agree that this question to me was NOT THAT) you say "I believe, upon further research, that this novel will be too violent for your stated taste. Rather than have you invest time in reading this, I have another novel that I believe is more suited to both what you sell, and your preference on levels of gore. Thus, I'd like to withdraw this novel, and query you for TITLE."
Here's WHY you're going to do this: I'd rather read the novel that most suits my taste FIRST. There's time enough later on to get the novel I don't like as much but since you're already a client, will have to just suck it up and sell.