Here's the thing: YA books' target length is 60K-80K words, and mine weighs in at a whopping 115K. I've shaved and cut and that's where it stands. In the euphoria of finishing my manuscript, I sent out some so-so queries stupidly to the wrong people (who accept YA but not what I write--now that I've seen what they particularly want online--oops! sorry about that! I was so naive.) and some of the right people (who weren't interested at this time, thank you very much) that I got from a book. I looked online too, but obviously not enough.
There is so much stuff out there once you start looking and know what you're looking for. Now that I kind of have a clue about what I'm doing, (Thanks to Nathan Bransford and other agents' websites like his--Thanks Nathan! I worship at your feet--well sort of, and not in any stalker-like manner) I want to start all over again. I didn't completely strike out. I had some interest and even a request for a full, but no takers so far. I still have yet to hear back from 2 agents. When I hear back from them I'm starting over with a little savvy this time. If I need to make the split this is the perfect time to do it.
Some of the things I've read lately talk about how much harder it is for anyone to take on a new author (in this economy) especially if the book is long. It's such a big risk for the publishers, etc., etc., and I totally get that. The agent who requested the full said that she didn't think it was commercial enough in the current market. Is a part of it, that it is too long? It could be. So I think I really should split my book. There's a natural break about half way through that with a little tweaking could be the end of the first book. It would be right about 80K words. Still in the ballpark. Then there's a built in sequel.
I finally make up my mind that splitting it is the best thing to do, and then I think I've lost the aforementioned mind. There is so much great stuff going on in the second half of the book. What if the book tanks because the best part is in the second half and no one gets to read it. The sequel never happens because the 1st book stinks. Waaah!
Then I think I should just lose the first half of the book and incorporate what's necessary in the 2nd half and voila a shorter book, but the building up of the tension and characters is what makes the 2nd half of the story make sense.
Some agents say that it's the writing that counts. Yeah, but what about all those agents who won't read something over 80K for YA? I'm in such a quandary. Any ideas? advice?