My agent (well, not officially, but she feels as good as) had a fairly relaxed meeting with me yesterday, in the sense that she didn't have reams of notes in front of her and instead started off with the two major things that needed revision:
1. I've been attempting to have too much 'chick lit' in there, when the more interesting angle of the book is the psychological thriller aspect. So tone down the former, without getting rid of it, and ramp up the latter, which means bringing my main MC's dead sister in to the story a bit more, and perhaps talking a bit more about her final days.
2. Using the rather useful plot device of the dead sister's diary too soon. I.e. the main character reads it too soon. Deprive her of the chance of reading it until later on in the novel, and keep your reader in a state of suspense. During the course of the meeting we actually came up, together, with a way of doing this! Hurray!
I agreed with both of these. The more minor things were: changing the shared hobby interest of a few of the main characters, be a bit more serious in places (there I was thinking that the light hearted comedy moments were injecting much needed light relief) and increase her sadness over the fact she's lost her sister in places. These I kind of agree with too, but will think upon them a bit more.
She didn't mind at all when I had a couple of minor disagreements with her; after all, no one wants a 'yes' man. The main thing is that I completely saw the sense in what she was saying overall, and I feel like these changes will make the novel stronger.
So very much 'broad brush' revisions then. She told me she's happy with my style, and that the story as a whole is a strong one with an excellent climax. She's forewarned me of the next painstaking stage: i.e. the one where she sends me my work covered with endless comments, additions and deletions. But that's a while away yet. One thing at a time...
Overall impression: a relaxed meeting with a person I feel I can work well with. She's basically easing me in with some hard work now in preparation for the very hard work that's to come. I do hope for all new writers' sakes that most agents conduct their first revisions meeting this way!