Monday, October 31, 2011

The Writing Week (Vol. 4) part 199 - The Silence Is Deafening

All new writers (at least those that I have met) look forward to landing representation. We want an agent. We want a manager. We want a lawyer. We want the access and presumed instant success that all of those pledge.

The reality, for any of you hoping to land a combination of the above representatives, can paint a very different picture. For one, you feel compelled to run ideas - even just a kernel of an idea - past them. Something that's already in the works or too "out there" might not be worth their time. If it ain't worth their time, it most likely ain't worth yours (skip the part about it being inappropriate for the market; if they're not behind it, how hard do you think they will try to push it?). 

Then, there's the whole process of - once you've gotten the idea approved - moving forward. Your rep might want to see a synopsis. Then an outline. Then pages. Only then, unfortunately, might he or she decide it's not as viable a spec as originally presented. Or something else is out there like it. Or they don't dig it. Granted, this can happen with anybody weighing in on your pages, from producers to writers group members, but it is somehow more frustrating, in my opinion, when it happens with your rep. 

None of the above takes into account the fact that it can be difficult getting a response back from your representative. You might recall from earlier posts that I fired my first manager, because he would go months without getting in touch about whatever I had asked him. My current rep is better, though I feel like my project is cooling, and the response time is dragging out a bit. The only thing I can do is choose an idea and go forward with it; however, I'm reluctant to get too far into it, lest he say "oh, Universal's acquiring something just like it," thereby undoing all my progress. At the end of the day, progress undone is probably better than no progress at all, so I will sally forth.

I write the above not to be pessimistic or discourage any of you from getting/seeking representation. I hope you find it when you're in need and wish you a very healthy relationship with your agent/lawyer/manager/whoever. I also just urge caution, patience, and the knowledge that landing a rep doe not equal landing a sale, and that the battle is still uphill after that fortuitous day.