Script #1 is done. I’ve spent most of the last month (when I wasn’t watching the Olympics – there’s a time-suck for you) revising, editing, and polishing. Thankfully, it’s over now. I cut about 15-20 pages out in three passes.
As far as I can tell, it’s Ready. I could be wrong. It could be anything but ready, but we’re going to give it a shot and get it out on the market.
So now begins the hunt for that elusive creature – the Agent that is willing to take queries and read scripts that haven’t been referred by an Industry Professional.
I built a list of about 100 agencies that I thought I might want to call or send queries to. Part of that list came out of a book from the library, and part of it came from the WGA’s list of signatory agencies. A word of advice: Don’t bother with an agency list in a book, unless that book is less than about 2 years old.
The book I used was printed in 2006. A measurable percentage of the agents listed had passed away. A larger percentage of the agencies had gone out of business or merged with other companies, or they’ve changed their focus from writers to actors, or they don’t ‘agent’ anymore and have turned to managing.
(Side note: Can someone explain to me why a writer would want a manager? Do they do enough to warrant collecting 10-15%? I’ve heard it both ways, and I still don’t get exactly what good they might do. I can see how they could help an actor or a band, but a writer?)
Anyway, my suggestion is to go straight for the WGA list (found here: https://apps.wga.org/agency/agencylist.aspx). It will save you some time.
So I’m starting the Query Process. It’s almost disconcerting how few agencies are open to receiving queries, or are kind enough to spell out their submission guidelines. There are a number of agencies that don’t list any guidelines, so they are going to get a phone call or an email at least, maybe even a letter. We’ll see.
I figure out of a 100 agencies, I should get 10% that request a copy of my script, and if I’m lucky, 10% will be interested enough in me and my writing they will be willing to take me on as a client.
Like so many things in writing, it’s a numbers and persistence game. You sit down and write everyday, whether 100 words or 1000 or 10,000, and at some point you’ll have something done. Then you sit and edit for a few days or weeks or months, and then you have something better.
When it comes to representation, my gut’s telling me that that same combination of numbers and persistence will pay off. Send out a couple of letters, make a couple of phone calls. Hear ‘no’ a few times. Cross some names off your list. Do the same thing tomorrow.
Eventually something positive will happen. Maybe. Maybe it won’t.
Maybe ‘They’ will discover your innermost secret – that your writing is shit (only that little voice inside you knows that. How did ‘They’ find out?).
Anyway, we won’t know until we try, will we?
I’ll post updates if/when anything exciting happens. Keep writing.
PS – Seriously. Can someone explain to me the deal with managers?