Yesterday, I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down for a good thirty minutes straight. I nearly squished a dog or two who curiously followed me underfoot. I received an email from a NY agency that I had mailed a query letter to. The assistant told me that this agent wanted me to submit 30 pages and a synopsis to her, giving her 30 days of exclusivity. I was so excited! I emailed and texted friends, and they were all excited… and it’s not a small-time agency. It has a separate film/television department. Pretty cool. So as I considered what I was going to write to this agent, I got anotheremail from another NY agent. She, too, wanted to review materials exclusively.
Some of the “specialness” went away. Maybe this isn’t such a novel thing… maybe my query letter has just finally reached beyond the “completely sucks – automatic rejection” level and has moved on to the “I’ll give it a try” stage. That still doesn’t mean I have a book deal.
Now I have to figure out a game plan. I’ve read a ton of blogs that say “DON’T DO EXCLUSIVES!” It’s a losing scenario for an author because it puts the work out of commission for x days/weeks/months… and more often than not (WAY more often than not), the outcome is another rejection. I’m starting to see why it takes years to get books published.
So back to that way-more-often-than-not rejection. There’s always that possibility that an offer for representation will follow, too. It’s out there… it just needs to be found. I can’t find it if people can’t read my story. So do I send materials for agents to peruse exclusively? Who gets it? And for how long?
Anyway. As someone said earlier today, it’s not a particularly bad problem to have.
And in other news… the screenplay. Wow. So, the stories of Nate, Emi and Jack took a grand total of 360,000 words to write in novel-form. That’s all well and good. I handled it by splitting the story into three neat little(r) books. The screenplay? Hah. Movie 1, Scene 1: I’m up to page 16, and only half-way through the scene. Yes, there’s a lot of back-story in this scene, but that’s insanity.
Most of you who don’t know about scripts might think, “Oh, that’s great!” But here’s the reality. Scripts are 100 – 120 pages. The rule of thumb is one page = one minute. Let’s do the math.
Let’s say Scene 1 ends up being 30 pages… I have the movie mapped out into 31 major scenes. If all the scenes end up that long, that’s 930 pages, or a 15.5 hour movie. Commence laughter now.
I guess the screenplay’s going to need a little work.