Friday, July 16, 2010

Fictional Agent Friday~TOOTSIE

Here is a gem. Tough, in your face, well spoken in two dialects, a  Suthaner and New Yawker. Where could you go wrong with Dorothy/Michael/Dustin as a literary agent?

Imagine the possibilities, the dual roles trying to cut the deals. Could you not see Dorothy, with her southern charm wooing the big publishing houses? No way she was taking no for an answer.

Not working, well then you send in Michael. Now, Michael was kind of sexy in a tranny short guy way. They way he sweet talks Jessica Lange into giving him another shot. Put that guy in front of an editor, you'd get sold. Even in Tootsie the character Michael's agent is tired of him. So he takes matters into his own hands. Ahh, Hollywood. Only if we could dress in drag and pawn our books off to publishers.

Watch this little clip to remind you of the sheer genius of this story. (It's the best clip I could find, skip to about the 35 second mark.)

But here is where our funny jesting takes a serious twist. All these quirky things we see in these amazing characters, aren't agents looking for something as equally likable in their clients? Should we be looking for that something that would make us connect to the agents we are querying?

I guess, but how do you do that within a query letter, while selling your MS?How do you pull off sounding amazingly interesting and be professional at the same time? You have to do all this and you don't even know the person you are writing to. You look them up, read the website bios, check out their blog or a blog interview, hoping to get some sense if this person will dig you and you them.

I mean imagine this, you get a partial request. You sing and dance. You send. Weeks later you get a full request. Woot woot, party in my pants. Then, (long pause for dramatic effect, maybe even a drum roll) you get an offer for representation.

How super friggin' awesome is that?

Then you meet or chat and its like dead air. Like a really awkward date with zero chemistry from the door?

Damn. What to do?

It's a business, you suck it up and hope things work out. But with no chemistry, what are the odds? And are they thinking the same things you are? Are they thinking while the writing is great this chick gets on my nerves? Or worse has zero personality?

Can you really work together? Does any of this really matter? I mean look at this picture of Dorothy, I want her as my agent already.

We get form rejections and yes it sucks and sometimes hurts because there is no explanation for it. Of course there is one, we'll just never know it. Maybe we're better off not. I think I'm liking the "It's not you its me" conversation that swirls in me noggin. But, like a girl ditched before the dance, that reasoning super sucks. Cause we all know it takes two to make a connection and two for it not to be there.

So, is querying much like dating? Finding that right fit? I wouldn't know, I married my high school sweetheart. But if this is what dating was like, I am damn glad I skipped that part.

Chicas, chicos, mi writing familia, how does this change your view of querying, agents, etc.?
Who do you want to see as next Friday's Fictional Agent? I have a penchant for 80's movies, but I am showing my age.

Let's get some dialogue going. I'd love to peek inside your heads on this one.

Charli Mac is signing out. See you Tuesday on the ledge. Feel free to send me some ledge stories of your own. Agent or query ones. You never know what I'll post next....muah ha ha ha!


  1. Thanks Mart. Love this movie. Dorothy rocks!

  2. I wonder how long it would take for an agent to write a few sentences about WHY they rejected your project, instead of giving a form? A little insight instead of a simple two sentence rejection could do a long way. Mmm, maybe we should be agents, lassie! :-)

  3. If we were agents we would be so stoked to help peeps with their stories. Maybe editors first...feck. We should open a publishing house and do it all.

  4. Imagine ourselves as an agents? What's the first thing you would do?

  5. Hullo, PIMP MY OWN BOOK! That's Pimp 101. Sell thine own ass first....LMAO.

  6. Great post you two. I never thought about the chemistry thingy between an agent and author, but now you have my mind going. Crap, I never thought past the GETTING an agent...hmmm...

  7. I know, we are so worried getting an agent we forget about the next part, the actual working together. This is all so very daunting. But, I am enjoying the ride.