On Thursday I drove to Beverly Hills for my meeting with the Fancy Hollywood Agent (FHA). His office was buzzing with assistants. The man at the front desk told another that I was there, and I could hear word being passed back through the office that I had arrived. I would like to say that it sounded like a nervous, conspiratorial “she’s here,” “she’s here,” but really it sounded more like “who?” “oh, yeah.”
Once inside FHA’s office, the walls lined with dark wooden bookshelves exploding with tomes of all kinds, I told him my new ideas for my story. We talked about what makes a novel sell (and by correlation makes an agent interested). He said he liked my ideas, but was serious when he told me a book like mine would have to be exceptionally well written.
After about ten minutes, we said our goodbyes, and he told me to send him the first two pages when they were ready. “Two pages?” I asked.
“Ah, make it three,” he said.
This is the biggest lesson I took from my meeting with FHA. Nothing short of brilliant writing will be considered, and don’t dick around with the small talk. If the story isn’t juicy by page two, you’re not going to get anyone’s attention.
This stirs up a whole new batch of questions for me. Do we write to get attention, or do we write what we love and hope people pay attention? Is there a middle ground? How much can a writer tailor her writing to appeal to an audience and still consider herself an artist?
Right now I’m going with the theory that I am not a unique snowflake. I am, in fact, one of over 6.5 billion people living on this planet. If I write a story I love, and write it well, odds are that there are other people out there in the world who will love it too.