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Lit

Part of: Hollywood , Literati

I am searching for my very own literary agent. Isn’t that cute? The problem in Los Angeles is that most lit agents only represent screenwriters. I want a lit agent who represents authors and screenwriters. I must confess— I haven’t been looking too hard. I do know a few screenwriters with agents who would be happy to give my future screenplays to their agents.

In Hollywood, it’s very difficult, because most lit agents won’t read unsolicited work. Also, I haven’t written any screenplays recently. I’ve always wanted to write novels and short stories, but have been confused about whether I want to do the Hollywood thing.

All the working screenwriters I know (there aren’t many) tell me I should write for television. Yes, I would love to write for “Will and Grace,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Six Feet Under,” “Dead Like Me,” and perhaps a few other shows. I guess HBO and Showtime aren’t really television, though—so, the last two shows don’t count. It’s not good to go into television writing thinking that most of TV sucks and you wouldn’t want to write for most of the shows. I am a bit more flexible.

A few months ago, I was talking to a writer who just got his first TV writing job. Of course I congratulated him, but he wasn’t too happy “But, it’s for ‘Blank, blank, blank’,” he lamented. (This guy is a real intellectual—probably even went to an Ivy League school). I wasn’t sure if the show he was writing for was a new show, since I don’t watch a lot of TV. I thought he was being whiny. The chances of getting a TV writing gig are very, very small. Also, I am considered to be a minority in the film industry because I am a woman—pretty sad.

The other night I went to see a lit agent speak and was impressed for once. Said agent was young and very enthusiastic. I though, I could see this guy actually representing me. I only want representation if I find someone I really believe in. I don’t want a lit agent just to have one. It’s like hiring a lawyer you don’t really love. You can’t yell at your lawyer (even if he isn't doing much) and expect him to happily work harder for you. You still have to do a lot of the work and he won't work as hard for you if he doesn't see the dollar signs.

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