Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Revision Tip #3: How Ready are You when it comes to Revising with an Agent? (Multiple Choice Quiz)

Hey y'all. So, this isn't exactly a revision tip, but it has to do with after the revision. I have prepared a multiple choice test for you, to see how ready you are to deal with an agent who gives you revision assignments. If you find yourself stumped, think "W-W-B-D: What Would Brodi Do" and then do something else. Anything else.

*Yes, these are real life examples
**Yes, Michael Bourret is a patient man/agent.

Before you've signed with an agent...

When your potential favorite agent schedules a phone call (you know... THE OFFER CALL),  you:

a. Answer the phone after the first ring
b. Answer the phone before it even rings
c. Don't answer the first time. Blow dry your hair instead. It's okay to play hard-to-get; Agents like that. They like to have to work hard to contact you. This lets the agent know you will be hard to contact in the future. (Which, as you'll read below, is totally true)

Answer: A. or B. Not C, because that's what I did.

When you decide to accept said agent's offer, you:

a. Call him to let him know.
b. Send one email, thanking him for his offer, and accepting it.
c. Send two emails: one thanking him for his offer and accepting it, the next one freaking out that maybe he really wasn't offering you representation, and the OFFER CALL was really just a chat (because agents like to call writers, just to chat, even if they don't like your work) and you misunderstood the entire thing, and if that's the case, he should disregard the first email, because no matter what happens, you don't want to look stupid.

Answer: A. or B. Not C, because that's what I did.

When your revisions are due, you:

a. Send in the correct revised version
b. Ask for an extension
c. Send in the old version, tell him it's the revised version... and it's totally not okay because he's gonna re-read the entire thing because the most noticeable change comes at the end. So yeah, he wasted his time re-reading the exact same manuscript in its entirety before he realized, "hey, nothing's different."

Answer: A. or even B's okay. Not C, because that's what I did.

When you have to reschedule the revision phone call, because the agent has to have some extra time to read the actual revised version, you:

a. Set up a time convenient for both you and your agent.
b. Make sure your phone is charged.
c. Find the most remote island in the Pacific Northwest, where the hotelier looks at you like you're insane when you have the nerve to ask, "Do you get cell reception here?" and then promptly go to that island to await the call.

Answer: A. or B. Not C, because that's what I did.

When you send an email to your agent, asking him to call you at your hotel instead of your cell phone (because it's totally believable you're the one person in the continental U.S. who can't get reception), you:

a. Call him instead, because that would be easiest.
b. Send him the number to the hotel, with your room number, and ask him to call you.
c. Send him the wrong number to the hotel, with no instructions how to reach your room, and ask him to figure it out. Because it's good form to test your agent's resourcefulness, and you always want to start out your phone calls with the agent saying these words: "In the future, if you have to give this hotel number to others, here's the correct number..."

Answer: A. or B. Not C, because that's what I did.

When you're up late at night, and the self-doubt creeps in, you:

a. Discuss it with your significant other, because he/she can't leave you, because he/she knew what he/she was getting into when he/she got involved with you.
b. Take an extra sleeping pill, and tell yourself it's best to sleep on it. You'll have your wits about you in the morning.
c. Compose a crazy a** email that showcases your neuroses, because hey, you do your best writing at midnight. Address said email to your agent, with the subject line: "Aaaaaaaccccckkkkkk!"

You can probably guess which one I chose, prompting me to make myself one of these:
Six days without incident and counting...

So, how did y'all do on the quiz? At least you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that there's always someone out there who did it crazier than you. I, unfortunately, can take no such comfort.


  1. Doubtful, there is ALWAYS someone more crazy than you out there. At least for my sake I hope there is!

    Does Michael follow your blog?!?!

  2. Uh, yes, but I'm sure he doesn't have much extra time to read blogs. Why? Does it make him look bad? It's supposed to make him look good. Saintly.

  3. That's hilarious! I'm laughing so hard right now. And if I have to keep planning YW activities like the one last night, I will soon be much, much crazier than you. Although not nearly as funny.

    When do we get to read the new and improved awesomeness that is your story? Or even just your query letter for it so we can marvel at your brilliance?

  4. 6 days without a crazy email to Michael? That is awesome. I thought it was only 4 days. Good work. Lets shoot for 10 days and we will party!

  5. Jenilyn- brilliance... ha ha! I'll send you my query any time you want it. What YW activity did you do last night that was so stressful? Was it trying to set up Comcast's new digital adaptor? I'm trying that today, and it sucks!

    Sam- Ten days without incident is asking for a bit much, don't you think?

  6. I had to plan our Camp Awards Ceremony and the parents were invited. Still, I might take that over installing a digital adapter.

    Would you mind emailing your query? I'd love to see it.

    Have fun at Inception!

  7. You seriously need your own reality show!

  8. Well, look at the bright side. If you he hasn't given up on you yet, he won't ever give up on you. ;) If he does, though, I'll go after him!

  9. Jenilyn- Sure, I'll email you my query. Remind me, k?

    Sydney- That would be a very boring show. Let's add some bachelors to it, and put us all in a house together.

    Jenni- Thanks for offering to go after Michael if he does me wrong. Everyone needs friends like that!

  10. If it makes you feel better, I've heard stories of prima donna authors that make your neurosis (what's the plural of neurosis?) sound extremely tame. I'm sure Michael would prefer humble craziness to haughty histerics anyday.

    I think one of the cool things about agents is that they're able to represent more than one author at a time--so we don't even have to steal him from you: we can share!

    Please put me on the list to send a copy of your query! I'd love to read it!

  11. I was just curious...

    No it doesn't make him look bad, I just figured that if he saw your blog before he became your agent that he would have already known how much fun it would be to work with you. Maybe your blog convinced him that you were THE one.

    I agree, either you need a reality show or we need to start publishing your blog in hardback! I know I'd rather read your blog than the newspaper!

  12. Robin- We can totally share Michael. I have dibs on his arm! I'll send the query to you. Don't let me forget.

    Una- Ha ha! I'm sure Michael read about me talking to shampoo bottles (thing number 10 on the 25 things about me) and was all, "Now that's a girl I wanna work with!"

  13. Brodi you make me laugh, and I'm sure you make Michael laugh too... eventually. At least you could blame it on a hole in your heart, right? And mini-strokes? Not sure what your excuse could be anymore though. I'd love to know what your query looks like too as long as you're sharing. ;) Hope all is well!

  14. sending the exact same book isnt as bad as like accidentally sending him a hard back copy of harry potter.

  15. Awesome quiz, Brodi -- you should write state assessments. Kids would at least enjoy taking them. :)

  16. Sara- I'll send it to you too.

    Lily- That would've been really weird. I'm all, "Here's a draft of my new book" and then I send a hard cover copy of Twilight or something.

    Nomadshan- If I wrote State Assessments, would it be a problem that every answer is A?