It’s not very often you get to hear it straight from the source EXACTLY what producers, publishers or literary agents are looking for. However, I was lucky enough to sit down recently with Literary Agent Fiona Kenshole who shared more than a few great tips for Bang2writers!
Fiona was a guest of InDevelopment, a network of professionals who work in film and TV script development. InDevelopment meets regularly for drinks and discussion about the craft of developing, script editing and producing fiction for the screen and is organised and hosted by script consultant Sarah Olley.
Fiona has over twenty years of experience in the publishing industry holding positions such as Editorial Director at Harper Collins before her current position of Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency. She previously was also the Vice President of Development Acquisitions at Oscar-winning animation company Laike, working on films such as Coraline, The Box Trolls, Paranorman and most recently, Cubo & The Two Strings.
So, it’s pretty fair to say Fiona knows EXACTLY what it is literary agents and publishers are looking for!
Here are Fiona’s 3 tips every Bang2writer should know before pitching or submitting their work – click on the links for every more:
1) Firstly, DO YOUR HOMEWORK
- Know the BASICS – You’re EXPECTED to know your craft. Learn the basics before you even THINK about submitting or pitching.
- Do your RESEARCH – Who are you submitting or pitching to & WHY would your project be exactly what they’re looking for?
- Know what’s come BEFORE – What shows, movies or books have come before and HOW does your work take these ideas/themes and make them unique?
MORE: 7 Things Agents, Producers & Filmmakers Can Tell From Your Pitch
2) Fiona’s Recipe for a GREAT Story
- The first 10-15 pages are CRUCIAL – Get feedback to make sure your writing sets up the characters/plot in an exciting and interesting way. Audiences like to be surprised, shake things up and give us a hero worth cheering for!
- It’s all about EMOTIONAL engagement – If we don’t care about the characters then we won’t care about the story.
- The ONION Effect – A great story is LAYERED, not everything is revealed all at once. And remember to SHOW don’t tell – as often as you can!
MORE: 4 Essential Elements Literary Agents Want
3) Your Script is Finished, What Next?
- ENTER competitions – Get your name out there & often competitions are a great way to get an agent.
- FEEDBACK – There is no such thing as BAD feedback. Get as many people to read your writing & learn from it, reflect and go with your gut instincts.
- READ as many scripts or books as you can – how can you learn from them? Look at their techniques and style, make notes.
- NETWORK – Actively pursue your goal by reaching out to others, be proactive and get talking to people!
So, there you have it – Fiona has shared her top 3 tips!
MORE: I’ve written a screenplay. Now what??
Remember, it’s all about:
- Doing your HOMEWORK
- Knowing what makes a GREAT story
- It’s not *just* the writing, GO MAKE IT HAPPEN!
BIO: Hello, my name is Olivia Brennan, a 27 year old who was first inspired by the power of film when I cowered behind a cushion watching JAWS, aged 6. I work as a Freelance Writer, Blogger & Assistant Script Editor. Check out my blog HERE or Facebook Page The Final Frontier. Feel free to follow me on twitter as @LivSFB and say hi!