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Wayne K
05-02-2009, 05:34 PM
I'm writing my memoir and it starts out as I'm making a big decision about a book and a cowriter with my wife.

In the dialogue we talk about an agent who loved the story but thought it needed to be written better. She advised me to lose the cowriter because I wanted to write the book myself in a phone call we had last summer.

She's also the agent I'm submitting this too. Do you think that would turn her off?

It's in my sigature if you want more information.

ETA: Just to clear something else up: I took her critique as a challenge, not an insult, and her advice was invaluable.

shokadh
05-02-2009, 06:21 PM
I don't mean this to sound critical, but I'm guessing, yeah, it might be mildly put-offish for an agent to get that kind of water in the face. (just my opinion) It seems too obvious that you're saying "Hey, you rejected me before. I'm going to give you one more chance to recognize my awesomeness." You may not intend it that way, but that's how it comes across, to my mind. Agents don't like to deal with "high-maintenance personalities", for the most part.

Wayne K
05-02-2009, 07:03 PM
That's what I was thinking--it's why I asked. I'm going to send it to someone else. I can't change it, it's critical to the story.

As far as high maintainance--I'm in trouble in so many ways there, I don't need more.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
05-02-2009, 09:51 PM
I'm not an agent, but it sounded more to me like, "I listened to you, dumped the co-writer, and wrote this myself, and believe it's only fair to give you the first chance at the re-written work."

Old Hack
05-02-2009, 10:43 PM
If you really wanted to submit to the agent, then you might want to give her a pseudonym in your book. If she takes it on, you might find an opportuinty to tell her that she was the agent you wrote about... or you might not. But don't submit as it is, unless you want to be slapped with a restraining order.

Wayne K
05-02-2009, 11:43 PM
I'm not an agent, but it sounded more to me like, "I listened to you, dumped the co-writer, and wrote this myself, and believe it's only fair to give you the first chance at the re-written work."

I would like to impress her with it. That would say a lot about where my writing is going. I am a little conflicted because she offered to represent me as a lawyer.

I don't use her last name but she'll remember me--I'm unforgettable:D

Wayne K
05-02-2009, 11:48 PM
If you really wanted to submit to the agent, then you might want to give her a pseudonym in your book. If she takes it on, you might find an opportuinty to tell her that she was the agent you wrote about... or you might not. But don't submit as it is, unless you want to be slapped with a restraining order.
I already repped you this, but can I still call it nonfiction if I use a pseudonym?

If I have to change her name I will, I like her. She was very generous with her time and she's very funny. I love her answering machine message, it was like ten minutes long.

"I'll be at the Hamptons all weekend but..."

I'd love to work with her. Whatever she wants I'll do, I just don't want to piss her off and ruin that.

KikiteNeko
05-02-2009, 11:49 PM
Tough one. But I don't think it would be off-putting.

suki
05-03-2009, 12:22 AM
I'm writing my memoir and it starts out as I'm making a big decision about a book and a cowriter with my wife.

In the dialogue we talk about an agent who loved the story but thought it needed to be written better. She advised me to lose the cowriter because I wanted to write the book myself in a phone call we had last summer.

She's also the agent I'm submitting this too. Do you think that would turn her off?

It's in my sigature if you want more information.

ETA: Just to clear something else up: I took her critique as a challenge, not an insult, and her advice was invaluable.

I'm wondering why you are including it?

If it is integral to the story you are telling, leave it but leave her unnamed and described so that no one else could identify her.

But if you are doing it to impress her, she will see through that and it will seem tacky IMO. It could also hurt you if she sees it as weird or tacky or desperate.

Story first, last and always.

~suki

susangpyp
05-03-2009, 12:36 AM
I didn't find it integral to the story. I agree with the comment on SYW that a lot of what you've written speaks to writers but not much to anyone else. I think you run the risk of alienating her with it. I'd drop it or minimize it because of the "speaking only to writers" slant and the "could alienate an important ally" slant. I don't think it's worth the risk. IMO.

Wayne K
05-03-2009, 01:02 AM
I never considered writing her out, but that is an option--it's just that I've rewritten this thing three times. It would be worth the reward and I can present it to her.

If she likes it that would be a great compliment.

AnonymousWriter
05-03-2009, 01:13 AM
Honestly? If I was an agent and you had taken what I said onboard, then submitted to me again, I'd be darn impressed. I wouldn't care if the agent in your memoir was me or not.

But maybe I'm just odd...

Wayne K
05-03-2009, 12:36 PM
Thank you all, I need to think about this more but am leaning towards writing around her.

I'm also not really writing to writers--at least that wasn't my original intention. Writing A Life Gone Awry changed me in ways that I can only explain as a miracle--everyone who knows me sees it.

AA--though I'm not a member--has a step where you write it all down and resolve your life, it's very effective, but it wasn't for me--the strict "no drinking" rule scared me off in the end with them.

This book did that for me, so it's hard to leave things out.

Manix
05-03-2009, 11:20 PM
I'm not an agent, but it sounded more to me like, "I listened to you, dumped the co-writer, and wrote this myself, and believe it's only fair to give you the first chance at the re-written work."

Personally, knowing this was coming from Ol' Fashioned Girl, I'd be inclined to listen to this response the most. And, since the agent is a lawyer, you're doubly-favored. Go with your gut. An untried query is always a "no", no? Hmm...where have I heard that before...?;)