Sunday, March 4, 2007

Advice for a writer from 1987

I checked out a book from my local library from 1987 about a person's relationship with his or her agent. The book is so outdated that almost none of the advice is useable anymore, but it made for a funny read.

Some of the best advice:

Write your agent a nice, handwritten letter every 4 weeks to check on the progress of your manuscript (Aw, I'd love to send my agent a handwritten note. She'd laugh at me, though.)

Do not ever mail your manuscript out to more than one agent at a time (That would take forever now!)

Remind yourself that your agent will be taking 10 percent of your paycheck (Hmm...the industry norm now seems to be 15 percent)

Overall, the advice would have been great in '87 but not relatable to 2007. It really shows how much things have changed.

As for new advice, the 120th anniversary of The Writer came out this month and it is chock full of good stuff. The amazing Sara Gruen has a lovely spread in the mag and there's also a great exercise from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, a writing professor at my school.


Unknown said...

Awww, Jess! It's amazing to see how different things were back then. Just imagine, 1987 was the year I was born!

Long time no see (well, you know what I mean)!! How's that manuscript coming?

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

I know, '87 was my year, too! :) The manuscript is coming along great. How about yours?

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