Friday, March 10, 2006

Conf 157: Opening Lines

No. of words: same
No. of e-mails from agents (x 5): 0

No word reduction today as have been in work-for-income mode, another script about comedians, When Comedy Changed Forever, about the rise and rise of Vic & Bob - fun. In the middle of it all suddenly decided to e-mail the new first 3 chapters and synop to the agent who never got back to me in early February. She'd e mailed promising she'd be back to me in the next few days but, since then, nothing. I was going to completely move on from that, there are many agents in the sea and I'm just starting out with this idea, but as she'd sounded so enthusiastic about the idea and is one of the bigger players, and as I'm well armoured-up for the other agents' negativity anyway, got the begging bowl out and hit SEND.

Moving on from Sutton last Saturday, every Thursday I have 2 hours to kill in another south London suburb, Raynes Park, whilst daughter does her korfball. Discovered a mega Tesco hiding in the bushes just next door to the sports hall. Horrible nasty nasty 24hr superstore one. After hiking miles for my hummous, pitta bread and meringues I went to the books section and loitered, surveying the opening lines. Mother's Day by Kirsty Scott is everywhere at the moment, one of the only women's fiction hardbacks in my local Ottakers to have a major presence. They seem to be cutting down on new books out front, spreading out the Richard & Judy (UK Oprah) selections. Kirsty's first sentence is good, something about a harrassed mother paying the prostitute, but her third sentence is pure authorly genius and should be taught at all creative writing classes. Something about rummaging in her purse for money, and there not being anything there except a few TESCO COMPUTER VOUCHERS. We'll have this one then goes the all-important Tesco book buyer. As most commercial fiction writers discover, once they've cracked the getting an agent, getting a publisher code, the hardest nut of all to crack is the supermarket third of the trinity. Whether their book gets onto the hallowed shelves en route to the eggs and cornflakes can be make or break. If Tesco buy in your title, then the bookshop chains are more likely to stock more, and your ball is rolling. If, as is usual for most of us, Tesco don't buy, go straight down the longest snake on the board and start again. Maybe we should all get the word Tesco in our opening paragraphs and sit back and watch it roll on in. Maybe there should be a competition to rewrite famous opening paragraphs including the word.

Bye bye thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Julia said...

I just stumbled across your blog and have ended up reading through the archives for over an hour now. I'm supposed to be working on my novel, and am finding Confessions of an Author such a good procastination tool that I may have to refrain from adding it to my favourites in the hope that it never distracts me again. I suspect I'll be back though. Thanks for being so honest, nice to know I'm not the only one who goes through all this stuff. But kinda tough to realise that it may never go away!

Zoe said...


I also have stumbled across your blog and have quickly become addicted. I thought I better inform you about my presence instead of just lurking and reading. Thnanks for such a good blog!

Amanda Mann said...

Julia and Zoe, thanks so much. This makes a big change from my usual comments, which apart from the lovely Genevieve, go HEY GREAT BLOG, (at which point I get really excited) COME VISIT MY PENIS EXTENSION SITE, (mini-authorly grump of disappointment). Good luck with the novel, Julia, it's hard work but worth it in the end.

Lorcy said...

What was the finished When Comedy Changed Forever Show like? I was in freeview-less land when it was on, which peeved me somewhat as I was interviewed for it. I am a PhD in Film and Television studies, doing a thesis on superhero movies, but my other passion is alternive comedy.

Anyway I was interviewed in my room by the producers for about an hour but don't know if any of my gibber gabbering made the final cut, could you enlighten me: shaved headed Irish talking too fast....called Lorcan McGrane

an info would be greatly appreciated,