Hot Cootier

Just for fun, what type of clothing should a writer wear when having that all-important very first face to face with an interested agent?

A red nose and clown shoes of course. I'm surprised you asked.
Or maybe that swan dress that Bjork wore to the Oscars a couple years ago.
Even better would be the costume worn by a (of course) costume designer made entirely of American Express cards...Preferably gold, and you pay for lunch.

You were planning to leave the bunny slippers at home right?

If you're coming to New York, you'll be taken for the trendiest hipster if you wear a plaid flannel shirt and a billcap with "HVAC Repair" on it. Of course you have to have black rim specs to complete the ensemble. Try to carry an obscure, well thumbed novel too. In French.
With a naked woman on the cover. This works really well if you yourself are also a woman.

If you want to look like one of us you'll wear all black. You'll carry two handbags and a bag from Bendels, or Victorias Secret or FUKC. You'll have your cell phone ring programmed with "answer the fone bitch". You'll have three scarves, mittens and gloves and wear black and white Keds with your Manolos in your purse.

On the other hand if you want to look like a writer, you'll look slightly dazed at the sunlight, clutch a subway map even if you're walking, gaze up up up at the tall buildings and ask a passerby to take your photo at the NY Public Library lions.

Try not to look like you can afford to pay the tab or I'll stick you with it.


Assistant Atlas said...

Cute post. Especially the part about the tab. I found your blog thanks to Technorati. (You're the only one who outranks me, authority-wise, on the Agent list)

I can't quite tell how much of your snark is genuine, Anna-Wintour-scale bitchocity and how much is just for show to keep the plebes in line. Either way, I'm intrigued.

Since I can't quite get a read on you, I don't know whether to recommend my blog for your reading pleasure. It has pretty pictures and fun links since Ho'wooders don't like reading things, so it's pretty easy on the eyes.

But please keep up the lovely, snarky work.

Sponge Girl said...

...and now for something completely different -

Reading back a little I've come across the following idea (which leaves me with that confused look of newborn babies):

1. You have a manuscript which you send around to a number of agents in the vain hope that someone will pick it up and lead you to endless glory.

2. Instead you receive rejection letters by the bucketful - "thanks, not for us", "your plot sux", "I don't read anything in Times New Roman" etc.

3. You rework your novel. Characters change, writing tightens up and four different critique groups say it's fantastic, so good it's the literary equivalent of sex and chocolate. Belgian chocolate (but not Belgian sex).

4. You resend the work to agents, they take one look at it and say "hey, I turned this down two years ago!". Your manuscript ends up as their kids' fifth grade papier-mache project.

Now, I can completely understand not wanting to waste time on something you've already lost a smidgen of your life on. But how is it even possible for an agent to remember all of the thousands of manuscripts/ submissions/ desperate pleas they receive each year?

Are your memories in superhuman condition (what were you wearing on June 5th, 1985?)? Surely you don't keep a record of everything that you turned down for fear of it turning into embarrassing evidence ("I can't believe you didn't think a scar-faced kid entering wizarding school wouldn't sell!")?

Yours in perplexity,
Sponge Girl

kitty said...

Y'gotta love NY where even the Bride of Wildenstein fits right in. Thank God, when the time comes I can be myself.

Bernita said...

Sponge girl,
Am of the impression that professional agencies track their submissions: author, title, date received, disposition and whatever.
Change the title.

Miss Snark said...

If I read your novel in full, I keep track of your name and contact info and title and why I thought it wasn't the dreaded "not quite right for us". I get a lot of second passes and it's helpful to be able to say "of course I remember you". I don't remember, but the computer does.

Partials and just the query I don't keep track of. You can query the same thing a year later and I'll probably say no again..but you never know!

Carter said...

Luncheon with Miss Snark would definitely be white tie, I think. Would white gloves be optional, MS?

M. G. Tarquini said...

So...sneaks and the Walmart togs aren't going to cut it?

Benny said...

It's so sad because it's so true. I tried that novel-in-French thing, and was almost disappointed when no one called me out on it. Maybe it didn't look well enough thumbed. Dammit!

the chocolatier said...

Try not to look like you can afford to pay the tab or I'll stick you with it.

Keeping that in mind, if I ever go to New York, I'll try to snag the clothes off the corner hobo before entering the restaurant.

Maeve said...

FUKC? Obviously a fake. Typos may be human, but label-lovers are super-human -- no errors allowed!

Mark Pettus said...

New York City - If I don't stick out like a turd in a punchbowl, I ain't goin.

I want the table conversations to be, "Who is that man with Ms. Snark? I wonder if he ever takes that hat off?"

Kelly G said...

See, next time a writer insists that agents are unnecessary (let alone evil) I'm going to send them straight to this blog. It proves, beyond doubt, that writers worry too much. We worry about what to wear, about the real meaning of plain English emails, about getting stuck in slush, about clause 15 sub-section B and we just can't help it. I know the feeling, and there's plenty to worry about. So I reckon the absolutely critical reason to have an agent is that you can simply stop worrying, relax, and write.
Or if you do worry, you have someone at your disposal (besides Miss Snark) who can answer your incredibly detailed and anxious questions and soothe your worried brow - and tell you to shut up and get some work done.
Now, where have those bunny slippers got to?

Kathleen said...

"On the other hand if you want to look like a writer, you'll look slightly dazed at the sunlight, clutch a subway map even if you're walking, gaze up up up at the tall buildings and ask a passerby to take your photo at the NY Public Library lions."

I guess I won't look much like a writer, since in my alternate reality, I work in Manhattan...I'll be the one cursing my stilettos, since I hate carrying around a pair of shoes.

However, this scenario is my fondest wish!!