Do I really need an agent? And how long must I continue to hone?

There is so much conflicting advice and no definitive answers on whether one should adamantly seek an agent or try alternative methods such as networking and pitching to industry personnel in the hope that you will get lucky with a script sale.The whole system makes me wonder though. Writers create something from a death-defying blank page and the agent takes a bite out of it. So why does the writer always have to be the one to impress an agent? How about the other way round where the agent has to demonstrate how writers can benefit from hiring them as a representative. After all it is the agents who make a percentage from the writer’s talent. I have yet to come across an enticing agent with a bright enthusiastic approach. So why is it they are always looking for not only brilliant writing samples, but also a writer with an equally electric personality? Surely, it is meant to be a partnership, and I certainly would not want to be in alliance with an agent who cannot equalize my current.

I have met several agents at various events and generally they give the same advice; ‘hone in on your writing skills’ they say. I am honing. I hone regularly. I hone with reverence. I accept the honing process is an infinite task, or tragedy, depending on how you look at it. But deep down inside we all know the truth. Screenplays sold and produced did not get there because of brilliant writing honed to perfection. Success is an outcome of great tenacity, an industry connection, or being in the right time at the right place scenario. Perhaps it’s time to ease off the honing and get networking…

A link to a great article on agents by an established screenwriter Ashley Scott Meyers.

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