What do you want from me, now? (Mark Owen taking the lead on, well…you can probably guess the title of this particular Take That number.)
Two separate agents recently advised me that, although they really liked my work, they would want me to change a few key elements to mirror either Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train.
Now, I loved both of these books but I am no Gillian Flynn. And I don’t want to be. I want to be, well, me ideally.
Terribly pig headed, I know.
But, as with all doubts and bouts of self-examination, I wondered if I was being too hasty. Should I change a few of the characters, a few of the plot twists, to mirror something that has proven to be so commercially successful? Do I want to create a more unreliable narrator, or a twist that changes the focus of the whole narrative?
So, I pulled out my notebook, turned to the first page and found just the thing I needed. My agent wish-list, written before I went to Winchester to remind myself of what I need in an agent. It had just two points:
- An agent who gets it.
- An agent who doesn’t want me to be anyone else.
I won’t be changing my narrative any time soon.
I’m not saying never, I may well be convinced of its necessity to change by a great agent, but the reasons have to ring true. I don’t want to mimic someone else’s success, I want to make my own and I’m prepared to work damn hard to get there. And I need an agent who believes in me as much as I do, if not more (hopefully more, because let’s face it, sometimes I waiver.)