Note: Although we are focusing primarily on the genre of science fiction, most, if not all, points mentioned in this post can be applied to other genres in writing!
These are only a few names known in the realm of science fiction (sci-fi from here on out.) Our own worlds have broadened because someone took the time to travel to the futuristic unknown rather than entering a fantasy world. But what are some key components to writing sci-fi? Let’s get talking!
Like any other creative writing project, planning and mapping out your story is crucial and necessarily before you dive into your tale. Not only for plot purposes but you always need to question: “how will this affect that?” You know, the usual. Depending on your sci-fi story, you’ll get the opportunity to create even further. For example, settings are new, language is different than what we know on our planet, races vary even more so than skin color…there are so many details to account for! We always recommend doing research into other novels within your genre range. Take it a step further and watch shows and movies. It’ll help further stimulate your creativity.
Something to help you indulge in your research is looking into scientific journals, new discoveries by labs or space teams, etc. This can influence your story in any way you want it to. Shaping your universe with new discoveries and current-world situations. Not only that but you’re expanding your own knowledge. what a way to kill two birds with one stone!
Our last point we’d like to highlight pertains to another question you can ask yourself. What if…? Utilizing the knowledge in the journals you find and articles you read, you can mix this with the creative details you’ve mapped out thus far. Apply your ‘what if’ question and add more depth to your story, add a new element, or a new plot line. Whatever the case may be, you’re adding something to the story by asking what if.
Not only are we a super-cool blog on the internet, talking about the ins-and-outs of publishing and writing, but we’re a literary agency, first and foremost!
Some things you may wonder about us (or agencies in general) may be misguided by other postings on the internet. It’s best to ask the source directly to find out if the match is real! This doesn’t go for us, it goes for anyone you manage to get in touch with!
Ask the individual you’ve made contact with how they got to where they are (in life, not your inbox.) Knowing our background helps give you perspective on our passions and how they may or may not coincide with yours.
A great follow-up is asking how long we’ve been in the biz. Passion and credentials.
Sales are really important in this part of the business. Don’t shy away from asking. We won’t give you the nitty-gritty details but we will tell you bout some of our accomplishments as of late!
Before you query, ask us if we’re looking! And if we are, what are we looking for! Each agency has criteria (and posts it on their website most likely) which must be met. Realistically speaking, “The Great American Novel” is not one of them.
Our expertise is important to note as well. Each agency covers every aspect of publishing, but sometimes – sometimes – you’ll come across an agency that’s REALLY good at something. What is it?
Communication is so important to both agency and client. Get it done as soon as possible: how would you like to touch base with your agency? Establish it! Most situations now involve email, but who knows, we can set up calls, video chats, dinner and a movie (no book adaptations, thank you)…(totally joking!)
The most important thing to remember is every agency is different and the people within differ from the others you may have spoken to. It’s always good to keep an open mind to whoever you come across, inside the publishing world and out!
Many issues have risen about the casting in Hollywood. From casting directors putting actors and actresses in roles racially not suited for them to the huge age gaps in some of the leading romances. Well, we’ve come here to say, not all book-to-film adaptations have to be horrible.
We always have to remember what goes on behind the scenes (i.e. contracts between agents and production companies). What we do know is a couple of films have released recently where casting was great and changes were obviously made to make the film adaptation to fit the two hour mark and not six hours and thirty-two minutes. We have yet to see Crazy Rich Asians (which has dominated the rom-com category opening weekend) but in the meantime, let’s discuss the other East-meets-West, Netflix production: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Beforeby Jenny Han.
Now, you’ll never find an adaptation that will include every detail of the book’s original content. And of course, this novel-based film won’t be excluded from that category. One of the biggest issues in casting that has been obvious for many years (yeah, we aren’t talking just in the last decade, we’re talking since the Golden Age of Hollywood) has been casting the wrong race. Authors, if you’re trying to sell the film rights to your book (as a literary agency, we know how it can be), we know you want the best of the best for your book baby. Don’t forget to bring up your stipulations with your agent. Draw the line with production because if they can’t properly cast YOUR characters, they don’t need your idea on their list of things ‘to-do.’ We know; we want our authors’ work to be best represented by whoever chooses to publish the work.
Shout out to Jenny Han for standing up for her main character being cast as an Asian-American actress and staying true to the main plot of the story. 👍
…okay. This may not be about the film industry, or who we think is going to top the box office charts next, but it is about how your book could be top of the selling charts in one way or another!
Awhile back we wrote a post about the art of creating a book trailer. We’re bringing it up again because IT IS IMPORTANT.
Social media and streaming services have become a big part of our society and our culture. I mean, hi, we’re talking to you through a screen!
If you haven’t already, work on a trailer to boost your exposure on YouTube or Vimeo and repost this video on all social media platforms. Show it to your family/longtime fans, provide a link so those fans can share around theirplatforms.
It’s all about word-of-mouth…or rather word-of-typing?
About a year ago, we talked about how the online writing community we all know as Wattpad has its pros and cons for the published community. Maybe you want to dive in and work on some short prequels. Or possibly write a quick spin-off for your begging readers. The site has wonderful resources to both expand on your writing abilities and become a platform for you to share the little details about your world to a new generation.
But it doesn’t stop there. Wattpad has had more than one success story.
There are authors who have signed traditional book deals for their works on Wattpad’s shelves. But just this past weekend, Publisher’s Weekly wrote up a great article discussing the most recent optioned pieces. You read that correctly: OPTIONED.
Hollywood has decided that maybe the comic book movies and remakes are not cutting it for the box office. It’s now very possible to be recognized by studios and producers who are trying to find the next big thing! All they have to do is refresh their page and see what everyone is reading!
So upload everything you can onto Wattpad. You’re (hopefully) going to Hollywood, baby!
On this episode of “The Road to Publishing,” we’re going to talk about the important things to know when it comes down to handing your rights over to make your book into a movie, a TV show, or even a Broadway show.
For film and television deals, it’s important to know your agent. There are a lot of literary agents who are very experienced and connected in the Hollywood scene. Even if your agent doesn’t have a ton of these connections, as long as they have a working knowledge of the film industry and the contracts/agreements that go along with it, then you will be in good hands when a deal comes your way (fingers crossed!). If yours doesn’t seem to have many connections, or the appropriate knowledge, then seeking out a film agent might be your best bet. You can query film agents like you would literary agents, they typically want to know (and are looking for) the same things. You could also take a bold step and query right to a producer. This way will certainly get you a bigger buck for yourself, but unless you have your own connections, it’s also very likely that your query will never make it in front of their eyes.
No matter who your agent is, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you are getting the best care possible. First, you should never sell your film or television rights to an inexperienced producer or script writer. Your book should land in the hands of someone who has made a film or television show before (or has been an actor/actress with the appropriate connections). The less experience the licensee has, the less likely your movie or television show will come to fruition.
Another point to consider is where the producer is coming from. Are they a producer coming from a studio in Hollywood? Or are they a small-time producer from a reputable indie production company? This is crucial to know because it can determine the fate of your work, as well as your involvement in the project. When a major studio is involved, although very exciting, your chances of being involved in the process often become minimal. It’s also just as likely that you will never see your book on the big screen. Hollywood has a lot of money to throw around in order to find their perfect next block-buster, so producers can go out and buy 300 ideas (including yours) and scrap it in a month or two because they narrowed it down to two or three projects they hope to move onto production. If the producer is coming from an independent place, scope out their other work and ask to be involved in the production process. That way you can get the product the way you envisioned and can also be involved in finding a studio for it.
It’s also important to consider what you are looking for negotiation wise. Negotiating your movie and television rights deals is just like any other. If you have already been involved in print, e-book, audio, or translation deals then you already have a pretty good feel for what’s ahead. You will come across all sorts of deals/offers out there. Some of those deals are going to have a lower price tag than normal, especially if you go with a less experienced producer or a smaller production company. You need to decide what your target revenue stream is and at what point it just doesn’t make sense to relinquish those rights, no matter how enticing the idea of a movie is. A stipend is also usually given to the author while production is underway. It’s important to make sure you are being compensated for your hard work the way you should be.
Second to last, utilize your confidence. Remember when you first queried literary agent about your novel and how much you believed in the book and in yourself? During the film/television submission process channel that same energy once again. Make sure not to come off as desperate. This will turn anyone away from even picking your query letter up again because if you don’t believe in yourself, why should they? An experienced producer or agent will be able to tell the difference right away, so be sure the look things over (perhaps with multiple people) before you reach out.
FINALLY: Be patient! These sorts of deals don’t happen overnight! Agents/producers need to be found, deals need to be negotiated, and you need a moment to breathe as well.