A bit too eager

Tragically, Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish were disqualified for apparently coming forward too fast in the cycle sprint. ‘We’re a bit too eager’, said Pendleton. ‘Sometimes rubbish things happen.’

What happens when a writer’s a bit too eager?

• They ring their agent with an ‘elevator pitch’ that sounds like it’s going to be hard to make into a story (Danny de Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger are twins!)
• They leap to do rewrites before they’ve got all the notes, then get exhausted by the resulting number of drafts
• They pitch it to the next person in the media they happen to be talking to, before the agent’s had a chance to formulate a strategy for it. The agent then has a squelchy time trying to withdraw it
• They phone the agent every other day going ‘Did you sell it yet?’

Well, it clearly happens to seasoned professionals in all fields. To be fair, agents get the fever sometimes too:

• They get infected with the elevator pitch and rashly phone a load of publishers/producers before the idea’s ripe
• They drop less interesting (but important) jobs to work intensively with the writer, because it’s so much fun, sometimes exhausting the writer past the point they want to do any new drafts for someone who actually commissions it
• They pitch it to the next person they’re talking to and give themselves a squelchy job withdrawing it when they think of someone better to send it to
• They fire it in all directions like they’re drunk in charge of an arcade game
• They phone people they’ve submitted it to every other day going ‘Did you read it yet?’

A big salute to Sir Chris Hoy and his team for getting it so right…

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