Lane Heymont

Literary Agent

Tobias Literary Agency

Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Point being — ALWAYS strike morality clauses. Or define them as best as possible. Though, in my experience, publishers are often okay with striking morality clauses because they’re infamously BS. #pubtip #contract

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

AFTER ALL morality is a social, cultural, personal thing. Besides, you know, illegal acts like stealing, murder, purposely running over a duck. #pubtip #contracts

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

The way many are written can be interpreted as John was involved in a twitter feud or received a speeding ticket — and the publisher can say “see you later!” #pubtip #contracts

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Also, MORALTY CLAUSES! They may(?) *seem* like a reasonable thing. Like if Hachette buys your book and you murder your neighbor it makes sense they wouldn’t want to work with you. #pubtip #contracts #thread

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Ghostwriting contracts are varied and weird. Usually they stipulate you receive no written or title credit. Some are for a flat fee, essentially a work-for-hire, and some granted a percentage of advances or royalties. #pubtip #contracts

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Okay, so part of my job as an agent is to bring clients job opportunities. These can include ghostwriting projects, write-for-hires, mobile app stories, etc. All of these contracts are unique and provide different advantages. Obviously. #pubtip #contracts #thread

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

As for scripts (or prose) — saying something or showing us something ONCE is NOT enough. I don’t care what anyone says. Shakespeare said the audience needs to hear something three times before they “get” it. Lame shows/movies/books often forget that. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Also, scratch all your pretty descriptions. Yes, show, don’t tell, but also don’t show us the way you would in a novel. Lane doesn’t “storm in, swinging his arms in a rage.” Lane “enters, upset.” Notice both these examples suck. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Some notes. Dialogue is all about subtext. No one ever says what they mean. Sometimes — often? — people say the exact opposite. In novels we can show that through inflections, etc. However, in scripts that’s a no-no. It’s the actor’s job to intuit those things. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

I always explain a script to novelists as the bare bones of a book. The rub is a script is also a full story itself with a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t forget subtext, dialogue, themes, and motifs. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Okay, some more thoughts re novelists/screenwriters. To go from prose to script is basically unlearning everything you’ve ever learned about writing. A script is only what the audience can SEE and hear. Nothing else. No inner monologue, no “little did s/he knows”. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

So, getting your book optioned is like Step 34 of Step 15,000. FYI. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

And if you think PUBLISHING is a slow-moving snail — ha — FILM often moves at the pace of a rock. There’s a saying that movies don’t get made. For everyone book-to-film on your screen there’s a thousand options that went NOWHERE... #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Legal (prod co, studio) or a producer will say, “Too much of a hassle” or “You’re crazy” and pass. There’s a lot of great material out there and u less your book is the THING it’s replaceable in “their” eyes. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

You might ask “Why? It’s my book!” Sure, true, but sometimes having an option TOO defined can torpedo the project. If the option states the actor portraying the protagonist must be Brad Pitt and BP doesn’t want to do the film. Boom. BUT #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

...studio has to give you a first crack at writing the screenplay of your book. This means you write the script, submit it, and they have to consider it in good faith. An option will RARELY guarantee you get to write the script, again unless you’re Stephen King. #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

Okay, back. So, a lot of novelists want to become screenwriters, and some screenwriters novelist. Two totally - opposite? - beasts. It’s VERY difficult to crossover unless you’re Stephen King or a big author. Though, you can negotiate in an option that producer, prod co, #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

“Sell” the option to someone else — usually a studio or prod co. #pubtip #contracts

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

An option INCLUDES a purchase price. This price is much larger than the option and, depending on your clout, usually runs between 1%-5% of the film’s budget. A purchase is when a producer, prod co, or studio decides to execute the option. An option lets the purchaser #pubtip

Lane Heymont
@LaneHeymont
Literary Agent
Literary Agent. Connoisseur of horror, schadenfreude, and caffeine. Founder of @TheTobiasAgency . Opinions are my own. (he/him)
56 MSWL
477 Tips

An option is NOT a purchase. Scripts are optioned all the time and go nowhere. Anyone can option anything. Some people option everything just to control those rights and assign them to someone else (producer, prod. co., studio). Options can pay a lot or $1. #pubtip #contracts