Posts tagged ‘ScriptMag’

June 27, 2011

How to Handle the Rejection Inherent in Screenwriting

Jeanne V. Bowerman recently wrote a great article about her own experiences with rejection (something that every single writer throughout the ages has dealt with) and how we as writers can make the best of each let down:

The life of a writer is one full of rejection. How many times have you heard, “pass,” or queried a company that didn’t even want a read? I don’t know about you, but I stopped counting.

The bigger the company or contest, the harder the fall. But this is the career we chose, for better or worse.

You can imagine our anxiety waiting to hear from Sundance Screenwriters Lab about the fate of our adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name. Weeks passed as we plugged away at rewrites and fantasized about mentors such as Quentin Tarantino reading our words. Hell, in my mind, I was already drinking bourbon with the great QT by the fire.

Then my phone pinged. The e-mail alert arrived. I raced to my laptop only to find a standard, impersonalized, form rejection e-mail that went out to every loser on their list. “Thanks for submitting, but …”

We were bitchslapped by Redford.

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April 26, 2011

Shut Up and Write

This great article by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman talks about her personal experience with balancing having the necessary patience to carefully peice together your story and the productivity to start writing the damn thing already. It’s a tricky balance even for experienced writers, as Jeanne shows us:

Last week, I declared patience is paramount when it comes to both getting a project produced and learning your writing partner’s habits. But patience can also be the killer of a project – a slow infectious cancer that will suck the energy out of your work and your soul.

Sometimes you have to put up or shut up.

After a year of outlining our adaptation of Slavery by Another Name, we were dancing dangerously on the talk-is-cheap line. People kept saying, “So, how’s that adaptation coming?” Gulp.

In writing, and in life, you have to carefully walk a line between patience and productivity. My writing partner, Douglas A. Blackmon, and I were struggling getting this script written. We lived in different states yet functioned best in person. This was quite a dilemma.

I took a good hard look at what drove both of us. Then it hit me. Doug is a newspaper guy – he needed a deadline. I’m a competitive freak – I needed a contest.

Bingo! Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

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