Wednesday 5 October 2011

Coping With Rejection

Lucy V. Hay in the UK, a script reader/editor, writer, and producer of Deviation, understands rejection. She ought to, she rejected 170 applications in a script competition earlier this week. What's most interesting is her report that it's becoming harder to reject scripts.
But it's HARDER now. It really is.

For one thing, most scripts LOOK like scripts, since most are industry standard format. Secondly, far LESS scripts make no sense whatsoever. Thirdly, generally characters - whilst admittedly still sometimes non-empathetic or familiar - usually appear to know what they are doing and why, at least for *most* of the script.

Now, sorting contests is HARD. Readers have to make some really tough choices in who should go through. Sometimes there is quite literally a hair's breadth between who DOES go through and who DOESN'T. It's as simple as that. I've even seen names AND SCRIPTS I recognise do BRILLIANTLY in one contest and yet not even place in another - and this happens all the time. It's even happened to MY scripts.

So next time you get rejected, don't obsess over not winning or placing. It really is the taking part that counts. Honest!
It's nice to know that the person making the decision about your sweat and blood sacrifice really cares.

And her advice is sound: Keep on keeping on, it's the only way forward.


Kathy said...

That's interesting. I thought that with the much greater ease people can write scripts these days - computers, script programs - there would be a concomitant decrease in script quality.

Lucy V said...

Hi Henry, thanks for the shout-out!

Kathy's thoughts are definitely valid and there will always be poor scripts in the mix, but I think it's the internet and other writers constantly sharing info via short courses, blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook etc that means writers are less likely to fall into "obvious" traps now, like not using the courier font or creating a character with no discernible goal. Writers are so connected now, especially via social media, we can learn from one another constantly and keep up in an industry that keeps changing. That's part of the ethos of the other project I'm involved in, The London Screenwriters Festival: "educate, inspire, connect" is our motto!