I was chatting with a friend yesterday about how it feels when yet another rejection finds it's way to your door. We agreed that the problem was not so much about the rejection, (yes, it's disappointing,) but has more to do with finding the energy to go through the whole process of submission again from researching possible recipients to organizing yourself with enough postage to cover each way as you send your baby off again with a kiss and a prayer. It takes time, paper and ink to print a hard copy of anything let alone a couple of hundred pages, unless of course you're able to send by email but even that must be precise and correct according to the particular submission guidelines of the agent/publisher in question.
There are times when we can be forgiven for thinking to hell with it, what's the point when there are so many other people out there all trying for the same thing and chances are they are definitely more talented and know far more, have read much more...whatever.
I don't feel this way although I've had my moments and even come pretty close to shutting the blog down and walking away for good BUT.
It wouldn't be long before the itch would strike again and my fingers would be feeling around for a pen, pencil, scrap of paper, anything to jot down a conversation overheard on the bus, or note a particular attitude from a customer I couldn't help but tune into and wonder about in terms of character.
I've read and heard a lot about submissions where entries were of such a high standard and how difficult it was to make a decision, how people need to raise their game if they're to have any hope of succeeding and can't help but think it's no different wherever you go regardless of the type of job you're applying for whether it be mainstream or otherwise. So I say this...
Raise the bar, I'll jump over it. Lower it and I'll limbo down as far as I can go. Fire up the coals, I'll walk over them because there will come a time when it matters not what someone else thinks and I will still write. There will be a wall somewhere with my signature on it and you might not know my name but it will be enough to have entertained a small crowd for a short while.
Yes, well, it's a pity you didn't start thinking a little bit sooner and then we wouldn't be in this mess would we?
And you can stop looking so damned pleased with yourself, you were all for it when we started.
That's because you said it couldn't fail.
Hm, seems my cunning plan wasn't so cunning after all. I would've bet good money on them falling over themselves to get into the comment box this time.
They were falling over themselves, running in the opposite direction. There was a three car pile up on the M1 and all of the victims were writers. It was on the news.
How in the name of women-on-the-edge everywhere did I get lumbered with you?
Providence, I should think.
Providence! Community Service more like. Don't you ever listen to a word I say?
I try very hard not to.
Sigh. So, to re-cap, the deadline is Friday, we have exactly nil points on the score board when it comes to ideas; which is even less than we scored in the Eurovision last year and our get-rich-quick scheme is teetering on the edge of a very steep precipice...What's that smell?
Fear? Of what?
Of whatever donkey-do-do scheme you're about to come up with next.
We need a plan my lovely, one that smacks of stealth and ingenuity by Machiavellian proportions but more importantly, one that doesn't leave a trail to our door.
You could just -
Shush! I can see it now, the stage, the lights, the rapturous applause and Tom Hanks handing over the Oscar.
Hum, yes. You're quite far down the line now aren't you? Almost, one might say, dangerously self-delusional.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Actually, I do. You could just...
Come, let's hear these pearls of wisdom before http://scriptdoctoreric.com/announces Logline Friday is open for entries. Shower me with enlightenment, pith and wit. Do, please, I beseech you.
I've been having a nosey around the web looking for examples of Loglines. The idea is to encapsulate your novel/script into a one or two sentence pitch in order to entice the recipient into reading the whole manuscript, or at least the first ten pages anyway. (Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.)
A depressed cat, fed up with being savaged daily by the neighbours dog decides to exact revenge by inviting her lioness cousin to stay.
Ha, quite like that idea actually, maybe even worth running with. No? OK, well you get the idea. One of the benefits of beginning your script/novel with a Logline is to find out if it's got 'legs' and is also a useful tool to refer back to when the work begins to slip into unknown territory.
I thought it might be fun for any regular readers and perhaps even the not so regular readers to have a bash at this and see what we can come up with.
An idea you had never dreamt of until now which might just take you all the way.
So, I've had my first NO on the script which is fine and not totally unexpected. Onwards and upwards then, at least I'm now free to send it elsewhere and send it I shall just as soon as I've gone through it once more with a fine tooth comb. In the mean time I've been researching people and places I wouldn't ordinarily have had access to; it's funny how life can throw you a challenge every now and then and if you're willing to accept and go along with the flow the rewards can be quite surprising and unparalleled. This past week has certainly opened my eyes and given me back the incentive to quit sitting on my hands and crack on with another script. No excuses now, the school holidays are over and a new term is under way; it's time to dust off those pencil cases and start work.
By the way, I've still not heard a peep from the boss who has been sitting on his copy for some time now.
I'm not sure my fingers can remember what to do but let's give it a whirl anyway eh?
Why? You've got nothing to report, not about The Script at any rate?
No, there's nothing to report on that but they might like to know what we've been up to since we last spoke don't you think?
OK, get on with it already, people have got better things to do than hang onto your every word lady.
Shush, you're putting me off, now where were we? Oh, yes, the holiday. We went up to Yorkshire didn't we and stayed in the cottage, that was lovely, pity we had to move on but then had we known what we know now we'd have probably stayed put but never mind.
Are you talking about the place in Norfolk?
Of course, it wasn't that bad.
Speak for yourself, too many mirrors for my liking.
Yes, there were rather a lot of those but it was very pretty don't you think, very quintessential England?
If you say so, I suppose, yes alright, during the day it was picturesque, very chocolate box, but...
I know what you're going to say...
At night it was down right creepy - there, I've said it.
Even you have to admit there was something, you know...odd about the place.
It's a shame because it really was a pretty place by day.
So you did sense something? I knew it!
Alright, there may have been a certain undercurrent, a something I couldn't quite put my finger on.
Ha! What about the clock? Tell them about the clock!
Oh come now, that was something and nothing. Probably just dust.
It was not just dust, that clock was perfectly all right in Yorkshire and then the minute we stepped foot into that other place -
It stopped. It was a bit weird wasn't it?
It was spooky that's what it was and I'm telling you now...we weren't alone.
Oh come on that's ridiculous, of course we were it's just that the place took on a different atmosphere at night that's all, you're being over dramatic.
So how do you explain what happened?
I don't know, like I said, dust.
So even though we tried all those different batteries and nothing, the minute we go out and buy a new clock...
The old one started working again, it proves nothing.
Someone or something was messing with us. What about the chair?
A chair like that was always going to have history it was Victorian.
But you said you felt as though someone was sitting in it, you had to turn the other way to sleep you said, couldn't settle you said...
Oh for goodness sake. Yes, the chair freaked me out a little bit but honestly other than that the place was fine.
I think you were put off because it was an old chapel, you didn't like the nooks and crannies.
No I didn't like the nooks and crannies or not being able to see who was coming down the corridor even though I could hear someone quite clearly and called out.
I told you we were all outside, it must have been an echo from the garden.
Do I look as if I came down with yesterday's rain! There was someone in the house I tell you and it was broad daylight.
You have to admit that the Hamlet was lovely even if it was in the middle of no-where.
Middle of no-where, it was the village of the damned, not even a bloody mobile signal. They could have made their move any time they wanted and no-one would have been any the wiser.
Calm down, who are you talking about now?
Them, in the house.
Them? There's more than one now is there?
Has to be, a place like that's probably got loads of hangers on.