Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The snake swallows its tail

I got a coverage report by a reader at ICM on one of my screenplays that was actually quite a good piece of criticism. I kinda wish I still had it. But I decided to light it on fire instead.
Now, I suspect that the real aim of this compendium is to provide the rejected with a bit of cold comfort, an opportunity to offer some kind of riposte to the publishing professionals who have hurt their feelings by saying that their space operas or Jane Austen adaptations just aren't good enough. What I suspect the book won't do, however, is acknowledge that writing rejection letters is a delicate skill, one that must be fine-tuned over time (weeks, even) as one digs out from under the slush pile. For it is not easy to achieve and balance the two central goals of a truly accomplished rejection letter: trying not to make the writer feel distraught whilst also discouraging him or her from ever contacting you ever again.
Hopefully this will add up to more than a collection of elegant insults.

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