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Monday, April 26, 2004

Rejection Letter

We've all written and received those awful reject letters:
Dear Chris

Now you’re really going to hate me for this!

You see, I think Thriftway Rendezvous is a good idea and well written, but I think you haven’t really come to terms with what television wants from a play (if you see what I mean).

If we want to be particular, I think when Craig meets Lavinia on the 99 shuttle, from that moment on we really are unsure whether he is only doing this for Karen or whether his antics chez San Carlos are a factor.

And once that is exploded the whole Craig/Lavinia thing is no go.


PS let’s meet and talk

Let’s not, Saskia. Let’s avoid each other for 10 years, after which period I will supervise a small but tasteful ceremony at which slices will be cut off your pert derrière and served (with garlic bread) at a hootenanny for Script Editors.

Or ...

Dear Chris,

I’m afraid I’m returning L'Heure de Crépuscule to you.

Some of us here liked it a lot, but none of us (alas!) enough to publish.

Do let me see anything else of yours.

Alisdair Wilkinson

[What, like your wife or brother or elder daughter - just so long as it isn’t a novel, short story, play or poem?

I mean who does Al Wilkinson think he is? And who, while were about it, are “some of us”? A sandpit of trendies up on Capitol Hill, lounging around like the last days of Rome, sneering at mss received?]

Which set me wondering about reject letters to some of the famous:

Dear Signor Dante:

Thank you for sending us your manuscript for "Hell".

What a title! Sizzling with ideas and crammed with steamy stories.

Unfortunately, it’s overall a little too pessimistic in tone.

And I wonder if the travel motif isn’t a little too played out these days? Especially locked into such a rigid structure.

Even your tight 3-line paragraphs made me feel weighed down and going round in circles.
Our discerning readers are looking for something a little more cheering, uplifting. What I like to call a heart warmer.

They like humour – a lightness of touch.

If you introduce lovers into the story, let them overcome adversity. If you’re pushing a celebrity family saga, at least let here be some winners.

Show your readers that every cloud has a silver lining.

Remember, you can’t beat a happy ending for reader approval!

I hope you’ll take these comments in the positive spirit they’re intended.

May I suggest a workshop or a creative writing group?

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