Dealing with Rejection

Let's say you've been working on your script for a while, going through various drafts and by your hundredth draft, you decide to submit your script to a screenwriting contest, only to find out later that your script didn't place.

I get it. Rejection sucks. It happens to everyone, including me. Ironic right? Sometimes when a script is rejected, or gets a "Pass", it doesn't mean your script was bad or anything, it just means it's not the right time.

When I was a script reader for a screenwriting contest, I had to grade scripts with either Pass, Consider, or Recommend, and believe me, I've read some interesting scripts, yet most of the time, I'd grade the scripts "Pass".

Most of the scripts I've read at the time were interesting, but at the end of the day, film is subjective. The main reason I sometimes passed on a script was because there wasn't a lot of character development or I couldn't connect with the protagonist.

In fact, sometimes I watch films that have been made, and I question how a studio could recommend a script where a character doesn't develop throughout.

If you're finding yourself feeling defeated about having your script being rejected, the main thing you want to keep in mind is not to take it personally. You're a talented writer, and I've been told from other script readers that they've read such amazing scripts, they still passed on the script.

Perhaps you could consider this "pass" as a blessing or maybe a sign that it's not the right time for your script to be made. That's okay! The best thing you can do is put your script down for a few weeks or so, work on something else, and come back to your script later and continue writing.

What I like to do sometimes is put a script down, and come back to it later and look at if from an outside perspective. I usually take some time to carefully go through each scene and see if there's conflict and drives the plot forward.

After going through each scene, I'll then focus on the dialogue and see if there's anything is "on the nose", and make the adjustments if needed.

At the end of the day, it's important to not let the rejection get to you. Everyone, even the professionals, go through it. From my perspective, it's all about timing.

Maybe your script wasn't in the right place at the right time, and that's okay. One thing you can do is always see a script consultant, and get additional feedback on your script before you try sending your script out. Keep staying strong and keep on writing! You got this!

Back to blog

Leave a comment