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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I keep seeing all these announcements about screenwriters getting their screenplays bought or optioned, while mine don't get any notice.  Can you help me with this sickening feeling I get from this?


This week's Answer: 

That Sickening Feeling of Success

I know what you mean, Anne, when you refer to that "sickening feeling."  I recommend that you drink Malox or "Pepto Abysmal" when reading such announcements about other screenwriters' successes.  Or, better yet, don't read them at all.  It'll give you a sickening feeling.  Or... if you must read them, pretend that all the names of the screenwriters who are the "chosen ones" are all your own aliases, that they're really all you.  You've taken on many nom de plumes because you don't want a lot of attention as the accolades pour in for your phenomenal screenwriting achievements (or because you just like French words).  Or, here's another way to approach the problem:  Read the announcements upside down.  Then they won't make any sense (which they often don't, anyway).  I'm sure you can do a headstand on your desk chair if need be (unless your monitor is upside down, which would then not make it necessary for you to do the headstand).

Of course, I could reiterate some "think positive" platitudes about it being best to think the best for everybody else, including successful screenwriters.  But I won't.  Not because I don't agree with the idea, but just because sometimes I need to say to myself (and anybody else around me who will listen), "Why did they get all that money and recognition for their screenplays, when mine is a thousand times better!?  When mine is the ultimate, quintessential, ground-breaking, edge-of-your-seat, spine-tingling, plot-twisting, character-driven, dialogue-rich, piece de resistance?!"  (It's always impressive to throw in a French word once in a while to give the impression of being cultured and knowing what you're talking about... even while you're complaining).  Ranting and raving can be good for the soul.  Not to mention whining (of course, wining and dining is even better).  It always helps to have a good meal after that sickening feeling.  



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