Yesterday was interesting. I received an email from an agent I submitted my screenplay to in August last year. It was a rejection, as the title of this post suggests, but a surprisingly good one. 'What the hell is a good rejection?' I hear you ask. Well, a good rejection is one that offers feedback - no matter how small. It basically said that the writing wasn't good enough, but there were some interesting ideas there. When I first read it I'll admit I searched and searched for every possible meaning - so I could pick the best one, of course. I settled on: 'Your writing isn't terrible, but not up to a good enough standard. Some of your ideas are interesting, but not demonstrated well enough.' It's made me view the project a bit more positively as I really wasn't sure about how my ideas would be perceived before sending it off to anyone. I wouldn't describe myself as praise-hungry - you know, one of those people who needs praise like cupid needs an arrow - but it's encouraging to know I'm not just clutching at straws.
I've continued to work on my novel and I'm currently editing Chapter Seventeen. So far this 'editing' process has seen 20,000 words disappear from the manuscript. It's gut-wrenching to think about all that time I spent writing those words which have now ended up in a folder aptly nicknamed 'trash'. It's equally gut-wrenching to think that it pushes my word count way below an acceptable level for a young adult novel. But this is only my second draft so I'm not going to get too disheartened about it all.
On the plus side, things are making much more sense in the story now. You never know, I may have finished the second draft by the end of this week! That's highly unlikely, but I do intend to have it finished soon! My plan is to start work on my screenplay as soon as I've finished the second draft. This will help me achieve the required 'distance' from my work before I return to it. I've already had lots of ideas for improvements. There are a few scenes that can be taken out completely and a lot of dialogue can be condensed in some others. This could be the year of the novel and the screenplay for me.