Wednesday, May 25, 2016


The first rough scene.
Last week I wrote about being rejected and how to shrug it off.

WONDERLAND was written a few years ago. The pilot episode has got me through quite a few doors and given me the possibility to pitch face to face with TV development execs. It's still my favourite TV script. So when the BBC Writersroom opened for drama submissions last year, there was only one screenplay I wanted to enter.

It was fantastic to get into the top 3% and equally disappointing to learn I hadn't made it further. I didn't let the rejection get me down. I could have done, but as someone who makes a living from their writing, I couldn't afford to. Besides, the BBC's feedback was heartening as they clearly liked it. It just wasn't for them. Maybe the next one will be. But it was the following line of their email that really caught my eye, "there are moments where the story feels like it could be a surreal graphic novel."

Mad Frank Hattman.
I've always fancied writing a comic or graphic novel and the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. WONDERLAND would make the perfect graphic novel.

And that's where rejection turned into opportunity. I just happen to know a very talent artist. I sent him the screenplay. He loved it! He drew up some rough samples. He sent them to me. I loved them! And a new project was born.

Obviously, there's a long way to go. We're both very busy so this project will have to be worked on in our spare time. The pilot screenplay will have to be rewritten for a new medium. That means I'll have to research how it's done first. Then the other seven episodes will also have to be written. At the moment they're just brief one paragraph outlines. A webpage will have to be created, set up and promoted the hell out of. This is all long before the glorious day the first ten pages are actually released online.

The point is I could have easily deleted the email and forgotten about it. I could have moved on and continued work on my other projects. I didn't! That's how successful writers survive and thrive, they turn disappointment into something positive.

Happy writing!

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