I got this question recently:

“Our first script just got a terrible review on triggerstreet. Do you know much about the site? And also, got any motivational advice on how to get past the initial ‘rejection’ feeling? May sound dumb, but was wondering if you experienced this.”

Every successful writer has been rejected more times than they’ve been accepted. The great thing about writing is it doesn’t matter how many times you get rejected as long as you eventually find success. Submitting your script and having it get rejected just means you’re playing the game. So congratulations on that.

You can check out my IMDB credits for yourself. I have four produced screenplays. I’ve written around 30 scripts and probably received some where in the neighborhood of 5,000 rejection letters. Keep in mind too, when you make submissions, in most cases you won’t even get a rejection letter, you’ll get no response what-so-ever, so I’ve probably made 50,000 cold query submissions over the years to achieve those four produced credits. So yeah, I know a thing or two about rejection.

I have one sibling, an older brother who’s 16 months older than I am. Growing up we were roughly the same in size and we looked roughly the same in age. People used to even ask if we were twins. As most brothers do, we played all sorts of games and competed in all sorts of sports. While the age difference didn’t look drastic, when you’re younger the extra 16 months is a huge advantage. He used to beat me at nearly everything we did, and we did a lot. As kid I don’t think I ever won at anything. The first time I ever remember beating him at something was when I was about 14 and we were having a competition to toss a log across the yard. For what ever reason the age gap had shrunk and I was able to toss it a little further than him.

The point is, getting beat really doesn’t phase me. And I think that spills over to these sorts of rejections, too. Getting rejection letters was never really something that got me down. I was always too busy sending out more letters and writing more scripts to really spend a lot of time worrying about it. And that’s the attitude I think all writers should take. You’re going to get rejected, a lot, and if you can’t handle that this is not the right profession for you.

As for Trigger Street, I have never used it but I have heard good things about it. I would try and read the scripts that get good reviews on the site and learn from them. Compare them to your own screenplay. Is it better? Can you learn something. But Trigger Street isn’t your only option. You should be submitting to agents, managers, and producers, too. Check out this post to learn how: How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell).

6 thoughts on “Getting rejected”
  1. I would try to post your script on different script sites. I had a script get ripped to pieces on TriggerStreet. I posted it on Circalit.com and it was a big hit. It ranked in the top ten on there site. It might me just who reviews it and how they see it. There is also Tallentville.com another good site to post your scripts on. It’s just something else for you to look at.

    1. Roy – Thanks for reading and thanks for the suggestions.

      I agree with Roy’s sentiment, one bad review doesn’t mean anything. Writing is too subjective to take one or two people’s opinions too seriously. Now if you start to hear the same sorts of notes from many different people, then you might start to look at your material and see if what they’re saying has any merit.

  2. What is truly the so-called requested hollywood 1-sheet? What information should be enclosed in it? Thank you.

  3. Trigger Street is a terrific website, a forum of informed, helpful people sharing what they know for the good of the community at large. I dare say if Mr. Meyers were a member of TS, he’d fit right in. I’ve learned so much reading and posting there. And furthermore, what is a “terrible review” ? An unhelpful review? Those are the exception and not the rule on TS. If you’ve earned enough review credits to get your script assigned for review to other users, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get only one review (I assigned the minimum number of credits possible to my first upload, and I got four reviews). A negative review? I guess maybe the tone was impolite, but if a script has serious problems and I’m assigned to review it, I’m gonna tell the author it has serious problems. To do any less is a disservice. I’m also gonna share some suggestions as to how the script might be improved. To do any less than that is also a disservice. And of course – one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Perhaps my single least favorite movie that I have ever seen is a Best Picture winner and one of the most favorably reviewed movies of my lifetime (“Slumdog Millionaire”).

    So I’d encourage the reader whose e-mail prompted this post to examine the “terrible review” he got and see what he can take out of it. If he truly can take nothing out of it to improve his script, then he’s either unhelpable or got an exceedingly rare sort of review from TS.

    1. Meant to say if he did get an unhelpful review, just wait for another one to come in (hence the point about it being very unlikely to get just one review).

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