some things never change
February 27, 2011
This is from a rejection slip I got way back in 1997, before I’d sold anything. (I purposefully picked one that said nice things, though I could have shown you one that wasn’t so nice.) I got a lot of these from magazines that used checklists in the interest of being a little more helpful than an impersonal photocopied page.
So imagine my shock while reading Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture, and finding this image:
Essanay Studios was most active in the 19-teens, producing the early films of Charlie Chaplin. So the checklist form rejection has been around a long time. And check it out — movies had only been around for a dozen years and they were already getting ideas that were overdone! Also notice the similarities: “Plot is weak” on one and “Weak plot” on the other. There really are only so many ways to write badly…