HH Com 257 (254)

At 14 Cass was a one hit wonder playing strip mall openings and high school proms. By 15 she was a single mom with no idea of what to do next. Abandoned by her parents, she begins again, carefully building up her own family and life, and by the time she's 32 she's content
with her lot.

Or is she? An opportunity to audition for the world's biggest talent show falls into her lap, and Cass decides she wants a chance to prove herself to the industry that rejected her almost 20 years ago. Will her impetuous and emotional decision pay off, or will it destroy the comfortable world she's created for her and her daughter? Can she handle life in a reality show fishbowl? Will she get caught up in the toxic competitiveness of some of the other contestants? And will that hot judge ever stop insulting her long enough to think of other things he could do with his wicked tongue?
Overnight Success follows Cass on her distinctly surreal adventure in temporary celebrity. Will her happy ending bring her acclaim and fortune? Or would that be a tragedy?

Leave out the back story except as a descriptive phrase like Cass, a one hit wonder at 14, now faced with a surprise invitation to a reality show, and get to the heart of the story.

What happens if she does it? What happens if she doesn't? I've never seen American Idol but I guess this is what you're basing it on. It will help if you have something that makes it MORE than AI. Like they shoot the people who lose...or win. (obviously not literally, but you get the point).

Start over...in the Key of F for focus


Rei said...

At 14 COMMA Cass
By 15 COMMA she

While you got your commas partially correct in your third sentence, you need one after 32. You also have too many clauses in there for it to flow smoothly. Your third sentence should probably be two sentences.

Don't just work on your hook. Work on your grammar as well.

steph said...

Actually, I think that's a stylistic issue, not a grammatical one. Those beginnings aren't independent clauses nor are they parenthetical expressions. Not disagreeing with you about possible clunkiness of the sentence structure, just your explanation of why it's not working.

wavybrains said...

American Idle by Alesia Holliday covered a lot of this ground. I'm pretty sure Fantasia Whateverherlastname got both a movie and a book out of her life story--which is awfully similar. This is a neat concept, but I think you may have to work to find a new twist on this to make it fresh.

tomdg said...

I like the idea - she spends 15 years getting over her "moment" in the music business, only to fall back into it at the first opportunity. She feels like a believable character and I feel a lot of sympathy for her. But I don't like the idea of throwing her into "Pop Idol" or whatever.

I don't think the "toxic competitiveness" sentence shows your writing at its best. I like the rest of the first two paragraphs though. I only noticed the "wicked tongue" line second time around :)

I'm less sure about the last paragraph. But the stakes are high enough for me. Does she prove herself? Does she get chewed up and destroyed by the business once again? Or does she finally learn to live without it?

Chumplet said...

It's Suzie and J.D. Fortune from Rock Star INXS's mixed up together. His sorry life and her hotness. (Both are Canadians, I might add...)

Kathleen said...

Thanks for all of your comments. I realized pretty quickly after reading other entries that my hook ... well ... sucked. But I've got some idea now of how to fix it. The inspiration for my story came from a night of crappy TV watching. What if Lorelai Gilmore collided with Simon Cowell? And then let's make Lorelai a singer with something to prove. And let's take away Simon's manboobs and make him hotter. And throw in a cool daughter, a predatory producer and a slutty competitor who has more going on than one might think. But I need to get the central conflict front and centre. Anyway - so back to the drawing board, but thanks again to Miss Snark and to the rest of you in this community.

Sherryl said...

I quite like the idea of this, but I agree that you need something more to make it really original.
The character stuff is something we can relate to - do we try to relive a lost opportunity and prove ourselves? Or will we stuff it up again?
There's potential for comedy too, if you want to take it that way. But maybe drama with funny moments is better. Good luck.