12.16.2006

HH Com 39

“Sissy” is a reflection of American history seen through the eyes of one woman. Her story spans prohibition, the great depression, the world wars, and women’s liberation.
Her Father is a famous military band leader and aspiring capitalist, who rules with an iron fist. He preaches morality to his children, even though his long running affair is common knowledge around town.
Sissy envies her sister Marie, an avant-garde suffragette, who gains fame in the theater. She wishes she had the guts to be a rebel, like her bootlegging brother Ralph.
She is caregiver to her twin brother “Inky” who suffers from a mustard gas attack, incurred while trying to prove his worth to their father during WWI.
Her one true love is heir to a powerful media dynasty. He insists she conform to his family’s rigorous sense of social convention, and give up her nursing career.
In a desperate revolt, she elopes with her lover’s best friend, who turns out to be a gambler and alcoholic. It’s a kamikaze maneuver that sends all their lives into a tail spin.
As America grows, from the advent of the automobile to the Apollo moon landing; social standards swing from one extreme to the other, in rhythm with the loves, losses, triumphs and tragedies of this salient, stubborn girl.
Sissy pays a high price for her independence, but in the end, manages to craft her own definition of The American Dream.


This is what...Smith College Alumni news?
This isn't a hook, it's a recitation of events.
It's also as cliche drenched as they come.
And jesus herbiverous martinez on a raft "media empire" in the 1920s???? give me a grande break.

17 comments:

Rei said...

This is a character sheet, not a hook.

michaelgav said...

I am stealing "Jesus Herbivorous Martinez" the first chance I get.

Gerri said...

And jesus herbiverous martinez on a raft "media empire" in the 1920s???? give me a grande break.

This is where we're gonna have to part ways, Miss Snark. At that time, the newspapers were the media, and they were powerful enough to start wars. Think "Remember the Maine!" The term Yellow Journalism is really coming to its own in this time, too. While the term "media empire" means something different then than it does now, it's still an accurate description.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst - hands down worst - of all the submissions to the crapometer yet. It's like reading the bulleted version of daily news events.

Take a writing class. Or two. Or three.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think it's the "worst." It's the format and the way it was posted that makes it look like a bulletin. With less history and more about the character of Sissy this could be interesting.

HawkOwl said...

"Social standards swing from one extreme to the other, in rhythm with the loves, losses, triumphs and tragedies of this salient, stubborn girl."

Yeah, you need to not be so in love with your own work. And you need to fix your rhythm and have some continuity in your ideas. You sound like a jazz pianist.

Also, name one famous military band leader who's also a capitalist.

Anonymous said...

LOL.

"Her one true love is heir to a powerful media dynasty. He insists she conform to his family’s rigorous sense of social convention, and give up her nursing career." Are you kidding me? I would give up my left leg, not my right, to conform to anything if he is a "heir to a powerful media dynasty."

Darn it why can't I be one of them lucky gals to find me one of them gems to bring home to mama. Miss Snark in all of your wisdom how did you find that Clowney fella? Was it them heels ya' always wearing or was it that pup?

Kristi said...

E.L. Doctorow is really good at crafting a story amid historical events, without the events becoming the story. Ragtime is the book I'm thinking of. I think this story could be written in way that is subtle, less Forrest Gump, more Godfather. I'd read it if was written with subtlety.

Emmy Voter said...

Sounds like it's intended to be something in the Ragtime vein. But ya gotta be bale to write like EL Doctorow to pull that off.

Anonymous said...

Ha, sissy! Got it!

I think this is pretty good. This is a book I would read.

Anonymous said...

Oh Miss Snark,

You have GOT to request pages on this one!

Entertain us, PLEEZEEEEE...

December Quinn said...

How is he the true love of her life when he tries to force her to change and she runs off with his best friend?

Anonymous said...

That "kamikaze" thing she does better be during or post WW2.

Anonymous said...

Oh the pain of nitwittery!

I guess I should have written it this way:

“You can’t win the presidency without winning Ohio, and you can’t win Ohio without endorsement from The Daily Citizen.”
“And the Citizen is owned by none other than Mr. Don Kestrel.”
“Is your sister really going to marry that guy?”
“So she says. He gave her a rock the size of Lake Erie.” Ralph said while loading the last case of moonshine into his car.
“Do you think there’s gonna be trouble?”
“Naw, just the opposite. We’ve got friends in high places now.

But there is going to be trouble, and lot’s of it, when Sissy Sands breaks off her engagement and elopes with Don Kestrels best friend.
Articles begin to run in The Citizen smearing her fathers business. The theater reviews pan every show her sister performs in. Her husband is fired from his job, and an anonymous tip lands her brother in jail for selling bootleg whiskey.
Feeling the wrath of her family, Sissy’s first instinct is to run, as far and as fast as she can, but eventually she realizes, she must return, and find a way to set things right for the people she loves.

***************

Anyway, thanks Miss Snark.

I may be learning the hard way, but I am learning nonetheless.

Give my regards to Broadway.

Gerri said...

Definitely should have written it that way. So much more spark and wit and bite.

Anonymous said...

The revision is terrific!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback. All the insights and comments have helped a lot.

To answer the questions:

Yes, the kamikazi reference relates to WWII.

Yes, there was a real bandleader from Ohio who was a capitalist. He was leader of the 42nd Rainbow Division under General Black Jack Pershing. After the war he founded Ohio's first credit bureau and became a very wealthy man.

On Black Friday, 1929 when the banks failed, he stormed into The Ohio State Bank demanding his money. They had no cash, but gave him the deeds to 114 properties in and around Ohio.

I'm sure that sounds boring to most, but man, in my mind I can just see him, storming into that bank in all his glory! He is one of the only people in America to squeeze water out of that turnip!

There's no doubt about it; He must have been some mighty kind of dude.

Thanks for pointing out the writing sounds too much like historical research. That seems to be my key problem...too much research, too little prose.

I'll work on that.

Oh, and thanks for catching the Ragtime theme. Thats exactly where I hope to go with this, if and when I ever hone the writing to that level.

Look for the book in 2025! LOL

And congrats to all who put their heads on the chopping block. I'm proud of each and every one of you.