12.24.2006

HH com 403

Two sisters, both alike in vanity, in fair California where we lay our scene… (ahh..Verona California, such a lovely spot)

Paige Miller has always been the responsible one. But while reeling from a devastating break-up, Paige decides to let loose and experiment—a decision which ultimately results in a host of unsuitable suitors, far too much alcohol consumption, and the title “Ho of the Year.”

Marisa Miller is a flighty New Age lesbian who’s allergic to commitment. But when Marisa finds herself homeless, jobless and on the road to single motherhood, suddenly a little security doesn't sound so bad.

Spilled Perfume is a story of sex, sisters and killer scents.

You've probably got a good story here but there's not a hook. And the R&J reference..if you use a phrase that's so clearly lifted you'd better continue the motif. It's the Chekhov's gun rule.

8 comments:

jamiehall said...

You've got a "huh?" first sentence and two interesting character sketches. The two character sketches do not tie with each other much, and we have no hint of the plot except that sisters work through problems.

Try to find an overriding plot arc to tie the two together. Even better, cast one sister as the main character of the hook (even if they're equal in the book) and tell the other sister's plight as a lesser plot arc that impacts the MC's quest.

Anonymous said...

Neither sister sounds terribly vain to me. I mean, maybe they are, but it doesn't seem to be their biggest problem.

I agree with jamiehall -- other than being sisters, what do these two characters have to do with each other?

Anonymous said...

Point of information: putting the gun on the wall in act 1 and using it in act 5 is Ibsen (Hedda Gabler).

Anonymous said...

how'd she get pregnant if she's a lesbian?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ibsen Fan: Perhaps, but Chekhov's statement about using a gun you have place in the first act of a play is a well-known axiom of storytelling. I have never heard it attributed to anyone else. If Ibsen used it in some sort of meta callout, that's fine.

Anonymous said...

So, as I understand it, the compelling goals of the women are: one has to stop herself from being ho of the year and an alcoholic, and the other has to find a job and a lesbian lover to help her raise her child. Not bad, but it would probably make it better, good enough for me to pick up, if there was a common goal and common obstacles they had to over come. You hint at it with the vanity line, but that's where it ends. It could be one or two sentences away from being a really good hook IMO.

Anonymous said...

And for me (remember, you can't be all things to all readers!), I'd like it better if you dumped the "vanity" character point. I'm not keen on people who got by their whole lives on their looks or who spend too much time thinking about them.

Plenty o' gorgeous people in my life, but they all went to college, got great jobs, and made lives that had nothing to do with physical appearance. As does almost anyone who's able to, despite what TV and movies wants us to believe.

Anonymous said...

Shoot, I forgot this point. Me again, author, to ask if you saw "Out of Practice" before it got yanked off the air (argh).

It was created and written by the glorious Joe Keenan (writer of the best eps of "Frasier" and a terrific 3-book mystery series with mostly gay characters).

Annnyway, "OOP" had a commitment-phobic lesbian sister played by Paula Marshall. I could have watched 100 more eps with that character, and I sort of want Marisa to fill that spot. Which is only meaningful if you get the reference.

I guess I'm saying please DON'T back off on the lesbian sister's side of the story in order to focus on Paige. Some of us want to read more about Marisa, and how the sisters duke it out.