12.29.2006

HH Com 616

Dorothy Abramson has been a fag hag as long as she can remember. In college, she played sidekick to the most flamboyant boys on campus, and in high school, she outed the school quarterback. Even as a kid, she and her father bonded over their love of Broadway musicals.

In many ways, Dorothy's life has been too fabulous for words -- great friends, better lovers, and plenty of high-grade cocaine. But that's only half the story: whether they walk out in anger, marry their lovers, or slit their wrists, Dorothy's beloved boys have a nasty habit of leaving her rejected and alone. Through it all, Dorothy faces her trauma with wry humor and an inexhaustible flair for the dramatic -- but when her own son abandons her to go live with his gay father, she realizes it will take more than dry wit and drier martinis to get her through the ultimate heartbreak.

Darkly humorous with tragic overtones, SEX, DRUGS, AND SHOWTUNES is an 83,000 word faux-memoir detailing the glamorous life of a girl who follows her heart to the wrong side of the rainbow.

faux memoir? holy freytag, herr batman.

There's no plot of course, and this woman sounds weird and not in a good way.
Who's the audience for this?

7 comments:

I Said said...

Could be interesting, but you don't make the protagonist sound real likeable here. Nobody wants to read about a perpetual victim; show us what good she's done.

Oh and, where'd that son come from?

author said...

I submitted this to Evil Editor and he thought it was fine. Twelve rejections later, I realized something must be wrong. At least now I know it was the query, not the pages -- kind of a relief.

As for the Frey comparison... He got into trouble because he claimed his book was true. My book is fiction and I've never claimed otherwise. In this case, memoir refers to the format, not the content.

Virginia Miss said...

I always assumed fag hags had pretty boring sex lives.

Anonymous said...

Yes, how come she's persuaded a gay guy to father a son on her? Gay men don't like to have sex with women. And if we're talking a deliberate, consensual act of turkey-baster, then that implies a strong friendship - so what happened there?

I'd be careful of the word 'fabulous'. It's highly camp, which raises the issue of whether her life actually has its good points, or whether 'fabulous' means measuring up to some camp ideal because it suits her aspirations. You could be implying one of two contradictory things, and it's not clear which.

You praise her for her wit but not much else (though the hook isn't particularly humorous - if you want agents to believe the heroine is funny, you've got to prove you can do funny, so throw in some epigrams). But really, the way you present it, it made me kind of feel, 'Well what does she expect? Of course a gay man is going to marry his lover rather than her. Why shouldn't he?' And if we're talking suicides and break-ups, we're talking dramatic tension and scenes, hence faults on both sides, which we need to see invoked.

Why is she so attracted to doomed relationships? That doesn't sound glamorous to me, it sounds emotionally messed-up. Is this tragic or funny, or both? Readers who aren't big fag hags themselves are going to be frustrated with her if you can't give a really, really good reason why she acts the way she does, what with it always ending badly.

The hook in general seems to be buying too much into Dorothy's unexamined assumptions. You need to prove you're wiser than she is, otherwise the characters she interacts with won't be convincing, and readers may lose patience with the story.

Anonymous said...

This is somewhat interesting, but I'm a little confused about the main character. Does she keep falling in love with gay men?

Anonymous said...

What first Anonymous said, except for the part about a gay man fathering her child. I've heard of this happening several times, particularly back when more gay or bi guys were in the closet. (For instance, I read somewhere that movie critic Pauline Kael had her daughter with a gay playwright.)

I think there is an audience for this. I know a lot of women who complain that the only men they can relate to are their gay friends. But this is usually in the context of failed relationships with straight men, being lied to or cheated on, etc. (Think Carrie and Charlotte on Sex and the City, for a silly example.) So what I'd like to see in this hook is something about Dorothy's experiences with heterosexual guys. Has she ever fallen in love? Are they foreign to her, given that her own dad is gay? This could be a source of some interesting conflicts, and may also make Dorothy sound more sympathetic. (Nice joke with the name, by the way!)

Anonymous said...

The hook is well-written instead of rambling (like so many of the other hooks on here!), so I assume the book would be really well-written. The only thing that turns me off about this is that it seems like the story might meander along with no real point (ie, just like Miss Snark pointed out, no plot) and just the MC making bad decision after bad decision. If you focus more on a certain plot point or situation in the novel, I think it'd entice agents to read this. Your other option would be to use another manuscript as your first novel and then, when you've established a reputation and can get this published, send this out. Good luck.