Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #12

TITLE: Blame it on Meryl Streep
GENRE: Women's Fiction

At age 28 Laura Sanders has never been in a relationship and given up on love until she watches Mamma Mia and finds the perfect life-coach: Meryl Streep. With imaginary Meryl at her side Laura embarks on a journey to discover her own sexuality. Nobody but Laura can see and hear Meryl, but so what? Sometimes you have to lose yourself in a fantasy to fix your reality.

I’m Laura Sanders.
I’m twenty-eight.
I’m a TV producer in Los Angeles.
I’ve travelled the world.
I have a cat named Sartre.
I own 108 pair of shoes. 
I’m a virgin.

The worst part about my pathetic, lonely life is the constant pretending. Pretending to be normal. Everybody knows the drama of love, the passion, the pain, and not knowing makes you a complete freak. Until some years ago I used to be honest and tell friends that I never had a boyfriend, never had sex. Someday I’ll tell a stranger that I killed a person. Simply to see if that confession arouses a similar mortified look.
The look is usually followed by the insensitive comment: Why don’t you just pick up a guy at a bar? A woman can get laid even if she’s coyote ugly and you look cute. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to get laid. I want to be loved.
Next is the sexist, but still popular, good advice:
Good Advice Number One: Be dumb. Men don’t like smart women.
Good Advice Number Two: Be hard to get. Men still think like hunters.
Good Advice Number Three: Be a listener. Men need attention.
Finally there’s the worst part: the awkward silence. After all, everything everybody talks about are relationships and to fit in you need stories to contribute. So I make up stories. Stories that cover up the fact that I’m an invisible woman, unable to catch a guy’s eye, let alone his heart.


  1. I like the voice in your first page. The first sentence of the logline is a bit wordy. I think you can delete [never been in a relationship and] from the logline and still get the point across with your opening pages.

  2. I think you have an interesting concept, but your first page didn't grab me. I didn't really want to listen to her whine about her "pathetic, lonely life" the whole time. It didn't endear her to me at all. I'd rather see you start in a scene where we can see her awkwardness and emphathize with her as we see her struggling to fit in. Good luck!

  3. I agree that the first line of the logline needs work. It's too wordy. I think the rest is fine, but I'm left to wonder why she's never had a boyfriend at 28. The virginity part is believable- but never had a boyfriend? I'm bracing myself to learn that she has 2 heads, or is socially crippled, or some huge issue to explain why.

  4. I remember reading your logline before and loving it. I love everything about your first 250 and want to keep reading. That said, I believe I am the target audience (if not the actual main character of) your book. Not sure how big of an audience that actually is, so good luck in your publication journey. I'll be hoping to see this one on bookshelves soon for my next beach trip.

  5. I remember reading this log line before as well. For me, the most difficult part to embrace is the fact that she's never had a boyfriend...or, it seems, any kind of intimate interaction with a male...The virgin trait is not difficult to believe at all...and I like the idea of a film character/movie inspiring a woman into action - i think this happens to many of us!
    I enjoy the 'list' in your first 250 words. I like how it looks. I like what it says, and it sets a strong voice for what follows.
    The sentences: I don't want to get laid. I want to be loved - were very powerful for me. I think they should stand alone somehow because they feel like the core of your MC's plight.
    Also...if she's traveled the world, has a great job, lots of shoes (so I'm assuming she's not living in poverty) - how can she be so 'invisible'? Does she travel alone? If she's working as a producer in LA - she's part of a world where she's likely surrounded by outgoing, 'beautiful' (at least on the outside) people...I'm just not sure why she's at this point in her life. I think I want something in your first 250 words to tell me about 'how' she got to where she is...
    Thank you!

  6. I like the voice here--she's frank and gets to the point. I like the humor (and I've heard this stuff before) of the Good Advice. And I am hooked. I am really hooked. Because the logline explains this is a story of finding her sexuality, I assume I'll learn soon why she is a virgin and I'm willing to wait to hear it. But that's just my opinion. There are a couple of points made above that I agree with but the ways I'd address them are different I guess. I think someone who has travelled the world might be in an airport or at a conference or with some gorgeous seductive womanizer -- so many chances to be seduced, and yet she hasn't been (all I mean is that even though we all have great intentions, sometimes the less worldly (or sexually experienced) might be at greater risk of being seduced). So I might remove the well travelled part, and the virginity might be more believable.
    As for the logline, the only thing that I wonder about is how she could give up on love if she's never had it. I am not sure I believe she could give up--don't you have to have something (or lose something) to give up on it? (maybe not.) Maybe she's given up on trying, due to fear, or she's never been in love and given up hope that she ever would. or she's never been in a relationship, and never had a clue where to start. plus she's been so busy! so she stopped thinking about it (i know this is awkward on my part), until she saw mamma mia. and she regained hope.
    Anyway, I'd be hooked. I like this. I think it's a sweet beginning to a pertinent and timely subject. I would definitely read more.