TITLE: THE SWEET NOT ENOUGH
GENRE: Southern Gothic Novel
The expectations of three Southern families unravel when a World War II prisoner of war returns home to find that the mother of his ten year old daughter is now pregnant by his black half-brother.
THE SWEET NOT ENOUGH
Some things are meant to stay under. Some things are best left where they are.
1945 HAROLD'S BACK
"How am I kin to that man?" Annie squealed in her loudest, ten-year-old voice as Cora, their cook, opened the oven and poured hot fatback into wet cornmeal. Annie tore at her bushy red hair with the permanent wave that Miss Lula and Aunt Lillemena insisted she get before her uncle's return. No amount of tugging could pull her hair back to the smooth pony tail she'd worn all summer long. Her cowlick stood straight up in a wave like a question mark.
With three swirls around the kitchen, Annie fanned her skirt in front of the open oven like a parachute, hoping this handsome paratrooper with the saucy, blue eyes she'd heard so much about would drop out of the sky, swoop her up and take her away from this impossible house.
"What do I wear? This old dress?" Annie pulled at her skirt and twirled.
Cora, who'd been with the Lambertons forever it seemed, snapped at Annie's bottom with her tea towel. She knew good and well that when her folks got excited, nothing could calm any of them down. Not Miss Lula, Lillemena, even Harold, who today was coming home.
"I never met a soldier before," Annie squealed.
"Girl, you gonna blare out your lungs." Cora shoved the sizzling iron skillet back in the oven before the cornbread cooled in the Alabama steam.
I got the character – the POW from WWII
I got the conflict – wife/mother of his kid had an affair with his half-brother and is pregnant
What is the decision he must make and what’s at stake? It’s missing those two key elements to a good logline.
I’d probably remove ‘The expectations of three Southern families unravel’ because it’s vague and uninteresting. Their expectations of what?
Why doesn’t anyone answer Annie’s questions?
The description of her hair confused me at first and I had to reread it to understand that she’d got a perm and used to have straight hair.
Seems like a whole lot of telling going on and not much action.
Thanks for sharing & good luck!
I'm not wild about the first sentence. It feels like it's trying too hard. Knowing nothing about the setting, I have trouble hearing her question as a "squeal." And there's nothing inherently squealy about a 10-year-old's voice. I think this needs a lot of editing - paring down. I agree with Samantha, lots of telling, not much going on. But it's certainly an interesting premise, and I'm curious.ReplyDelete
I agree with what samantha says about hte logline.ReplyDelete
As for the excerpt, I thought it had a good tone and generally well written. I wondered if "this paratrooper" would read better as "the paratrooper". I was confused about whether the paratrooper she heard about was the same as the uncle coming home, because she seemed to have a crush on the paratrooper, but seemed strange to have a crush on an uncle. That made it seem like two different people, even though I'm guessing they're the same person. If they're different people, introduce one later, or make explicit that they're different. You already have a lot of characters introduced pretty quickly.
here's my editing to offer in this paragraph:
"Cora, who'd been with the Lambertons forever it seemed, snapped at Annie's bottom with her tea towel. She knew good and well that when her folks got excited, nothing could calm any of them down [gramatically, this sentence is referring back to the folks, though you are meaning it to refer to the kids. Instead this could work: She knew good and well that when her folks got excited, nothing could calm Annie down]. Not Miss Lula, Lillemena, even Harold, who today was coming home." [is this a bit repetitive saying again that this guy is coming home? Seems a bit forced.]
So...who is the wife/mother?ReplyDelete
And isn't Annie the paratrooper's daughter? Why is he being called her uncle?
Seems like Cora is main character or at least the one with the most 'action' so far. Is her role going to continue to be strong?
I really like the premise. I enjoy the voice and writing, but overall, I'm confused.
Who is the main character then? Will this all be written in third person? Or will the father/paratrooper be the MC?
Good luck! Thank you!