Archive for April, 2009

How to Write a Novel at 83 … or 13

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Back in the days of vaudeville, Gypsy Rose Lee and her mom found themselves booked into a third rate theater specializing in the dubious art of stripping. This was comically dramatized in the 1962 film version where the young “Gypsy” is introduced to the inner sanctum of stripping by a trio of strippers, each insisting, in her own inimitable way, that to succeed “You Gotta Have A Gimmick.” “Gimmick” is yesterday’s word for today’s all-purpose “hook,” as in: if you want to guarantee stardom on the world stage “You Gotta Have a Hook.” But in vaudeville “hook” meant if you gave a lousy performance somebody from backstage would wield a big, long hook and reel you right off the proscenium. There went your rent money and your reputation in show business. Not so today. Have a great hook and you’re in the running for whatever the media demands.

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