Guessing at Normal
1980s & '90s
Gail Ward Olmsted
Motel clerk Jill joins struggling musician James and his band on tour. James' wandering eye and constant partying threaten their relationship. When Jill's poems and lyrics become the songs on his chart-topping solo album, Jill has to learn how to survive in the spotlight on her own.
It is the late 80's: Jill spends her days writing song lyrics and poems and her nights working at the front desk of a motel. James Sheridan and his band arrive for three days while touring to promote their debut album. A one-night stand leads to more when James invites Jill to join them on tour.
After a brilliant solo career, James is now a stay at home dad who refuses to participate in a 'Where Are They Now?' reunion tour. Meanwhile Jill's songwriting career takes off. Following a tragic accident, Jill is left to wonder if she can continue to write love songs without the love of her life.
An un-named city in the Northeast, New York, Los Angeles and Nashville
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rags to Riches,Tragedy
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity
Main Character Details
Name: Jill Griffin
Age: 21 years old at the beginning of the story
Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Engaging,Faithful,Insecure,Modest,Romantic
Additional Character Details
Name: James Sheridan
Age: 27 at the beginning of the story
Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Crazy,Engaging,Heartthrob,Masculine,Skillful,Seductive
Additional Character Details
Name: Alex Sheridan
Age: 27 at the beginnning of the story
Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Faithful,Unapologetic,Secretive,Underdog
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
Jill Griffin is a main character everyone will root for, and a woman that many will relate to. Stuck in a dead-end job, she passes the time writing poems and song lyrics. Her life changes forever when she falls in love with James, the sexy lead singer of a grunge band. She joins the band on tour and quickly realizes that James' wandering eye and hard-partying lifestyle are in conflict with her desire for a committed relationship. His excesses catch up with him and James is fired from the band. Jill feels that she can't leave him now that he's hit rock bottom. The two grow closer as they learn to depend on each other. James goes into the studio, intent on rebuilding himself as a solo artist. A bit naive and perhaps too trusting, Jill learns how to survive in the music business and advocate for herself when her poems and journal ramblings end up on her husband's mega-hit solo album. In the aftermath of a tragic accident, Jill has to decide if she's able to write love songs without the love of her life.
A young woman working in a hotel meets a singer from a band she is a fan of. After she starts a romance with him and accompanies him on a tour, they enter into a turbulent relationship. The rocker's vices and career, which threaten to leave both their love and the protagonist's talent behind, put the relationship at risk. In the end, the two overcome adversity, marry and have a daughter together.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, it does.
Draw of Story
The romance between the protagonist and a young rock star is what keeps the reader's interest right at the beginning of the book.
The narrative itself is somewhat beaten and predictable, although well written, which somewhat inhibits the interest in continuing to read.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The main hook is the relationship between an ordinary young woman and a rising rock star, the problems with drugs and copyright they face, and the narrative turn that signifies the rise of the protagonist in the musical universe. A somewhat clichéd but still very popular fictional journey.
There is the potential to raise a fanbase, especially made up of people interested in romances, stories about dysfunctional relationships, and the complex world of fame.
It depends on the technical and artistic qualities of the adaptation, but the narrative itself will also need to undergo changes and avoid so many common places if it wants to stand out to the point of reaching the Awards level.
Similar Films/TV Series
CRAZY HEART - A DECADENT COUNTRY SINGER FINDS LOVE WITH A YOUNG JOURNALIST, BUT HIS ALCOHOL ADDICTION PUTS THEIR RELATIONSHIP AT RISK. A STAR IS BORN - A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL SINGER FALLS IN LOVE WITH A YOUNG ARTIST AND HELPS TO BOOST HER CAREER. AS HER CAREER BEGINS TO TAKE OFF, HIS IS ON THE DECLINE, CAUSING SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN THE RELATIONSHIP.
What’s New About the Story
The story is already well known, so there isn't much that is really original. There needs to be more unique elements, more complex characters, and unexpected events for the narrative to actually catch the audience's eyes and surprise.
Both are ordinary people, with their defects and virtues, but who, despite all the problems between them, find a way to reconnect and rekindle their love every time.
Uniqueness of Story
It is far from being a rare gem, mainly because it lacks originality and any striking characteristics to make the narrative stand out.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Firstly, as already mentioned, it is necessary to add specific characteristics that make this narrative more unique in comparison with similar ones that already exist out there. It is interesting that the story highlights the protagonist's work as a lyricist — and the unfair treatment she earns for it —, but perhaps the book could emphasize this side of her even further, her poetic roots, her inspirations, how she develops this work, etc. Maybe lend a bit of poetry to her moments of creation. Another aspect that is needed, and could draw attention, is a greater exploration of the world of show business and the complexities of this universe. The characters also lack certain nuances, a little deeper or well-developed dialogues that take the story beyond the superficial. With all this and other necessary changes, an adaptation carried out with care and quality could be successful, especially if it added something different to the already somewhat beaten genre formula.