Minus One

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

Norwood Holland

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Drew Smith while waiting for his bar exam results takes a job as a DC hotel concierge and befriends two bellmen. They spend the summer hanging out in night clubs and hobnobbing in diplomatic circles doing cocaine and chasing skirts. When the drug tab comes due, the summer fun comes to a tragic end.



Short Summary

Drew Smith must defend his friend Medhat in murder case. He has come to love and despise his charming Arab friend who is reckless with alcohol, drugs and women.

Drew gets Medhat off from the murder rap but can't save him from the woman he loves. He learns she framed him and when he angrily confronts her. The argument turns deadly. She guns down Medhat.


Washington DC

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Nudity,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Drew Smith

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Modest,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Romantic,Engaging,Aspiring,Educated,Insecure,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Medhat

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Masculine,Adventurous,Confident,Crazy,Seductive,Manipulative,Romantic,Patriotic,Educated,Engaging,Charming

Additional Character Details

Name: Julio

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Heroic,Honorable,Blunt,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Seductive,Masculine,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Julio

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Engaging,Faithful,Masculine,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Seductive,Strong Moral Code

Development Pitch

Minus One captures Drew Smith's evolution from youthful indiscretion to a professional burdened with the seriousness of purpose. It's a tragic murder mystery chocked with sex and romance ending in violence. Minus One takes us back to the beginning of Drew Smith's legal career.

About The Author

Norwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer and a graduate of the Howard University School of Law with a bachelor’s degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. Holland favors D.C.'s local color in his fiction and currently writes the blog editorialindependence.com devoted to promoting independent authors among other things. He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and a number of Washington’s top national law firms. His recent freelance credits include The Writer Magazine, the Examiner, and Black Literature Magazine. More information on The Drew Smith Series is available at his web site NorwoodHolland. com.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Universal,LGBT Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Windmill Books Ltd.

Year Published: 2013

Hard Copy Available







Drew begins working at a hotel where he befriends two employees. They start hanging out but Medhat lives on the edge. Drew finds himself in seedy bars surrounded by drugs and illegal dealings. Drew has to testify for Medhat in a murder trial and use his law degree to win the case.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

The opening chapter begins with a domestic disturbance where a body is found in a pool of blood. It establishes the danger that surrounds Drew and his friends for there summer together. It uses the classic format to preview the end of the story to create interest.

Possible Drawbacks

Drew is the main character but everything revolves around Medhat. It could be more well rounded since it's about Drew and his summer with two new friends.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Drew, a soon to be lawyer, takes a job as a concierge. He meets two young men that invite him to hang out. A friendship grows but Drew ends up in the underworld of drugs and violence. The draw is an innocent guy gets pulled into the chaos of the illegal world of drugs after he became a lawyer. It is a relatable story to audiences of the wild times of their youth.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase because dark, gritty films tend to draw audiences. Films like John Wick or Training Day show the dark side of the world that are intriguing to audiences.

Awards Potential

This does not have awards potential. Even with all of the drama that occurs in the story, it doesn't feel high stakes. The characters are two dimensional with more focus placed on the dramatic events.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The story is original because the main character is just about to start a new life. His summer in 1982 is a stark contrast with having earned his law degree. He is in the crime underbelly, trying to save Medhat and stop him from doing anything more outrageous. Otherwise, it is very similar to many of the crime dramas out there where an innocent person finds themselves in unusual circumstances and must deal with it the best way they can.

Lead Characters

Drew does not stand out. He is a normal guy who finds himself trying to save a friend. He rises to the occasion and uses his knowledge to help him the best way he can. He stands by him until the end. The characters do not have a great amount of depth.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an average story that is still interesting to audiences. The story also features people of color as the main characters which is different especially as they are not the criminals. This follows the format of many crime dramas.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio

Analyst Recommendation



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

This would be a recommend if the characters are developed better and made more complex. Drew goes through alot with Julio and Medhat as well as in his personal romantic relationships. There are mentioned but not delved into on the emotional side.