Squish-Squash

Book Cover

ACTION ADVENTURE DRAMA SUSPENSE/THRILLER LGBT HORROR

Contemporary

Pol McShane

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Logline

On a family camping trip, along the shores of the bayou, five-year-old Billy is attacked and bitten in half by an alligator. He survives, but is never found. Twenty years later, he has become a creature known as Squish-Squash.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Drama,Suspense/Thriller,LGBT,Horror

Short Summary

On a family camping trip, a mother watches her five-year-old son catch frogs by the shore. In the blink of an eye, he is grabbed by an alligator and pulled under. The mother searches for her son, but only recovers one sneaker. His foot is still in it.


A boat pulls away from shore carrying the remaining campers, park rangers, and Cody, Billy's brother. From the shore, Squish-Squash/Billy watches the boat leave, and then it turns and walks back to the swamp. Its hands in the mud making the familiar squish-squash sounds.

Setting

Louisiana bayou

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence,Nudity, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Squish-Squash/Billy

Age: 5 and 25

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Crazy

Additional Character Details

Name: Cody

Age: 27

Gender: Lgbt

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Engaging,Heartthrob,Seductive,Funny,Outspoken,Blunt,Sexy,Masculine

Additional Character Details

Name: David

Age: 29

Gender: Lgbt

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Heartthrob,Romantic,Masculine,Sexy,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: Mona

Age: 60 something

Gender: Female

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Crazy,Empathetic,Blunt,Outspoken

Development Pitch

A mother and father take their sons on a camping trip along the shores of the Louisiana bayou, as they do each year. While seven-year-old Cody is with his father, his five-year-old brother, Billy is with their mother, trying to catch frogs. Her attention was turned for a moment when an alligator grabs Billy and pulls him under. He is bitten in half. His family searches, but they never find him. Billy survives his horrendous injuries, and spends the next twenty years becoming what the locals call Squish-Squash. A name given to the creature because of the sound it makes as it runs on its hands along the soft, muddy shore. A group of thrill-seekers camp deep in the swamps and find themselves relentlessly pursued by Squish-Squash. As the pursuit continues, one camper in particular, Cody, comes to the horrifying realization that the creature they are running from could be his brother.

About The Author

Pol McShane was born in 1965 in Port Jefferson, New York. He is the author of over twenty books, and currently lives in Colorado with his husband and their two golden retrievers.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

The swamps of the Louisiana bayou

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Pol McShane

Year Published: 2013

Hard Copy Available

No

ISBN

Information not completed

Genre

ACTION, DRAMA, LGBT

Brief

Cody and Billy are young children taken on a camping trip by their parents. Billy is captured by an alligator and turned into a create known as Squish Squash. Years later, Cody is still reconciling with the loss of his brother and his recent camping with friends brings memories flooding back. However he can't help but think that he is being haunted by his memories because the creature stalking his friends might also remember him. Cody struggles to let go of what his brother has become but ultimately finds peace in the existence of Squish Squash.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: EXCELLENT

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

The profile generally focuses on the unique element of Billy transforming into Squish Squash when Cody is just as an important if not more coherent representation of the story. Making the summary more cohesive to Cody would better reflect the focus of the story. The development pitch could also mention marketable themes of the story within Cody and Billy's relationship to further improve the pitch to reflect the qualities of the story.

Draw of Story

The concept that there is a feral alligator monster that may or may not remember his brother twenty years later in the bayou is a fun and fresh monster dynamic.

Possible Drawbacks

There is a focus on the subplot between David and Cody's romance which distracts from the main conflict and slows down the pacing in the first act. Focusing more quickly and centrally on Squish Squash and Cody's dynamic and the attacks nearby is more enticing with stronger investment.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that a five year old gets attacked by an alligator and becomes a swamp monster who meets his brother after twenty years of survival.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a huge fanbase if the side characters and subplots are more streamlined to focus on the monster or Cody and the monster's internal conflicts and character arcs.

Awards Potential

Due to its monster move genre this is unlikely to gain nominations outside of popularity awards.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

THE POOL, BEOWULF, TUSK, CABIN IN THE WOODS, SWAMP THING, FRIDAY THE 14TH, CRAWL

What’s New About the Story

The dynamic between Cody and his former brother who is a swamp monster is compelling and focusing more on this development rather than the side character reactions would help streamline the main conflict in their relationship.

Lead Characters

Cody is proud, confident and driven. Billy is afraid, adaptable and confused. David is skeptical and mostly supportive.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an awesome concept but gets tied down by the side character reactionary focus rather than the majority of the story being centered around the main conflict of the Squish Squash.

Possible Formats

Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

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

By creating more three dimensional side characters connected to the main conflict there will be more emotional investment in each character. Also focusing on the main conflict more than the subplots earlier will adjust the pacing to be on par with the third act's swiftness.