SUSPENSE/THRILLER ROMANCE RELIGIOUS ACTION DRAMA FAMILY
1980s & '90s,2000s
SWEETNESS IN THE BELLY
TALIA: LATE TEENS. LEAD, STRONG, DETERMINED, RESILIENT, BEAUTIFUL, AMBITIOUS, COURAGEOUS.
SAM: 20S TO 30S. SWEET, COMPASSIONATE, LOYAL, STRONG, RESPONSIBLE, TALIA’S FATHER.
NAMEERA: 20S TO 30S. BEAUTIFUL, CONFIDENT, CARING, TALIA’S MOTHER.
BORO: 30S, HEARTLESS, EVIL, VILLAIN.
AMAN: 20S, JEALOUS, ANGRY, SUSPICIOUS, TALIA’S BROTHER.
ABEO: 30S, KIND, MENTOR, BRAVE, CONFIDANTE, ONE OF TALIA’S THREE RESCUERS.
A Sudanese family tries to leave the perils of their country, as well as escape from a ruthless terrorist, in their effort to come to America with help from Americans. The terrorist is obsessed with the family's daughter and will destroy anyone who tries to stop him and his desires.
Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning
Sudan, Southeastern United States and South America
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Louis Books LLC
Year Published: 2020
In 1999 a humanitarian group visits the Sudan and while there plans are made to bring a young Sudanese woman (Nameera) back to the U.S. Terrorist attack her village before leaving, also ending her dream and her budding romance with one of the volunteers (Sam).
It is 2018 and Talia, Nameera's daughter, is Boro's object of affection. Boro is one of the most ruthless terrorist and he is decimating all who try to stop him attaining Talia. American missionaries have become involved in trying to save Talia, which will have dire consequences.
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Tragedy,Quest,Internal Journey/Rebirth
Main Character Details
Key Traits: Educated,Gracious,Faithful,Obedient,Aspiring,Blunt,Religious,Underdog
Additional Character Details
Name: Boro Khalid
Key Traits: Aggressive,Villainous,Narcisstic,Confident,Criminal,Blunt,Power Hungry,Skillful,Sarcastic,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Leader
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Modest,Aspiring,Charming,Obedient,Confident,Religious,Selfless,Faithful,Visionary,Gracious,Romantic,Educated,Honorable,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Clumsy,Lone Wolf,Insecure,Gracious,Obedient,Underdog,Aspiring
Heaven's Dew is a great and amazing story to read, but this storyline and it's characters are destined to be on film (movie or mini series). The different array of characters with their journeys and short comings would captivate any audience, just as it does for the reader. The antagonist, Boro Khalid, with his narcissistic and devilish manners, intrigues and keeps the audience alert, hoping that he will soon face his death. Talia and Nameera are subjected to insurmountable odds that question their faith and struggle for hope. The life lesson to "always believe" and to never give up, no matter the adversary, is a message an audience needs to see and not read. This book was written to be a movie or series. One of the main reasons, it is a trilogy, with the second volume being written now and the last volume is outlined. The vast amount of captivating characters, a realistic storyline, along with a suspenseful adventure can mean only one outcome...Success!!
DRAMA, ROMANCE, RELIGION
A Sudanese family is directly marked by the attacks of a local terrorist, who kills civilians without mercy for power and is obsessed with the young Talia's beauty. With the help of an American humanitarian workgroup, this family will have a chance to rise again, but the enemy will not give up on Talia.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, it is accurate.
Draw of Story
The book already starts with an attack by Boro's militia toward the Sudanese village. With this beginning, we can quickly understand what the situation is like in that place, by whom the village is commanded, the hostility of the environment, and why Talia's family wants to leave their country. It is an impactful start with relevant information for us to understand the rest of the story.
The dialogues are quite explanatory and highly descriptive. Images and actions could present the story's beats, but the author preferred to use dialogue for backstory and other information. It would be better to discover who is who, little by little, in a more organic way. The avalanche of dialogue removes our chance to get to know the characters more deeply.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
In a village controlled by a criminal militia, the hostile situation in Sudan is a good hook for this story of love and overcoming. This conflicting background raises the stakes of the story and makes the romance more impactful.
It all depends on how the adaptation would work the narrative. Talia's family is already quite likable, simply because of all the horrors they constantly face. The story also tells the experiences of immigrants from hostile environments. However, it would be nice to improve the structure to give more vigor and strength to a relevant story.
The terrors that so many families and civilians endure in militias' hands in these lands controlled by criminals is quite relevant and a topic with high potential for awards. The author has a good theme at hand, good characters, but he needs to develop conflicts better to match the theme's potency and tell the story more realistically.
Similar Films/TV Series
HOTEL RWANDA: A HOTEL MANAGER SAVES THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES BY SHELTERING THEM IN HIS ESTABLISHMENT. EXODUS: THE VIEWER FOLLOWS THE STORY OF SOME REFUGEES LOOKING FOR A SAFE LIFE IN OTHER COUNTRIES
What’s New About the Story
Love is what makes this drama of refugee immigrants more unique. Even in extremely violent places, the bonds of love between family members and the romantic love that arises in an arid environment bring poetry and thought-provoking drama to the story.
The characters have good backstories and are already distinctive enough for living and dealing with such a hostile environment. However, they become less appealing due to the excessive dialogue and information delivery. It would be more interesting to discover each character's traumas, wounds, and anxieties little by little, more organically.
Uniqueness of Story
It is not a rare gem. There is a very relevant topic at hand—a conflictual environment to raise stakes and a love story that makes the work smoother. However, the narrative needs to be better managed.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - 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
Less dialogue. A less verbal explanation of what is happening. We have an impressive enough environment that speaks for itself. The crime, the death, and the destruction's atmosphere that causes trauma to these characters are strong enough to tell this story. A narrative told more visually, with actions and less based on dialogue would work better here. The villain is cruel and cold but seems not very realistic. This type of story, which is fictional, but that addresses conflicts over real situations in many's daily lives, needs extensive research work to help construct these characters. The villain is cruel, he kills for power, but he doesn't sound very human. Nameera sees the militia's barbaric daily but does not seem to be much touched internally by all that. She also talks a lot and asks a lot, forcing revelations that seem out of time. The research, in this case, would help a lot to build these characters in the most natural way possible so that a romanticized portrait of these refugees is not performed. Boro's obsession with Talia is a plus for his villainy, but basing much of the conflict on it could end up becoming dull. Suppose we were to discover little by little why Boro is obsessed with Talia. If we could notice through the narrative structure how this obsession arose, perhaps we would be further impacted. The obsession is reported on the first page of the book and takes the pleasure of discovery. The religious element, which seems to be a relevant matter for the author, could be made a little more present in the form of expectations and hope for a less difficult existence. The author has a good theme at hand, two generations of characters terrified by a single villain, a setting that works as an additional conflict and interesting portrait of a real situation, however, the narrative component, the way the story is told, the chronology of the facts, the motives of the characters, the origin of all those relationships and their aspirations for the future need to be better established.
A young Sudanese woman whose family has been plagued by tragedy wrought by a ruthless terrorist, flees to America to live out her mother’s dream.
What We Liked
It is rich and atmospheric. Though the book is faith based, it is never heavy handed. The story is both devastating and miraculous and the characters are as tragic as they are resilient.
Film: A feature adaptation of the book would be compelling given the sweeping breadth of the story and strength of the characters. The deep emotion coupled with action and suspense would be a powerful combination.
TV: Adapting this into a limited television series would be perfect for a high profile network. There could be a solid seven to ten episode arc with potential for multiple subsequent seasons.
1. Strong female lead
4. Franchise potential
5. Awards potential
A young Sudanese woman named Nameera has always dreamed of going to America. To practice her English she befriends a young man from Georgia in the United States who is in Sudan on a humanitarian mission. They fall in love and make plans for her to return with him to America.
The night before Nameera is set to leave her family behind for a life in America, a group of young militants led by Boro, their sadistic leader, come into her village. They her murder father and much of her family while also destroying her village. Nameera must stay to care for her wounded mother and Sam is forced to leave the Sudan with his mission group, leaving Nameera behind.
Soon after the tragedy, Nameera, discovers that she is pregnant with Sam’s child. She and her mother, who are now living in a new village, manage to find Nameera a kind husband who is willing to raise her child as his own. Since Nameera had to give up her dream of going to America, she hopes that one day, her child will be able to fulfil that dream in her stead.
When her daughter is born, Nameera names her Talia. The name is a tribute to Sam’s favorite place, his farm in Georgia and the meaning of the name is “dew from Heaven”. Talia has lighter skin and hazel eyes, but Matak loves her as his own and always takes good care of her. Matak and Nameera go on to have three other children together. Their son, Aman, is suspicious of Talia and begins to believe that Matak is not her father. He starts to resent her and turns to dark influences as he grows older.
Many years later, a Christian group from America is able to come back to the Sudan to aid in the humanitarian crisis. Nameera hopes that they will take Talia back with them. JB, Abeo and Brian agree to take Talia to New Orleans with them where she will have a foster family and be sponsored by their church. Talia is excited for her new future.
However, Boro, who is now a wealthy, powerful and even more hardened terrorist, has other plans. When he sees Talia in her village, he is intrigued by her beauty and becomes obsessed with her. He is also angered by the fact that her father is a white man. Boro wants to breed the white out of her and plans to force her to marry him. Matak refuses to sacrifice Talia to please Boro and he pays for it with his life. Boro befriends Aman and radicalizes him against his sister and family. In a vicious ambush, Boro kills Talia’s two younger siblings and drags her mother away to certain death. Boro kidnaps Talia and plans to force her to be his wife. However, JB and Aleo are able to fool Boro and rescue Talia from his clutches. They take her home with them to America.
Talia begins her new life with her foster parents and their children. She adapts nicely and is soon able to reconnect with Sam who is delighted to know that he has a long lost daughter. Though he is sad to hear of Nameera’s death. Sam never married or had other kids so he is happy to focus everything on Talia. They start to form a strong father/daughter relationship.
Meanwhile, Boro is furious at the loss of Talia and by the fact that he was bested by JB and Aleo, whom he calls “fake” Africans. He hatches a plan to recapture Talia and make her his wife, while also seeking revenge on her saviors. To carry out the deed, Boro enlists the help of Aman. He goes to America with Boro’s henchmen, and they successfully kidnap Talia, JB and Aleo.
They are flown to South America where they are bound and presented to Boro. He brings a hooded figure into the middle of the room and reveals it to be Nameera alive and well. He tries to use her as a bargaining chip. Seeing his mother in this position, somehow reaches Aman and sees the error of his ways. He realizes that he loves his family and doesn’t want to carry out Boro’s wishes. He double crosses Boro and works with JB to free them all and return them to America. They leave Boro for dead before returning.
Aman makes amends with Nameera and Talia and starts his road to redemption. Sam and Nameera reconnect and build a new life with Talia and their new American friends. Though Talia is safe and happy for now, it is revealed that Boro is still out there, he is still obsessed and she may not yet be free of him.