The Beauty of the Fall

Rich Marcello

Book Cover

GENRE

ROMANCE MELODRAMA DRAMA

    Core Theme

    LETTING GO

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    INFINITE JEST, BLUE NIGHTS, THE SOCIAL NETWORK

    CHARACTER LIST

    • DAN UNDERLIGHT: 40S. LEAD. AMBITIOUS AND HAUNTED.

    • WILLOW: 30S. DAN'S LOVER AND EMPLOYEE

    • OLIVIA: 40S. DAN'S FORMER PARTNER.

    • JASON: 60S. DAN'S COMPANY'S BIGGEST INVESTOR.

    • HANNAH: 40S. DAN'S EX-WIFE.

    • ZACK: 10-16. DAN'S DECEASED SON.

    Logline

    A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK, UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON

    Target Audiences

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

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Massachusetts

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Langdon Street Press

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan's longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the com

    Ending Description

    After Dan finally lets go of his son, he leaves the company he built and lives a simple life.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    1635054028

    Mature Audience Themes

    Nudity,Sexual Abuse,Substance Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Dan Underlight

    Age: 40ish

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Empathetic,Honorable,Heroic,Leader,Lone Wolf,Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Willow

    Age: thirties

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Strong Moral Code,Modest,Heroic

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    This is what I'm paying you guys to do. :-)

    Genre

    ROMANCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    A man is depressed because his son dies and he gets fired from his beloved tech company. He starts a new tech company, loses his girlfriend and gets fired from it. He gets back with the girl, she gets murdered, and he ends up getting rehired at his company. Lets go of his losses and heals.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile does depict the book properly; although I must say that the author’s development pitch is a different outlet than a pitch page (ref:That's what I'm paying you guys for)..

    Draw of Story

    I love the idea of someone struggling with the loss of their young son, although it’s important to point out that at times it sounds like the bigger loss to him is getting fired from his beloved company.

    Possible Drawbacks

    At times, the stream of consciousness writing can be tiresome. The author thankfully gave up on that towards the second half of the book, but there are so many pages I would cut out from the beginning.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    A man struggling with the loss of his son starts a new tech company focused on making the world a better place.

    Fanbase Potential

    Yes, but interested parties should think about tone, and the flaws of these characters. Part of the audience can use them to justify their own shortcomings.

    Awards Potential

    Absolutely, tons of complex characters begging for high profile actors to tackle.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    INFINITE JEST, THE SOCIAL NETWORK

    What’s New About the Story

    It's not unique as it is. A man starts a successful technology company. It would be more unique if it focused more on his personal hypocrisies, which make him tridimensional.

    Lead Characters

    He self-harms, has sex with prostitutes, but he feels bad about it and helps pass the ERA, which is intriguing.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Not a rare gem as it is. This has space to improve, but at the end of the day it's another story about a "complex anti-hero" who starts a tech company, with an Elon Musk ego twist in the validation for his actions in that he's saving the world.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    It has a beginning, middle, and end, an actual plot and complex characters, which is a rarity in itself. There is a story there with interesting characters, but it could be more unique.

    Brief

    A powerful tech CEO finds his life turned upside down when he inadvertently causes the death of his young son. His situation worsens when he is then fired from his beloved position at his company. However, with some help for his friends, he starts a new technological venture and hopefully a new chance at life--as long as he does not fall into his old bad habit.

    What We Liked

    - This was written in a really interesting, intimate first person perspective but with a flawed, unreliable narrator. Reading it was an adventure even before the dramatic story with complex characters and situations.
    - As a film, this would be an epic drama with heartbreak and loss that would leave viewers devastated but satisfied at the end.
    - As a television show, this would be a drama that viewers would tune in every week to see the competition between Dan and Olivia unfold and sit on the edge of their seats as they watch the war over the company develop.
    - Key points: Anti hero protagonist; Corporate drama; High stakes; Romance; Meaningful message

    Synopsis

    Dan Underlight is the successful CEO of tech company RadioRadio, a company he built with his best friend, Olivia. However, RadioRadio has been falling apart lately, as has Dan's life--he is still mourning the recent loss of his son, Zack. Dan sees visions of his son everywhere and imagines him talking to him. Dan is fired from RadioRadio by Olivia and is depressed for a time, and only helped by his friend, Willow, a poet who runs a women's shelter. Willow and Dan form a romantic bond and she takes him along on a spiritual retreat. There, he realizes he must go on a pilgrimage of his own. He travels across the country visiting various Fortune 500 companies, building a tiny pyramid out of stones at each as a small reminder of his son. While on his pilgrimage, he picks up a hitchhiker who ends up stealing his money and his car, leaving him stranded before completing his journey. He heads home to Willow dismayed, but tells her of his idea for a new technology company. She encourages him, and he soon pitches the idea to his small team of close friends with various skills related to the industry. The idea is to make a technology that allows users to feel like they're in the room with each other as they have conversations about how to fix complicated issues. His friends love the idea, and they begin building the technology and the business.

    At first, Dan is able to go without taking any outside money for the business, but then, Olivia sues his company. It's a frivolous lawsuit but the point is not to win, the point is to bankrupt the company before it is even off the ground, and Dan goes to Jason, a wealthy investor, for help. Jason agrees to invest his money in the company and get Olivia to drop the lawsuit in exchange for half ownership in the company and a clause that allows for Dan to be fired. Dan agrees and soon, the company has its first launches and is a fast success. Dan sees a woman get attacked by her boyfriend and intervenes, beating the man mercilessly, and someone catches him on video. Dan begins to suspect that Willow is cheating on him, and hires a private investigator to stalk her. Dan eventually confesses about the spying to Willow, who reveals she was not cheating on him but breaks up with him for violating her trust. Olivia joins the board of Dan's company.

    While the company is a huge success, Dan's personal life is a mess. He sees a prostitute named Katie regularly, and has been cutting himself with an arrowhead. Olivia has been trying to edge him out of the company, but so far he has managed to hold on. The video of Dan beating up the abusive boyfriend goes viral, and everyone is furious at the footage of what looks like a CEO beating up a random, innocent man. Willow meets up with Dan and suggests that she takes a position at the company and establishes a section focused to fighting domestic violence to fix his PR disaster, and he hires her, which fixes their image. However, Olivia is still soon able to get Dan fired from the company. He moves to a house on a lake, and Willow visits him. He is still in love with her, but she can't forgive him for betraying her trust. Willow's work at the company helps to get the equal rights amendment finally passed, and she takes Dan as her platonic date to a ceremony where she will be awarded woman of the year. After the ceremony, Willow and Dan give a ride home to one of the women from her shelter, who is attacked by her ex husband at her house. The ex husband threatens Willow and later tracks her down and kills her. Dan is incredibly saddened by the loss of Willow and falls into a dark depressive spiral for a time, but eventually he is able to let go and begins to rebuild his life. He is offered his old position back at his company and starts scholarships and foundations to help women.

    About The Author

    Rich Marcello teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.