12.29.2005

#50 Crapometer

Chick-lit

The Big Things

Pride with pride cannot abide – no other saying could so succinctly sum up the on again, off again relationship of Sukey (Susannah O'Brien) and Mikey (Michael Henderson).

For years, known as SukeynMikey, they've topped the Australian radio ratings with their popular morning show – 'Just Get The Hell Out Of Bed Why Don't You?'. What most people don't know is that their famous banter continued off-air and well into the night, leading to their break-up just over a year ago and the demise of their show.

Sukey has spent her year in NYC, wowing audiences (never of more than three drunk people with free tickets, not that she'd let Mikey know that in a million years, of course) with her stand-up routine.

Mikey has spent his year unemployed, eating pizza in front of the TV, jumping into bed with the next woman who came along, getting her pregnant with twins and asking her to marry him within six months of their getting together (asking Sukey, his partner of five years, had never crossed his mind, of course).


Worlds apart, they've almost forgotten about that little document they signed what seems like a lifetime ago – a contract to make a TV documentary. Knowing they were having off-air problems that were slowly making their way on-air, their agent had stalled the proceedings. But now the production company won't be stalled any longer and it seems Sukey and Mikey will only finally be rid of each other if they fulfill this last duty – a two week tour of The Big Things.

Pitched as 'a bit of a laugh' at the start of their last season together, they were to travel along the East coast of Australia – from the Big Prawn to the Big Banana and all the kitschy tourist spots in-between. Both Sukey and Mikey think their agent, Angela, must be kidding. The two of them working together again? No way.

But Angela's not kidding. And with the production company's lawyers sending threatening letters, Sukey being forced home, penniless and Mikey's wedding looming, the pair collide together to begin the road-trip from hell.

As they travel, meeting some weird and wonderful Australian characters, taking in the Big Things and trying desperately not to want each other, the 'my life couldn't be better' competition escalates. Until the end of the road, that is, where Sukey and Mikey learn something – that love, the biggest Thing of all, sometimes can't be sped past in a mini-van at 100kph.

I’m a tad confused here. Does the story start when their show is cancelled and Mike retires to the couch and Sukey to NYC? Or is the story the road trip?

The way you have it here, the first 3/4 of the synopsis seems like set up for the actual story: the road trip. If that’s NOT the case, you can fix it by changing the tense to present.


The road trip in the synopsis seems like an afterthought almost but it’s where your story resolves itself. You need to bring it into detailed focus.


I’d look for something that made these characters more than the usual stereotypes too. Why would any one want to marry Mike if he’s an unemployed couch potato? This is way past the 50’s babe, us girls can like yanno..work for a living. Marrying an unemployed couch potato is about the LAST thing a smart woman would choose. Not even if he’s a really great lay. This is PARTICULARLY true of the chick lit genre.


What you’ve got here is Bing and Bob doing a road picture. You’re going to need to really jazz it up to make me think I haven’t already seen this a zillion times.

12 comments:

Demented M said...

I was into it, but I got a little confused. Do they fall in love? What about the fiance with twins--that kind of unethical behavior would be a turn off for me. Of course, if she leaves him or has some other legit reason to not marry him, that would make it okay.

I agree that the synopsis spends too much time on the set up.

M

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I agree with Miss Snark about adding more unique elements and not making the guy sound like a total loser. lol.

I think this story idea actually sounds pretty funny. It's got potential to be a pretty good book. I'd read it.

Anonymous said...

Batty characters are one thing, but when they're so batty they forget having signed a boring little TV conract, because they were so overwhelmed by their wonderfully batty selves, well ... this comment illustrates the reaction.

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I finally figured out what this reminds me of.

Did anyone ever see the movie "A Mighty Wind", the spoof documentary on folk singer groups (e.g., Eugene Levy, that mom from Home Alone, etc.) who are doing a special TV show for folk singing? It's kind of a reunion special thing...

And the main couple don't want to get together and do it, but do it anyway? And they used to be a couple in real life, too, but broke up (and broke the folk duet up, too).

Actually, that movie is pretty funny - when those two reunite for the special, both of them think the other person is still in love with them, though neither one actually is. hahaha - I love vanity. It makes for great material...

Anonymous said...

Question for Miss Snark:

I agree with you about the synopsis seeming to be frontloaded with backstory (I see this a lot when I judge unpublished writers' contests) but I found myself quite drawn by this writer's voice. Assuming that the first five pages were as lively as the writing here, would you assume the writer can't write a synopsis and request a partial?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun book. I'd ask to see it.

harridan said...

The couch potato who knocks up a girl bothers me a lot.

Is this going to be written off as the evil woman tricked him?

I know it's chick lit, but this portrayal of the guy makes me think that if the true hero of the story "Sukey" hooks up with him, well, not a chick I want to know.

Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

I really liked this and would read it.

I agree that the H needs to be more attractive. Also, if he is to get back with Sukey I don't like the idea of him walking away from his fiance and twins to do that. (The names Sukey and Sikey sound a bit twee. Maybe these could be changed too?0

Anonymous said...

I hope those twins turn out to be somebody else's. I don't see how else this story could work. If the twins really are his, then I don't see myself liking or respecting either of the two main characters.

Anonymous said...

It might be a problem that Sukey and Mikey are the names of real radio personalities in Australia (admittedly they didn't work together, and were based in different areas).

Also, the Big Prawn and the Big Banana are only a few hundred kilometres apart, which hardly allows for 'all the kitschy tourist spots in-between' and really doesn't do justice to the thousands of kilometres that make up the east coast.

McKoala said...

Will you be including the Big Potato? Could be fun having the Big Couch Potato visit that. It's my favourite Big Thing for that'wtf moment'.

Bernita said...

This guy never heard of condoms?