Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Guess the Plot
Nine to Five
1. When a series of injuries and ejections takes nearly half of the Scottsville Sluggers off the field, it's going to take everything they have, and then some, if they want to win the most critical game of their season.
2. Becca Tatum keeps losing men who are intimidated by her great 9 to 5 job. Her solution: tell her new man she's unemployed. Hilarity ensues.
3. Bookie Swifty Malone calculates his chances of getting a date with debutante Cecilia Vandervoort, the woman of his dreams.
4. The night shift always depressed security guard Stuart Possle. But the Donut Shack opened at five A.M., so there was always something to live for.
5. Middle school math teacher Roger Hamilton gets in trouble with the school board when he takes his class to the horse races for a lesson in statistics.
6. Every afternoon, Henrietta disappears at precisely nine minutes to five. And every morning she reappears at nine to five. Poor Henrietta doesn't know where she is half the time.
Becca Tatum is successful. She's got a great job, a condo in downtown Chicago, a car, everything that a 25-year-old could possibly want. [Can you hook me up with her?] [The first sentence is blah. Dump it and change the second to Becca Tatum has everything a 25-year-old could possibly want: a great job, a condo in downtown Chicago, and a new red Mustang (or whatever car company is willing to pay for product placement).] She's even got a great boyfriend...until, intimidated by her independence, he runs for the hills. [Which, from Chicago, is quite a run.] And he's not the first one to do that. [What man wouldn't run from a woman with a job, a condo, and a car? Just thinking about her has me wishing I had my security blanket and Valium next to the computer.]
Becca has had enough. Why can't guys just appreciate her for who she is instead of worrying about her lifestyle and how theirs may not compare? So when she meets the gorgeous, charming Daniel Kennerly -- who happens to be an "aspiring artist" (read: total slacker) -- she decides to reinvent herself for his benefit. From here on out, she'll be Becca Tatum, unemployed. [Did it ever occur to her that it's not the fact she has a job that bothers guys, but the fact that she's a proctologist?]
This doesn't mean she's actually going to quit her job -- just find a way to hide it from Daniel as their romance blossoms. And, of course, that kind of deception never goes anywhere good. Especially when she ends up in charge of planning a huge benefit that, suddenly, has a very personal meaning. [Not clear. If she's running an art show to benefit the unemployed, in which Daniel's participating, it's okay to reveal this. That way we can anticipate the ensuing hilarity.]
Nine to Five, [Is this title vital? With the movie and song already out there (not to mention some books with the exact same title and dozens for which that's part of the title) maybe it's worth looking for something more original.] complete at 70,000 words, provides a look at one of the most challenging dilemmas facing young women in the dating scene: [Men.] How can you keep your identity as a strong woman in a world where so many men want to be in control of the relationship? [Is this still a problem? Don't most men today, like Evil Editor, want to be dominated by women? Preferably two at a time?] In reversing the frequently-used fictional formula in which the protagonist pretends to be something better than he or she is, Nine to Five provides an unexpected and engaging "chick-lit" style story that may be exaggerated, but will ring true for many women.
I'd like to hear more about how the deception goes badly. I'm thinking that's what makes or breaks this, whether it's hilarious (or heartbreaking, if that's what you're going for) and original or humdrum.