by Christopher Long
Spencer Waterman had it all. Valedictorian, star athlete, voted Most Likely to Rule the World. Married to the most popular girl to ever grace the halls of Piedmont Hills High School, MBA from Harvard Business School, and a six-figure starting salary as an analyst for Goldman Sachs.
That was before the crash of 2008, when his world was pulled out from under him.
Two years later he sits on the front porch of his rented house holding his retarded infant son and a warm beer and watches the traffic flow by as his wife and her lover share his bed. All he wants is to escape this living hell. All he needs is a chance to start over, to make good on all the promise his life used to hold.
His redemption comes unexpectedly in the form of his own illicit affair as well as in one of mankind’s nightmare creatures, a black widow spider. Or rather, a whole tractorshed full of them.
What seems like the perfect answer to all of his problems quickly spins out of control. By then, however, he is powerless to stop what’s happening.
And who he’s becoming.
Arielle: In a very few sentences, you tell a big story. And you’ve got a protagonist who seems right in line with the zeitgeist. I love the image of him sitting on the porch. I can just see him. What I need now is a little more story regarding the spiders. This pitch is very setup heavy, but light on plot.
David: The story is a classic Job story, where someone who has everything gets it all taken away, through no fault of his own. We talk about consequences, what’s at stake, and this story has that in spades. The paragraph about his redemption seems very abrupt, and it loses its power when it’s put together with a black widow spider. Those seem like such very different thoughts, and yet you cram them together. The way it’s done now, it doesn’t seem to do justice to either one. In this pitch there seems to be a very strong beginning and a very strong end, but not much middle.