I have invited you to this note because I value your feedback and expertise. I am looking for conversation starting questions, constructive criticism, and overall editing feedback. This is a high-level rough summary of my Serial Novel... “The Grey Area.” I am super excited to FINALLY have my head wrapped around this particular segment of the industry. Even still, the end goal is to write a really insightful, in-depth, an engaging literary work of art chapter by chapter, and then convert those chapters in to screenplays/graphic novel scripts. The ultimate goal is to use this story as a platform to get in to the comic book industry.
Forewarning...This story is loosely based off of my own life. I was laid off from a cushy stay at home job at the end of 2015, but refused to ever go back to working for anyone besides myself. I started a concierge service called Blue Chip Management. I basically wanted to become a lifestyle manager for influential and eccentric individuals. I saw a lot of artists around me struggling to make ends meet, and I wanted to be the one to create a way to utilize all of our talents to make real money! But in the meanwhile, I had to survive...and used Detroit’s “informal economy” to make money. It got to a point where I was doing extremely well, but just a little too well, know what I mean? I began to fantasize about what if I pushed this idea to the limit. It really had some juice...even though I was still trying define exactly what it was. I was already operating in the grey area surviving, but did I want to live there? The answer was no...but I dreamt about how it could of went...then I wrote it down as a business plan.
I read the business plan, and said...you know what? This would be an awesome graphic novel story. So I threw a lil cyberpunk “sauce” on top of it...and voila...I had something...different. Please read the summary...leave questions...comments...
The Grey Area Elevator Pitch
A survival story about a young slick entrepreneur’s tumultuous, but rapid journey to becoming a self-made millionaire with only his road bike, elaborate schemes, eccentric network, and insatiable desire to dominate the informal economy in a city many view as a desolate dead end, Detroit, MI.
This is a story that takes place in modern day Detroit focused on a group of friends that have one thing in common…riding road bikes. Each of them have greater aspirations for life and are tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Each has great potential, and grandiose dreams to be much more than their meek existence they now walk in. It starts with Red and Black…the business minds of the crew. Black is a rehabilitated drug dealer, who changed his life for the better after having a kid. Red is the prodigal son of a successful business man looking to make a name for himself, and define his own path. Red and Black are always proposing ideas, but never executed anything together. Red was laid off from his cushy job one day, spiraling him into a world of uncertainty that haunted him day in and day out. Black was beginning to miss the thrill of the street life, but did not want to put his life on the line anymore. After being laid off, Red made up his mind that he would never be fired again, and began doing odd jobs and chores for others to make ends meet. Eventually, he built up a reputation to take on courier jobs on his bike, it was just enough for him. Nothing gave him more freedom than to be on his bike all day, living the life of complete freedom.
He built relationships over time, but it would all change once one of his longest held customers fell ill to cancer and had to undergo chemo therapy. They would always debate about the potential profits of the marijuana industry and how it would change Detroit for the good. Both would have the discussion over a joint, but once he fell ill this happened more frequently. Red recommended THC alternatives, which eventually puts the cancer into submission. He began to grow his own strain that Red helped him construct with the aid of Red’s Uncle. His client returned to work, and began to refer Red’s services to his high-profile colleagues to push his strain. Demand spikes a lot faster than Red or his client could imagine, and they needed to take it to the next level. Red never thought about selling drugs as a full-time occupation…but the upside would bring him more money than he could ever imagine. He takes the risk, and the business begins to boom. So, Red brings Black into the business.
Eventually business grows to a size that even Red and Black can no longer manage on their own. Black suggests bringing the rest of the bike crew on. Each member brings their own unique skills set that makes them an even stronger team. In this story, a business case for marijuana as a solution to Detroit’s plight will be a main point, but even still, as this team faces opposition from police, drug lords and basic societal pressures, they still strive to stick together. Their brotherhood is the focus, and how they position their skills to serve their greater overall vision. The reader will come to understand what it means to go against the grain to achieve a goal, and despite the lure of the street for the young black male, how they can use their brains to win. The Grey Area represents the passage between the known and unknown, the area between good and evil that all humans must face to get to what they want out of life. With Detroit, itself representing a place that is predominantly black in population, but owned by white the dollar. The Grey Area of the U.S., where the taboo of wealth and human rights are at odds with each other.