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Everyone Gets Divorced  

After finishing all nine Unicorn Western books and our debut season of The Beam, Johnny and I felt like we could write anything together. 

So that’s exactly what we did. Those first two projects had nothing in common, except for the special ingredients present in all of our work together. 

Unicorn Western and The Beam both followed a formula of sorts. All of our UW books were novella length, at around 25K words or so, and followed a pattern established by a famous western … except with unicorns and magic, plus slices of turkey pie, and bowls of chili on rare and rumored occasions. 

Beam episodes were novella length as well, with six of them comprising a season. So one season of The Beam equalled two-thirds of a Unicorn Western

I knew we could nail both humor and drama in a mashup of genres, but we needed a tidier format. Episodes at around 15K words felt more like an hour of television, with half that length required for the story to feel like a sitcom on the page. 

I came up with six ideas total, for three sitcoms and three dramas. Johnny liked all six, so we planned to pilot them all, see which one in each category performed the best and/or was the most fun to write, then take that one to series. 

But we had so much fun writing all six of them that we didn’t really care how well they performed. We committed to taking our entire lot to a full first season. 

Everyone Gets Divorced ended up being Johnny’s father’s favorite out of all our books for a while. (His father is a fan, mine was not. Pop especially would not have approved of the sitcom I’ll tell you about next week.) 

Back to Everyone Gets Divorced. it was originally pitched as How I Met Your Mother meets Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This kind of mashup is now a Sterling & Stone staple, but this story is the first time we nailed it. In concept and execution, those elements in that pairing is exactly what this nine-episode stab at a prose driven sitcom experience delivers. 

Everyone Gets Divorced was my least favorite of our first three sitcom pilots, but the one I loved most by the last page, assuming we’re not including the sitcom I’ll tell you about next week. Because that one is OMFG. (Old-schoolers might have guessed it already.) 

We wrote another five episodes to finish out the first season of Divorced, with the intention of eventually returning to write another full season. Instead we ended the story with an additional three episodes. That’s all the book needed. 

But if it’s ever turned into a TV series, the story engine we built can hum for a lot of episodes.  

Here is the short synopsis: 

Archer has finally found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with — and she’s in love with him too. But if he wants a happy future with Hannah, he’ll have to keep his jackass friends from wrecking it all.

They’re the kind of friends who’d try to help Archer propose by setting up a scavenger hunt that lands Hannah in a dark alleyway, where she crashes a gang initiation while searching for her next clue.

The kind of friends who’d make Archer late for the birth of his baby by kidnapping him for a “fun” trip to Atlantic City.

Can Archer keep his friends from ruining his happily-ever-after — without losing them forever?

I hope you enjoy Everyone Gets Divorced now, and that we all get to see this series on TV some day in the future! 

You can download it free for the next week here!