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IndustryCentral ScreenWriters Exchange: Horror/Thriller: DEMONS SORROW
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Linda M. Fields (Whitefields) on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 09:01 am:

DEMON'S SORROW is a 79,261 word novel. It's a supernatural thriller that's part horror, part mystery and all whodunit, and is available through most bookstores as print-on-demand.
DEMON'S SORROW begins with the murder of sixteen-years-old Lyndsay Abbott during a winter snowstorm. In a town where there is literally no crime more violent than an occasional domestic dispute, the murder turns neighbor against neighbor, cop against cop, and son against father.
Tommy Rogers thinks his life couldn't possible get any worse. His father is a drunk with abusive tendencies and isn't allowed near him or, Anna, his mother. To make matters worse for the boy, he just knows that there's a real demon living in his father because every time Alex Rogers gets drunk it looks like he's possessed by a demon, right down to his red glaring eyes.
Spring comes and Tommy and his blue eyed Siberian Husky, Bruiser, go running in the forest behind the house and this is where Tommy meets Lyndsay. She's a beautiful young woman and Tommy is full of pride when she asks for his help getting her out of the forest. Unfortunately Anna doesn't understand why the girl doesn't just come to the house with Tommy if she's really lost, and sends him away to play with his 'new friend'.
As a last resort Lyndsay leads Tommy through the forest where he discovers her decaying body beneath a large oak tree in a small clearing. Anna, working on children's book at home about a three-legged-turtle named Sandy, sees her son through the turtle's eyes as she tries to think up something for the turtle to do in the story. She takes off into the forest where she eventually finds Bruiser who leads her to her son sitting in a small clearing staring at the decomposing body of a young woman.
Anna can't carry her son because he's too big so she runs back to the house and calls the police. Chief Tony Morman comes to the house, and when Alex Rogers shows up all drunk and belligerent demanding to see his son, the Chief has him thrown in jail. Morman is quite taken with Anna and her son and soon finds ways to be with them.
Lyndsay appears to Tommy again and tells him that she has to remember who killed her because until the man responsible is found people are going to die, bizarre, unexplained deaths. Once again she bullies Tommy into helping; this time by telling him that a being she calls the Demon might hurt his mother if they don't find her murderer. The first person to die is Lyndsay's boyfriend, Jimmy, because he cheated on her with her best friend, which is why Lyndsay was out in the storm to begin with. Cindy, the cheating best friend is the second person to die. Lyndsay, a loving and faithful girl in life has become very vindictive in death. She kills everyone she thinks betrayed her, or who might try to hurt her new friend, Tommy Rogers, then blames the deaths on the Native American woman who is the guardian of the land called Whitefields, Michigan. It's sacred land and it's the Demon's job to help bring justice when a crime is committed.
Captain Douglas Robbins of the Michigan State Police was born in Whitefields and is very interested in the way Morman is running his investigation. Morman is spending more time flirting with Anna Rogers than he is looking for killers, and each day that passes the list of dead grows. Anna and the Chief become close and Tommy tries to convince Morman that he should be looking for Lyndsay's murderer because people are going to keep dying until Lyndsay is avenged.
Tommy, Anna, Lyndsay, Morman, and Robbins all end up in the forest late at night and Tommy learns that Lyndsay, not the Demon, is the one who's been killing people. Sandy, The Three-legged-Turtle, leads Anna through the forest and we find out now who murdered Lyndsay.
The story ends (so no one can peek at the last page and see who the murderer is) many years into the future with old Thomas Rogers suffering from sever arthritis. He remembers the events that happened when he was only ten and all the loose ends are tied up neatly.
A snowstorm is raging out side and suddenly in the distance a soulful howling echoes through the night. As promised Lyndsay, Bruiser, and the Demon come to take Tommy to the wonderful place they told him about when he was just a kid.

(Linda M. Fields - - \mail

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Alan A. Armer (Alana) on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 10:47 am:


DEMON'S SORROW by Linda Fields
You've assembled some colorful characters and many intriguing elements in your story. Much of it works nicely. Good job!

It's impossible to put all of the details into a premise but some questions need answering. Who or what is The Demon?

"It's the Demon's job to help bring justice when a crime is committed." This is the one element in your story that throws me. Again, who or what is the Demon? Is he out of the Native American culture? He seems to be a good guy, especially at the conclusion of your story.

My main problem, Linda, is that I don't know who (or what) to root for. This is serious. Initially I wanted to see Lindsay's death avenged. But then it seemed that she was a vindictive bitch, responsible for a number of other deaths and so it's hard to find her sympathetic. Okay, you imply that maybe it's the Demon who's responsible for those other deaths but the Demon seems to be an extension of Lindsay because everyone killed is a person who betrayed her. So it will be no surprise to an audience when we learn that it was actually Lindsay who did the killings.

Tommy, aged ten, is apparently the focus of your story. He's your protagonist. Try to keep him central. His goal is to help find Lindsay's killer. But rather than her bullying him into helping, can he feel an emotional closeness to her so that he WANTS to find her killer? She's beautiful. Maybe he has a boyish crush on her. This seems relatively unimportant, Linda, but it will really help the audience position. Also, let's try to conceal the relationship between the victims and Lindsay so that we won't guess too early that she is actually the killer.

Sandy, the 3-legged turtle, leads Anna through the forest. How is this possible? (I'm intrigued.) Sandy is fiction, a character in a children's story. And he must move damned slowly. How does he lead Anna to the conclusion that Morman was Lindsday's killer? And can Tommy be a part of this?

Exciting stuff.

Who (or what) is The Demon?

Good luck to you, Linda!

Critique by
Alan A. Armer

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Linda M. Fields (Whitefields) on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 03:08 pm:

Hello Mr. Armer,

I'll try to answer as best I can:
Oh boy, OK, there are many Demons in the story, there is the main Demon, who is not an evil being at all, the Native American woman who's job it is to "help" Lyndsay get the revenge she didn't know she needed. (It was never my intention to fool the reader here, only Tommy) There's the Demon who Tommy thinks lives in his father and appears only when Alex is drunk, e.g., red eyes, mean tempered, totally different from the gentle loving father Tommy knows and loves. Then there's the Demons inside each and every person who dies, there greed, lust, betrayal, etc.

Tommy does have a tremendous crush on Lyndsay, his beautiful golden girl of the forest, but she's much older and at ten Tommy is confused by his affection for, and fear of the young woman.

As the Indian Woman explains at the end of the story Lyndsay doesn't actually kill anyone, granted she does persuade her father to kill Alex Rogers, but she thinks she protecting her young friend. It's the demon inside each person that actually contributes to their death. Lyndsay's parents demons are grief, their unwillingness to live without their only child.

Sandy is Anna's imagination, her psychic link to events taking place in the forest around her. The little turtle Tommy finds in the forest is Sandy and he moves very slowly through the forest with the Indian constantly urging him on. When Anna sees him it's in her dreams, or with her eyes closed as when she follows him through the forest. When she hears Bruiser howling in the distance, she opens her eyes and Sandy is on the path not far ahead, he moves a short distance to a dirty mound by the side of the path and this is where she finds the slipper and badge.

Tommy is the main character and Tony Morman realized that Tommy is the link between everyone who's died. Besides being attracted to Anna, Tony wants to get close to Tommy because he feels the boy is somehow connected, or at least a catalyst in the events unfolding around him.

I hope this explains better the events surrounding young Tommy Rogers and his blue eye Siberian Husky, Bruiser. All I can add is that of all the people who've read the book so far, no one that I know has figured out who the murder is until they're told in the book. I really hate putting it in the synopsis because it takes so much away from the suspense of the book.

Thank you for your help,
Sincerely, Linda

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