Black Heart Boys' Choir

Curtis M Lawson

Book Cover

GENRE

HORROR

    Core Theme

    RAGE, VIOLENCE, INSANITY

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

    CHARACTER LIST

    LUCIEN: 16, BRILLIANT, ANGRY, VIOLENT

    MAX: 16, CHUBBY, SWEET, EAGER TO PLEASE, LUCIEN’S FRIEND

    J.C. AND ASHER: 16, SADISTIC, CRUEL, LUCIEN’S FRIENDS AND ACCOMPLICES

    VIOLET: 16, BEAUTIFUL, CRUEL, TALENTED, CUNNING, LUCIEN’S CRUSH

    AMDUSCIAS: DEMONIC UNICORN

    MS. KANE: GENERIC, LUCIEN’S COUNSELOR

    Logline

    Lucien Beaumont is a teenage misfit and musical prodigy ostracized by his peers and haunted by familial tragedy. When he discovers an unfinished song composed by his dead father—a song that holds terrible power—Lucien becomes obsessed.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Male Leaning

    Setting

    Enfield (fictional MA town), Boston, Cambridge

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-published

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    The story begins with a flash foward to the climax. Lucien and his friends are commiting a school shooting, but his language is such that he describes it in terms of a work of music and with demonic imagery.He's shot by police and his life flashes before his eyes, giving us the story.

    Ending Description

    Lucien and his friends kidnap a high school nemesis and commit a terrible school shooting that they see as the completion of the song that Lucien is obsessed with -The Madrigal of the World's End. Lucien is killed by the police and he realizes that his death is the climax of the song.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1075108068

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence,Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Lucien Beaumont

    Age: 16

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Narcisstic,Complex,Confident,Crazy,Skillful,Sophisticated,Unapologetic,Engaging,Villainous,Educated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Maxwell

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Underdog,Empathetic,Skillful,Insecure,Naive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Amduscias

    Age: As old as creation

    Gender: Other

    Role: tempter

    Key Traits: Villainous,Aggressive,Charming,Narcisstic,Confident,Sophisticated,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Lucien Beaumont is a teenage misfit and musical prodigy ostracized by his peers and haunted by familial tragedy. When he discovers an unfinished song composed by his dead father—a song that holds terrible power—Lucien becomes obsessed. As he chases after the secret nature of his father's music, the line between gruesome fantasy and real life violence begins to blur. To complete his father's work Lucien believes that he and his group of outcast friends must appease a demonic force trapped within the music with increasingly sadistic offerings. As things spiral out of control he finds that the cost of his art will be the lives of everyone around him, and perhaps his very soul. Black Heart Boys' Choir explores the challenges facing troubled young people in the modern age, addressing youth violence, bullying, mental illness, loneliness, and mass shootings. It approaches these important topics with a rich narrative, strong characterization, and intense visuals. Lucien takes classical music and traditionalism and turns them into the tools of his rebellion. This lends a unique visual and auditory feel to the story - a merging of classical aesthetic and punk rock iconoclasm. Hallucinatory visions of the demon Amduscias (who takes the form of a black unicorn) also lend strength to the visual element of the story. Lucien is a figure almost tailor made for the screen - a well-dressed, disturbed, haunted, and brilliant protagonist with a deeply compelling voice.

    Genre

    DRAMA

    Brief

    After the suicide of his father, a high school student is forced to move homes and schools. He is an angry misfit and a very gift musician. He befriends a group dark teens and after he finds a musical manuscript left behind by his father, the boys work on creating an evil masterpiece. It culminates a deadly school shooting.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the profile accurately describes the book.

    Draw of Story

    The beautiful, flowery language used by the writer is quite compelling.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The brutal torture and murder of Max's girlfriend was an unfortunate loss and the graphic depiction of her death was nauseating.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The musical device used in the story is quite clever.

    Fanbase Potential

    This is violent, dark and devastating. The subject matter is so disturbing that it would most likely not attract a large fanbase.

    Awards Potential

    It could have Awards potential since it is so beautifully written, is very stylistic and touches on an often taboo, but relevant subject.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

    What’s New About the Story

    Using a musical masterpiece to illustrate a descent into madness is quite a unique way to allow the unfolding of the devastating story. It doesn't need any alterations on that point.

    Lead Characters

    The sheer cruelty of his character makes Lucien stand out.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is actually a rare gem! It is so beautifully crafted, but also completely devastating.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Brief

    Upon finding a portion of a demonic composition left behind after his father’s suicide, a musical prodigy becomes entrenched with a dark muse that requires sacrifices of the most gruesome kind for the music is completed.

    What We Liked

    The premise is strong and compelling. The writing to so very good. The imagery jumps right off the page and the musical device used makes the story unique. It is flawlessly paced, highly stylized and original.

    Film: This is tailor made for a film adaptation. The juxtaposition with beauty, music and violence would translate quite well to the big screen. The highly stylized presentation would be easy to transform into intense visuals.

    TV: This is much more suited for film adaptation, but it could potentially be developed into a limited run series on television. However, it is not for the faint of heart so mainstream television is out of the question. It would have to find a home at a cable or streaming outlet.

    Key points: Unique; Musical; Timely subject matter; Highly cinematic; Genre mixing

    Synopsis

    Lucien Beaumont is an incredibly smart musical prodigy. His life is completely uprooted when his beloved father and mentor commits suicide. Lucien’s mother is a junkie and his dad was the only thing holding her together. She is always heavily medicated and leaves Lucien to fend for himself while she spends her life in bed. Because of her inability to cope, they are forced to leave their beautiful home to live in a condo that embarrasses Lucien. He is also forced to leave his prestigious private academy for a public school. Lucien is angry and becomes a loner and a social outcast in his new school. When he gets into an altercation with a bully named Ari Cole, Lucien is blamed and sent to talk the school counselor, Ms. Kane. He feels unfairly maligned and targeted at school and begins to entertain fantasies about violently hurting those who pick on him. He finds a friend in Max, a chubby music student who looks up to him. They decide to try out for the glee club together. Lucien is absolutely blown away by the beauty and talent of a girl named Violet. After her audition, she insults Lucien and he surprises everyone by belting out Beethoven. This begins his love/hate infatuation with Violet.

    After the audition, Lucien is approached by J.C. and Asher. They are the resident bad boys of the school and Lucien impressed them with his musical prowess. Lucien, Max and their two new friends decide to defy convention and start their own choir, calling it the Black Heart Boys’ Choir. Lucien finds an unfinished piece of music left behind by his father. The powerful piece of music heralds the apocalypse and Lucien becomes obsessed with finishing it. He and the choir plan to perform it once it is finished. Lucien’s dad was working on the piece with his conductor friend, Philip Gravetree. Lucien pays him a visit and Gravetree tells him to abandon the piece. He warns him that it is evil and was the reason for his father’s death. Lucien is visited by a demonic black unicorn called Amduscias. Lucien has a horrific fantasy of killing Gravetree and as the violence unfolds, Amduscias reveals more notes for the masterpiece.

    Wanting more to be revealed, and realizing that blood must to shed to achieve this, Lucien visits the family who is now living in his old house. As a murder fantasy blurs with the real life violence, Amduscias reveals more notes of the music. More bloodshed will be needed to finish. When Lucien notices that Violet has been abused by her lowlife boyfriend, Leo, he wants to defend her. He enlists the help of his choir and as they are beating Leo within an inch of his life, Amduscias reveals more sections of music. Max is so bothered by the violence that he leaves the choir. Max tells Ms. Kane what happened and Lucien is questioned.

    J.C. and Asher are so angry with Max for telling on them, that they decide to sacrifice him. The kidnap Max and his girlfriend and take them to their abandoned practice space. They torture them both and murder Max’s girlfriend in front of him before calling Lucien to join them. Lucien doesn’t want to kill Max, but he knows he must. Amduscias reveals the rest of the masterpiece as Lucien murders his best friend.

    The boys need a 4th member of the choir to replace Max. Violet will be the perfect addition. They murder her father, kidnap her and force her to sing with them. They plan to perform the piece at a school dance. They arrive at the dance decked out with guns. They perform the music accompanied with blazing gunfire. Ari is one of the first killed and others fall like flies. As the music reaches a climax, Lucien and his choir are shot by police responding to the school massacre. The final notes of music usher in Lucien’s death and it is finished.

    About The Author

    Curtis M. Lawson is an author of unapologetically weird fiction and dark poetry. His work ranges from bleak cosmic horror to technicolor pulp adventures. Curtis is a member of the Horror Writers Association, and he is the host of the Wyrd Transmissions Podcast. He lives in Salem, MA with his wife and their son.