Traditional Dark

Frederick J Lanier

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION ADVENTURE DETECTIVE DRAMA FAMILY RELIGIOUS HORROR YOUNG ADULT SUSPENSE/THRILLER DARK CHRISTIAN FICTION

    Core Theme

    RECKONING

    TIME PERIOD

    19th Century,Earlier 20th Century,20th Century (multiple decades)

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    VERONICA (2017)

    CHARACTER LIST

    PAUL: 17. LEAD. SHY AND IMPRESSIONABLE.

    BRENDA: 40S. PAUL’S MOTHER.

    KARA: 17. LURES PAUL OVER TO HER HOUSE.

    JONATHAN PINKERTON: 19. SOMEONE FROM PAUL’S ANCESTRAL PAST.

    BOGART STITCH: TEENS-30S. PAUL'S GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER

    BOB: 40S/50S. COP WHO HELPS BRENDA.

    Logline

    Traditional Dark takes us deep into the life of a teenage boy, who wakes up the prisoner of a powerful, evil cult. His mother and a police detective get involved. Lives are on the line. Who will be able to survive? Who will come out on top?

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Fictitious town "Cedar River"

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Amazon

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    Paul Miller, a teenage boy, is headed over to Kara's house to help her with a school project. At least, that's what he thinks. Kara convinces Paul that the project involves an experiment with an Ouiji board. He becomes bound by a darkness that is somehow connected to his ancestors from decades past.

    Ending Description

    The story concludes where the lives of Paul, his mom, and her detective friend are on the line. A climactic battle ensues where Paul must invoke the use of paranormal weapons to battle sinister priests and creatures of the night, who have a reckoning in mind.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    ISBN- 9798670651714

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Paul Miller

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Modest,Faithful,Heroic,Honorable,Insecure,Strong Moral Code,Religious,Obedient,Aspiring

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jonathan Pinkerton

    Age: 19

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Faithful,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Secretive,Power Hungry,Villainous,Crazy,Criminal,Narcisstic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Bogart Stitch

    Age: 17 - 35

    Gender: Male

    Role: logical

    Key Traits: Clumsy,Empathetic,Engaging,Heroic,Honorable,Masculine,Modest,Aspiring,Faithful,Leader,Uneducated,Religious,Selfless,Visionary,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Brenda Miller

    Age: 40

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Desperate,Empathetic,Faithful,Religious

    Development Pitch

    Traditional Dark is a story of good versus evil, light versus darkness, but it would make a great movie or TV series in that it falls into a unique genre. This is occult horror versus a teenage boy's faith. Follow Paul Miller and his great grandfather Bogart Stitch who experience similar coming of age stories. Paul is taken prisoner by a powerful, evil cult, and held captive in a horrific, dry, and dark place. He cannot see, nor can he move. As his light is about to be snuffed out, his mother and a police detective get involved. Can they help him or do they become entrapped as well? The reader learns that this attack on Paul and his family may be connected to some events that took place during the time of his great-great-grandfather. We take a journey back to the late 1880s and meet Bogart Stitch where his choices lit the match for the tradition of this particular darkness. During Paul's captivity, his beliefs are put to the test. Are the lessons he learned in Youth Group just symbolic stories to keep him on the straight and narrow or are they truths that are real and meant for today? Read as everything comes to a final, fiery battle against creatures of darkness. Lives are on the line. Who will be able to survive? Who will come out on top? The message is aimed at all ages but particularly young adults who want to believe in something more than a Bible story but something that is real and tangible.

    Genre

    THRILLER, SUSPENSE, DRAMA, RELIGION, FANTASY

    Brief

    Ultra-religious boy gets kidnapped by a girl who's a devil worshipper. Boy's mother and a police detective search for the boy. Boy uses the power of faith and prayer to escape.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Profile is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    It's a traditional story of good versus evil with a horror twist. Also, Paul's narration as a teenage boy is believable and fun to read.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Some of the morals of the story seemed a little heavy-handed--there was a lot of emphasis on Kara's sexuality that made me uncomfortable, as if her sexuality and her demonic worship were tied together.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    A religious boy is taken captive by a demonic worshipper, playing out a reckoning from their ancestral pasts.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could have a large fanbase within the religious community as it has strong religious themes and morals.

    Awards Potential

    I don't see this as an Awards-bait story, but it of course could have that potential depending on direction.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    VERONICA (2017)

    What’s New About the Story

    This story is original in that it shows sins from the 1880s coming back to haunt a family in modern times, but it could be more unique if there was more moral complexity than simple good versus evil, Christianity versus Satanism.

    Lead Characters

    Paul is shy, but secure in himself and who he is.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is not a rare gem, but it's very close--if there was added moral gray areas and more development of secondary and tertiary characters, this book would be a lot better.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This has a good story and religious horrors always make a great profit.

    Brief

    A teenage boy is invited over to a young girl's house. The girl soon seduces and imprisons him. Demons and good faith fight against each other in this conflict centered around ancestral pasts and sins.

    What We Liked

    This is a horror story with deep religious themes and a satisfying happy ending.

    Film: As a film, this would be a blockbuster horror--audiences would be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next and screaming along as the demons encroach.

    TV: As a TV show, this would be a miniseries, first focusing on the events of the present and later filling in the stories of the past that got these characters to where they are.

    Key points:
    -Scary
    -Religious
    -Deep metaphors
    -Romance
    -Plot twists

    Synopsis

    In the 1880s, BOGART STITCH is much like Paul--nerdy, shy, and very religious. Bo has a crush on his schoolmate, Lizzy, and is excited when she invites him to a bonfire that evening. However, the school bully, TREVOR, and Bo's own reluctance to associate with people outside of his church, prevent him from going, at first. Outside of the school, Trevor pushes a young man, JON PINKERTON (JP), to the floor, and Bo helps him up. Bo takes a liking to Jon, who convinces him to go to the bonfire. At the bonfire, Trevor is drunk and attacks Lizzy. Bo comforts Lizzy, and they kiss, but suddenly, Bo is attacked from behind! He wakes up a few days later and has no memory of what happened, but the police and Lizzy's parents think that Bo raped her. Bo's parents are furious with him, but he swears he did not do it. Still, when Lizzy turns out pregnant from the incident, Bo decides to do the honorable thing and marries her. They name their newborn son Micah and eventually have two more daughters. However, Micah stops developing at around 6 years old, and they learn that Jon Pinkerton is half-sibling to both of them from their parents' affairs. They realize that Jon Pinkerton is the one who raped Lizzy the night of the bonfire. He hasn't been seen since. Trevor meets up with Bo one day, and now that they're adults, they're friendly, and Trevor is a religious man. Bo discovers that Lizzy and his daughters have been involved in a satanic ritual led by JP. They try to force Bo to join in the ritual, but Trevor appears and helps Bo escape. Micah kills JP.

    In the present, PAUL is a religious 17-year old who gets invited to study at the house of his crush, KARA. Once there, Kara closes the door to her room, frightening Paul, who gets even more scared when she brings out an Ouija board. Paul is reluctant to use the Ouija board as he's very religious and conservative, but Kara convinces him that it's for her science project. They proceed, using the board, and all of a sudden, Paul loses consciousness. He wakes up restrained, unable to move. He soon learns that Kara has kidnapped him and set this all up because she hates him for being religious. Kara reveals that she is JP's great great granddaughter and worships Beelzebub.

    Also in the present, BRENDA, Paul's mother, worries when she doesn't hear from Paul. She goes to the local police station and meets BOB, who reassures her that Paul is probably not missing but agrees to go visit Kara's house with Brenda. When they get to the address Kara gave Paul, however, the house is old and abandoned. As they walk inside to explore the house, they're separated, and start seeing creepy demonic sights. Bob and Brenda escape the house and go to a local diner, where a waitress offers to help them search for Paul. They follow the waitress, who leads them to a graveyard, where they lose Bob. Suddenly, the waitress kidnaps Brenda, revealing that she has been working with Kara the whole time.

    About The Author

    Frederick Lanier has been a pastor for children, youth, and adults. He is a gifted teacher and has been married to his wonderful wife, Charlean, for 30 years.