The Field

Ian Dawson

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION YOUNG ADULT SUSPENSE/THRILLER

    Core Theme

    GOOD VS EVIL, COMING OF AGE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE GOOD SON, HOSTEL, GREEN ROOM, DON'T BREATHE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • DANIEL: 14. LEAD. BRAVE AND CLEVER.

    • KYLE: 14. DANIEL'S BEST FRIEND WHO TRIES TO SAVE HIM.

    • AUSTIN: 18. A PSYCHOPATH WHO KIDNAPS DANIEL.

    • JAMES: 18. AUSTIN'S "FRIEND" WHO IS BULLIED INTO HELPING HIM KIDNAP DANIEL.

    • COLBY: 7. ANOTHER BOY AUSTIN HAS KIDNAPPED WHO DANIEL AND KYLE HELP ESCAPE.

    • MEGAN: 14. DANIEL'S LOVE INTEREST WHO LIKES KYLE INSTEAD.

    Logline

    Fourteen-year-old Daniel Robinson must fight for his own survival when he's chased down and abducted by two older boys in the field behind his Redding neighborhood one fateful summer afternoon.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Redding, California

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Book Baby

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    As summer begins, Daniel Robinson and his best friend Kyle Hanson play a game of hide-and-seek in the field behind their Redding neighborhood. As Daniel searches for Kyle, he turns down a gravel road and crosses paths wirth two older boys, Austin and James, who chase him down and abduct him.

    Ending Description

    Daniel manages to escape from his captors and reunites with Kyle who had been searching for him. A final battle ensues between Austin and Daniel and Kyle, who are able to neutralize the situation and flee to safety.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    Paperback: 9781543943313; eBook: 9781543938883

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Daniel Robinson

    Age: 14

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Modest,Empathetic,Faithful,Honorable,Heroic,Selfless

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Kyle Hanson

    Age: 14

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Confident,Faithful,Masculine,Selfless,Funny,Sarcastic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Austin Holt

    Age: 18

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Crazy,Criminal,Greedy,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Power Hungry,Skillful,Secretive,Manipulative,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: James Miller

    Age: 18

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Desperate,Faithful,Insecure,Naive

    Development Pitch

    The Field is a fast-paced, action-packed story about ordinary teens thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It works as a straightforward action-adventure film targeted at the Young Adult demographic. There’s plenty of action and violence, lots of twists, and a few laughs along the way as well. When fourteen-year-old Daniel Robinson is abducted during a game of hide-and-seek, his focus switches from enjoying his summer vacation to simply staying alive. He must find the courage and strength to escape his captors and get home, no matter what it takes. Will he survive? Or is this a nightmare that's too real to escape? As Daniel finds himself at the mercy of his captors, his best friend Kyle sets out to bring him back to safety. With nothing but teenage instincts to guide him, Kyle's quest could result in a happy ending—or in tragedy. The story also shows the juxtaposition between the healthy friendship between the Daniel and his best friend Kyle, and the toxic friendship between the antagonists, Austin, and his friend, James. These characters have well-defined motives and arcs over the course of the story, and they develop and grow as well. One of the reviews The Field received called it, “cinematic, atmospheric, and gripping,” and I know that the story and its elements would captivate the attention and minds of audiences around the world.

    Brief

    Fourteen-year-old Daniel must fight for his own survival when he's chased down and abducted by two older boys one fateful summer evening. With the help of his best friend, he must outwit and outrun the older boys to save himself and the child they’re keeping captive.

    What We Liked

    - Daniel's story is an inspiring journey of survival against all odds, and the insight of the author's own such struggle lends it credibility that few such tales have;
    - What starts as a perfect summer day for a young teenager becomes a nightmare that changes him forever;
    - Though Daniel almost single-handedly escapes his tormenter, his best friend's loyalty and determination to help him is also moving, showcasing a positive and loving male friendship;
    - Narrowing the scope of the book to a single day, the day of Daniel's abduction, would allow it to have the frenetic pace of a film like GREEN ROOM. Telling the story in one day is a powerful way to drive home how quickly Daniel's entire world is turned upside down, and the terror within his experience lends itself well to a succinct thriller film;
    - Daniel and Kyle's friendship leading up to Daniel's abduction would be fitting for a show, as they learn and grow alongside one another. They go through all their major milestones together, and a show would have the freedom to expand on all the great and awkward moments of puberty and growing up. Austin and James's story could be told separately, splitting the series between two leads. Hinting at Austin's dark tendencies in the background, while building to the abduction, would allow the friendships to be compared and contrasted before they're tied together;
    - Key points: Based on a true story; Positive male friendship; Thriller elements; General true crime interest in society; Justice at the story's end.

    Synopsis

    With their last summer before high school ahead of them, best friends DANIEL ROBINSON and KYLE HANSON’s plan to map out “the field,” the undeveloped lot behind their houses. After a long day exploring, Daniel goes to Kyle’s for dinner. However, Kyle insists on one more game: hide and seek. He takes off on his bike for the field, and Daniel reluctantly follows. Meanwhile, older high schoolers AUSTIN HOLT and JAMES MILLER are hanging out. Austin is controlling and violent, but James worries what Austin will to do him if he stops being his friend. Austin has kidnapped a 7-year-old boy named COLBY EMERSON, who’s been missing for three days. He keeps Colby in the rooms and tunnels he dug out beneath his UNCLE’s lawn, which he uses to torture animals.

    Daniel can’t find Kyle and starts back toward town, while Kyle gives up on hiding and also turns back, but only one of them makes it home. When Kyle realizes Daniel hasn’t returned, he says he’s going to Daniel’s for the night. Both their parents think they’re at the others’ house, and Kyle is free to venture back out. Daniel is intercepted by Austin and James. They leave their bikes on the side of the road and take him into the field. Daniel makes a run for it, but he hurts himself stepping on broken glass. James tries to talk Austin down, but he violently turns on James. James persuades Austin to at least take Daniel back to his uncle’s so they’re not out in the open. Austin sends James to get Daniel’s bike in case anyone comes looking for it.

 Kyle figures Daniel went to MEGAN’s house, his crush. Megan hasn’t seen Daniel, and when Kyle leaves, he stumbles across Daniel’s bike. He sees James collect it, and he follows him to Austin’s. Austin’s UNCLE returns home, and Austin shows off Daniel. His uncle is horrified to see a kid tied up in his shed and wants to release him, so Austin kills him. Daniel frees himself and gets into the tunnel that leads to torture room, carrying a board with nails stuck in it as a weapon. He finds Colby and frees him. Kyle is caught by Austin, but he’s able to escape, until he gets knocked out with a net full of bricks that Austin has set up as booby traps in the forest.

    

Austin and James realize Daniel got out, and Austin decides to kill both kids by setting the tunnels on fire. Daniel and Colby barely escape in time, breaking out of the shed as it catches fire. While Austin and James go outside to see if they’re dead, Daniel and Colby lock themselves inside the house. Austin gets a chainsaw to break into the house, and Kyle wakes to the sound of it. Daniel and Colby sneak out through the garage window. Kyle finds them, and helps them into the woods. Austin is furious, and he zip-ties James to the sink in the house that’s getting closer to catching fire. He takes off after the kids with his uncle’s handgun. James frees himself, relieved to hear sirens coming. Daniel and Kyle hide Colby and lead Austin away. Austin catches Daniel right as he gets to the street, and he’s excited to kill him, thinking of the attention he’ll receive. Kyle catches him off guard, knocking away the gun, and Daniel hits him with the board. Austin tries to strangle Daniel, so Kyle gets the board and hits him. Daniel activates the trip wire for a booby trap, spilling bricks on Austin. The boys flee, leaving Austin to die of his injuries in the field. They collect Colby and Kyle takes them all to Megan’s, since her dad’s a doctor. Megan’s parents call for an ambulance, and the children are all treated at the hospital, finally safe from their tormentors. James pleads guilty to all charges, and Daniel and Kyle decide to not go back to the field, as it no longer feels like their safe space.

    About The Author

    Ian Dawson has been writing his entire life, everything from puppet shows to screenplays. After working on it for 15 years, he's finally published his first novel, The Field, which is based on the true story of his own childhood abduction.