DRAMA YOUNG ADULT FANTASY MYSTERY
20th Century (multiple decades)
THE WITCHES (ROALD DAHL)
ROSIE BROWN: 14. LEAD. IMPULSIVE, ADVENTUROUS, AND CARING.
JENNY: 14. ROSIE'S BEST FRIEND AND PARTNER IN CRIME.
JAMES: 14. ROSIE'S FRIEND, HAS A CRUSH ON HER.
MR. BROWN: 40S. ROSIE'S FATHER.
MRS. WILSON: OLDER WOMAN. TEACHER AT ROSIE'S SCHOOL, PROTECTS HER.
LUCY CLARKE: 14. GHOST WHO BEFRIENDS ROSIE.
A camping Trip! A missing child? What exactly happened in the woods all those years ago! Is the Curse real?
Target Gender: Female Leaning
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Year Published: 2020
When two fourteen year old girls go camping, they hear a story about a cursed house across from the lake, when they find out a girl had disappeared years before they are shocked when they see her.
With time running out and the curse breaking, will the person behind the curse get what he want, or will the girls be able to break the curse.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Faithful
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Blunt,Confident,Faithful,Underdog
Additional Character Details
Age: old woman
Key Traits: Badass,Villainous,Blunt,Power Hungry
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Engaging,Desperate,Confident,Villainous
Two teenage girls are sitting around a campfire with Mr. Brown telling spooky stories, this one is about a house across the lake and a missing girl and the mist that rises around it. When the girls find out that the missing girl is causing the Mist, they rush back to camp only for Mr. Brown to suddenly change his plan. Why is Mr. Brown acting strange and how are the girls involved?
Rosie and Jenny find the ghost of a girl who went missing years ago in the forest. Rosie realizes her father made a deal with a witch, and she works to save the ghost and herself from a terrible fate. They succeed, although the witch escapes.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
Some of the character descriptions are inaccurate; for example, Ashley is called "seductive" in the profile but is described as homeless-looking in the book. Also, the development pitch and logline revolve around the question - is the curse real? But we find out almost immediately that it is; I think the logline/development pitch should focus less on this question and more on the protagonist's connection to the ghost and the curse.
Draw of Story
The author opens the story with two young girls in the forest, and he quickly puts them in a situation that is suspenseful and exciting as they wander through the mist and find the ghost from Rosie's father's story. The friendship between Jenny and Rosie is also compelling and drew me in.
The writing in the book is weak at times, and sentences are frequently very wordy. Characters' emotions change quickly, without reason, and the book itself feels way too short. There needs to be more substance for us to care about these characters and be invested in their struggles. The writer also ruins his own moments of suspense by giving away plot twists before they happen. James' character also comes out of nowhere, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for Rosie doesn't seem believable, even if he had a crush on her, because the audience doesn't witness anything that shows us that he has feelings for her. Heavy revising to make sure that the plot progresses logically could resolve some of these issues, and slowing down the pacing/adding more chapters could improve the structure and provide stronger characterization.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The main hook is Rosie. Her friendship with Jenny, her willingness to save Lucy, and her forgiving nature (regarding her father) make her a likable protagonist. She is curious and impulsive, so she gets to the bottom of things and works to understand the supernatural occurrences through a historical lens. If she didn't possess such an inquisitive and adventurous nature, then there would be no story, since she never would have discovered Lucy.
While this story may appeal to YA supernatural fans, I do not see this story drawing a large fanbase. It does not have enough substance, the plot is not exceptionally original, and there are many plot holes.
No, as a YA supernatural book, I do not see this having Awards potential. There are no exceptionally moving or impactful scenes, and there is not enough substance here for a feature film.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE WITCHES, HALLOWEENTOWN
What’s New About the Story
The addition of the Magician character is an original aspect of the story; while Ashley seems like the main villain, we see that she lost her soul after making a deal with the Magician. To make this story more unique, it should rely less on tropes – the ugly witch kidnapping children and brewing her cauldron, the no-nonsense old lady librarian, etc.
Rosie is impulsive and adventurous, and she cares deeply about her friends and family. She trusts her gut and is an exciting protagonist. She forgives her father easily for his foolish mistake, and she cleverly saves her own life and the lives of her friends with her pocket mirror. She is brave and independent for such a young girl. Jenny is protective of Rosie and exceptionally loyal. She trusts her friend but also isn't afraid to be honest with her, like when she admits to Rosie that she fears Rosie's dad might be involved in some dark things.
Uniqueness of Story
No, this is not a rare gem. The length is the main thing that should be improved. At just 60 pages, this novel is not able to dive into the characters or their struggles to the extent that it should. More substance needs to be added. That would improve the pacing and structure. To make this story a rare gem, the writing would need a lot of editing, and the world-building would need to be more original.
Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
The book is too short and lacks the substance necessary to be a TV show or film as it stands now. While Rosie is a likable protagonist, most of the other characters lack development. Rosie also does not change from the beginning to the end; she started off as an impulsive and curious girl with a big heart, and that's how she ended as well. Characters' reactions to situations do not always make sense, and the plot does not progress in a logical manner or at a logical pace.
Tips for Improvement
The writing would need to be dramatically improved; as it currently stands, many passages are wordy, characters do not act logically, and the pacing is way too quick. The protagonist (and supporting characters) would need some kind of arc, and it would need to be clear how characters arrive at conclusions. Overall, this story lacks substance and feels unfinished.
When on a camping trip with her father and best friend, a young girl becomes determined to find answers after encountering the ghost of a girl who went missing years ago. She learns that her father did business with a dangerous woman, and if she does not figure out how to save the ghost soon, the same curse may be placed on her.
What We Liked
With a thrilling mystery at its center, this suspenseful story moves at a quick pace and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Fans of supernatural Young Adult fiction would love to come along on this journey thanks to a protagonist who is clever, caring, and brave. In this one, teenagers give friendship a new meaning with the lengths that they are willing to go for each other.
Film: This story could easily be broken up into a classic three act structure for film, and its ending perfectly sets the stage for a sequel (or potentially several sequels). The themes of friendship, family, and forgiveness are themes that draw viewers in when watching films, and the supernatural Young Adult genre has a loyal fan base when it comes to film adaptations of books. This exciting story with a suspenseful mystery at its core would make for a thrilling film, and the protagonist is one that viewers can get to know and love over the course of the film.
TV: This story lends itself well to the type of long-running supernatural series that audiences love. Writers could easily adapt this thrilling concept to television, and since the ending leaves us wanting more, there are so many exciting directions that writers could take this story. Besides the constant conflict and adventure, there is a strong friendship at the center of this story that would be incredible to watch evolve throughout the course of a show. Alternatively, this show could also make for a compelling limited series. The pacing is quick and would keep the attention of audience members, and the budding romance between James and Rosie would appeal to viewers.
Active, likable female protagonist; The good guys win; Supernatural mystery; Loyal best friends; Plenty of room for sequel(s).
ROSIE BROWN (14) goes on a weekend camping trip with her father, MR. BROWN, and her best friend, JENNY (14). Mr. Brown tells the girls a scary story about a young girl named Lucy Clarke who was looking for her father in the woods years ago and went missing; they say her ghost still haunts the forest and that wherever she goes, a thick mist called The Devil’s Mist follows. After waking up from a nightmare, Rosie sneaks off into the forest to explore. Jenny follows, and the two of them see Lucy’s ghost. They come across her family’s abandoned home nearby and go inside, where they find articles detailing Lucy’s disappearance. After getting lost in the mist, they girls eventually make it back to camp, where they tell Rosie’s father about the mist. He begins to act suspiciously and has them all pack up and head home. At home that night, Rosie overhears a conversation between her father and an old woman. The old woman threatens him into upholding his end of a deal they made and tells him that if he does not, she will curse Rosie so that she becomes a ghost like Lucy. Rosie sneaks back up to her room, and Lucy the ghost climbs in the window. She and Rosie become friends, and Rosie agrees to try to help break the curse and free her.
The next day at school, Rosie realizes that a teacher at the school, MRS. WILSON, looks almost identical to the old woman who was in her house threatening her father the night before. After confronting Mrs. Wilson, she realizes that Mrs. Wilson knows that she and her father are in trouble and wants to help them. After school, she confronts her father about the conversation she overheard the night before, and he admits that when they were in financial trouble, he made a deal with an old woman who said that she could get him money. He didn’t realize the price he would have to pay – Rosie potentially getting cursed. Rosie forgives him.
The next day, Rosie, Jenny, and their friend James skip school and go back to the woods together. They find Lucy, and she warns them that the woman who threatened Rosie’s father is the witch who cursed her and turned her into a ghost ages ago. The old woman shows up and is about to turn Rosie into a ghost when James messes with her potion, sacrificing himself for Rosie. He turns into a ghost, and Lucy turns into a human again. Mrs. Wilson arrives and confesses that ASHLEY, the evil witch, is her twin sister, and the two of them made a deal with a magician years ago in order to survive during the bubonic plague. The result was that they became immortal, but Ashley’s soul went to the devil. They realize Ashley and James are gone, and Mrs. Wilson takes Jenny, Rosie, and Lucy home safely. A couple of days later, James is declared missing, and Rosie and Jenny return to the forest to try to save him. The magician who made Mrs. Wilson and Ashley immortal during the plague is there with Ashley, and he tries to make the three kids disappear with magic. However, Rosie pulls out a pocket mirror and causes his spell to rebound, making himself disappear. Ashley flees, and Rosie realizes that James sacrificed himself for her because he has feelings for her. She talks to his ghost, and their love is able to make him a human again. Ryan ended up on a far away beach by himself, where he vows revenge on Rosie and her friends.