Strand of Faith
EPIC FAMILY FANTASY MYSTERY RELIGIOUS ROMANCE
Rachel J Bonner
Strand of Faith : A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice. When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide? A love story that blends together paranormal and mystery, fantasy, faith and romance.
Monk Prospero discovers Leonie pretending to be a male student to access training for her mental powers. Both have reasons to resist their mutual attraction. Abbot Gabriel forsees that he must push Leonie and Prospero together to prevent all out world war but that this will led to their deaths.
It ends as Prospero chooses to leave the monastery to be with Leonie. Leonie chooses to run away so as not to put Prospero in danger. At the series end, after overcoming life and death challenges Prospero and Leonie make the choices that lead to both the greater good and their own happiness.
Post apocalyptic earth, first book set in a monastery which also provides a hospital and a college.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rags to Riches,Other
Plot - Other Elements
Coming of Age,Philosophical Questions,Twist,Meaningful Message
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Faithful,Leader,Honorable,Insecure,Modest,Selfless,Outspoken,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Charming,Engaging,Heroic,Skillful,Underdog
Additional Character Details
Name: Prospero aka Perry
Age: Mid to late 20's
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Heartthrob,Educated,Heroic,Honorable,Insecure,Masculine,Sexy,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Abbot Gabriel
Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Desperate,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Modest,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Brother Andrew
Age: Mid to late 20's
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Masculine,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Strong Moral Code
This is a story of faith and fantasy mixed into a beautiful tale of love and the consequences of our actions. It blends together paranormal and mystery, fantasy, faith and romance without the tropes or standard formula, to provide an exciting, thought-provoking, emotional journey filled with drama and action. It is set in a unique world, complete with an intricate social system and clearly defined communities, which reflect a warmth and sense of belonging similar to Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. The key characters are flawed but engaging and relatable as they seek healing, love and try to find their identity and place in the world – as we all do. They face difficult choices, having to balance devastating consequences for others with their own desires, and learn to take responsibility for their actions – again something we can all relate to. As I wrote the book, it played out in my mind as a film, a view reflected by many of my readers. The mental abilities of the characters – telekinesis, pyrokinesis, prophetic visions – provide scope for spectacular special effects. The settings encompass broad landscapes and imposing buildings, as well as cosy and homely spaces. The fantasy and mystery elements of this story provide the escapism we seek in entertainment. But as either a film or a TV series the key characters – Leonie, Prospero, Andrew and Gabriel – will resonate with viewers as they struggle to address issues that we all face on both a personal and global scale.
ACTION, RELIGION, DRAMA, ROMANCE, FANTASY
Leonie pretends to be a monk to get training for her powerful skills of telepathy and telekinesis. She is discovered to be a girl by some of her teachers. One monk in particular, Prospero, is able to help Leonie gain control and find where she belongs. Problem is they fall in love that creates a whole new set of barriers as Prospero is a monk and anyone Leonie has every loved perishes.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
The short summary and the development pitch have the luxury of mentioning the full storyline whereas the narrative stops before Prospero and Leonie can be together and fix the greater good. While this is fine to mention in the overall development pitch, sticking to the conflict within the particular chapter of the saga will give the audience a better understanding that this story doesn't end with a happy ending but a cliffhanger of angst. The story is also mentioned as a post apocalyptic earth in the setting, but because there is only the monastery this creates confusion as it is not apparent in the story as much without more insight into Leonie and Prospero's past in the outside world. For example, Leonie taking a train at the end is surprisingly modern given the sole setting of the monastery.
Draw of Story
Leonie's described as powerful but not sophisticated, which makes her strength unpredictable, but also vulnerable. This vulnerability plays a key role in her trust of Prospero opening up a slowly blossoming relationship where the more they become equals, the more they depend on one another despite their self-imposed boundaries.
The structure of Leonie being saved by Prospero in the same way multiple times through the second act and their stubborness to admit their feelings over internal conflicts that have room to grow in depth can create a repetitive cycle until they finally submit to their feelings. It is almost as if there is enough space by condensing this cat and mouse dance that the second books plot where Prospero has to go find Leonie could also be fit into the same part of the saga.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that the two people in love need each other to control their special powers, but being together means they can't control their feelings and falling in love puts their established ways of life in danger.
Given the age of Leonie, this could potentially have a YA fanbase as that audience tends to enjoy fantasy romance mixed with action as a genre more than adult romance audience members. The fantasy elements of telepathy and telekinesis may be off putting for a few who are not fans of supernatural elements, but overall the focus on a monk in love with a girl and both need each other to save the world is a concept that could draw most YA fans.
Given the YA and heavy romance angles this is unlikely to win any prestige awards, but depending on the chemistry this could garner popular awards with a younger base such as MTV or Teen Choice.
Similar Films/TV Series
DIVERGENT, YENTL, THUNDERBIRDS, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, X MEN: DARK PHOENIX,
What’s New About the Story
The love story is central and their obstacles are relatable but delving deeper into their internal conflicts from a religious standpoint and a trauma standpoint can help make their decision to overcome these obstacles feel more earned rather than just a switch in their decision. Having progressive discussions together not only about their feelings, but why they should and shouldn't be together would help make Prospero's proposal seem less out of the blue and allow the pacing of Leonie's runaway subplot to develop alongside Prospero's internal conflict.
Leonie is stubborn, trusting and a survivor. She doesn't open up well, but is open to learning. Prospero is loyal, dutiful and conscientious. He always puts Leonie before his own needs, but sometimes sadistically denies his own desires for no reasons.
Uniqueness of Story
The love story of two telepaths in a monastery is interesting, but the concept of a couple who's only conflict is their lack of communication is not that rare. Without greater external stakes to keep the two people apart once their feelings are sorted, the rising actions lose tension and can become somewhat frustrating in their delay to be together with just changing their mind. Their stubbornness could feel more warranted with greater external consequences i.e. Prospero's delay of not wanting to stop being a monk doesn't seem to be linked to God but not wanting to leave his home and everyone is allowing him to stay to continue to work whether he is a monk or with Leonie, so this becomes a non-issue once he voices his concerns.
Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Altering the second internal conflict of Leonie's to come into play earlier to fit more with Prospero's internal conflict of duty would make their pacing more on par with one another. Going more in depth to the background of Leonie and Prospero's beliefs would help tie the belonging theme together but also show their differences in approach of why they need each other but feel like they can't be together.