1.01.2006

#95 Crapometer

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy


Once, Owen chose to walk in shadows. Emasculated by fright as his parents were slaughtered by a monster, Owen has become a freelance soldier in an underground war on the supernatural. But as the years pass, the blood seeps too deep – attacking a family of werewolves, Owen executes the mother as she pleads for the life of her child, and realizes he slipped so far into the nightmare that he's become one of the monsters.

so, killing werewolves is bad?

With her life savings of $187 in her pocket, Emma is driving to the big city in search of adventure and the unknown. When her car breaks down, two men stop to help. While passing by, Owen recognizes the men as monsters. He crashes into the scene, the men warp into werewolves and Emma races away with Owen. Furious at the loss of their prey, the creatures track them.

Owen meets with a young woman named Darkness from the Goth Mob, a gang of hackers and freaks. The werewolves stalking them attack. One of the beasts survives and tracks them to the Rev, a nightclub run by Ted, the head of the Goth Mob. Ted sees the intrusion as a violation of his fragile truce with the monsters, and executes the beast. Owen learns that the Goths have a small supply of a human virus, a serum which turns monster-infected cells human. Owen is infatuated with Emma, and Emma is quickly seduced by the excitement and adventure of Owen's lifestyle.

Yup, being stalked by werewolves is the very definition of excitement and adventure.

"Owen is infatuated with Emma" does not logically proceed from "Owen learns the Goths have a small supply of a human virus". Unless of course Emma is a virus.


Elsewhere in the city, James Pagan is hunting a werewolf in the city. (you’ve got the location twice--this is sloppy ass editing) When it attacks a group of children, James charges in and kills the beast, but is fatally wounded. Pagan is resurrected by Julian, the king of vampires, and his entourage of vampire children. He is reborn as Pagan, and like Julian, is now an embodiment of the God of the Dark. His flesh is infested with living shadows – intelligent, malignant black tentacles. The shadows give strength and power, but slowly consume flesh, mind and soul unless fed with atrocities. James Pagan's mind divides – into James, the man riddled with the guilt of failing to save his own family from the monsters; and Pagan, the walking incarnation of death.

Gerald, the King of Wolves, is enraged by the killing at the Rev and attacks the Goth Mob. Julian's captive psychic divines the werewolves' move, and the vampires race to blindside the wolves.

In the battle of the Rev, Owen is badly injured while protecting Emma. Overcome by the fever of combat, Emma leaves Owen behind and rushes into the violence. Pagan comes upon Owen, and the two are shocked by a moment of perfect empathy: Pagan sees Owen as himself before succumbing to Julian, and Owen sees the man trapped within the beast. The monsters retreat when Ted triggers ultrasonics and ultraviolet lights.

Slaughtered and in shock, the Goths try to pick up the pieces.

If you're slaughtered you're dead. Even here. Hard to pick up the pieces if you're dead.

James reawakens inside of Pagan, and refuses to feed. The shadows feed on him. Armies gather. (again here, one from the other does not flow)

Owen and Darkness convalesce together, and their friendship deepens. Separately, they each steal a dose of the last of the human serum. Ted's hackers crack satellites and pinpoint small groups of werewolves by their heat signatures. Emma joins Ted's raids and revels in the power of violence, redefining herself and bonding with Ted. When a raid goes bad, both Emma and Ted are bitten, but tell no one.

Owen and Darkness become lovers, and dream of a fresh start. But to deserve a new life, Owen feels obligated to save Emma, and James Pagan. When he sees Emma's drastic evolution, Owen is enraged at the corruption of his beautiful, innocent waif and lashes out at her, driving Emma away. Owen keeps clandestine his plan to use his stolen dose of the human serum on Pagan.

Clandestine is an adjective, not an adverb. It modifies a noun, not a verb. Keep is a verb.

On the next Full Moon, Gerald lures the vampires and Goths into a trap. The gangs' armies gather in an enormous warehouse, in the basement of which is secreted a horde of freshly turned werewolves who've been chummed into a frenzy. But when the berserkers are unleashed, they attack vampire, werewolf and human alike.

Gerald flees. Julian and Pagan pursue him. Wounded grievously, Owen follows.

Ted warps into a beast and Darkness executes him. Suddenly fearful of going through the Change alone, and certain that he will understand and join her, Emma tracks Owen.

Weakened by his refusal to feed, Pagan summons the power to kill Gerald by allowing the Dark to consume his heart, and with it – his soul.

Owen offers Pagan the serum, but sensing the freedom in the impending loss of his humanity, Pagan shatters the syringe in contempt.

Emma finds Owen and bites him, then professes her love. Owen kills her.

Darkness finds Owen, who is delirious with despair – he has failed to save Emma, Pagan, or himself. Darkness laughs with joy as she tries to extricate the final stolen dose of serum from her pocket, but Owen says "Darkness, I love you," places his father's gun to his temple and pulls the trigger.

Julian advances to sup on the blood and Darkness shoots him. Julian rips her gun away and she injects him with the serum. Shocked by the sudden flood of humanity and, Julian's shadows devour him. (what??) Julian dies screaming into the black.

Realizing the inevitable price of the Dark and feeling the shadows crawl through the last of his still-vulnerable heart, James Pagan commands Darkness to pick up her gun, and charges her. Darkness snatches her shotgun and fires into his chest until Pagan's heart is shredded out and he dies before the Dark can consume him.

Darkness is sickened and casts away her guns. She walks off into the sunrise, to start a new life. To create a new fate.


oookay. Who exactly is the protaganist here? You’ve got one “person” left standing at the end, and it’s NOT the one who gets the most airplay above. Do I detect the scent of sequel?

You’ve fallen into the by now familiar trap of too many characters and events. Focus on the main things that happen. Tell me what’s important or interesting about this. Clean up the editing. More than anything else, lazy ass editing makes me say no. These aren't typos; they're examples of not reading your work carefully enough.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. Honesty. Whats wrong with you, other than being the reincarnation of Dorothy Parker? Why do you suppose, I always get one red rose? Kudos and roses to you. I love your vitriol. Keep it up.

McKoala said...

I'm guessing that this is a typo, but I particularly like the werewolves who are 'chummed into a frenzy'. It gave me that warm fuzzy feeling.

But how do you chum them into a frenzy? With hundreds of cans of Pedigree Chum without a can opener?

Miss Snark said...

McKoala...chummed is from "to chum" which is a term used by fishermen. You chum the waters to attract sharks i.e. you drop bloody bits of fish off the back end of the boat. You might have been thinking it was "churned" but chummed is correct!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, dear, "Underworld" meets "Vampire: the Masquerade" meets "Blade (pick a sequel number)" meets "Scarface" (the virus/needles/violence angle).

I'd never be able to get through a novel like this, but it's a sure bet you can turn it into a film script and make some bucks. It's just that obviously derivative. Clean up the synopsis, define one character (male or female) as the Hero and find a Hollywood agent to shop this around! (Do NOT try selling it on eBay.) Make sure Joe Bob Briggs is in the audience to count the bodies, hacked limbs, and how many breasts are flashed.

Since I write in this genre, lemme tell ya, the Goths don't read as a rule, so they're not going to be your target audience for a book. (Many got disenchanted with La Belle Dame Rice years ago.) It's all about the music, hooking up, sneaking X, and being fashion victims. Sweet people, but not too terribly organized to fight bad guys. The clothes are tres cool, though.

McKoala said...

LOL!!! Can you tell that I don't fish?! Here we generally prefer to swim away from the sharks and quite quickly too.

Thanks for letting me know, Miss Snark.

tremblor said...

Miss Snark:

You are absolutely correct - I have no excuse for the bad editing, and apologize for even sending it to you like that.

I've since torn the synopsis apart and re-written with a focus on two characters with Owen as protagonist.

Thank you very much for your time and priceless perspective.

As a side note, I do realize that vampire novels are done to death, but am hoping to hook readers on the strength and depth of my characters. Unfortunately, I have to get someone to actually read the damned thing first. ;-)

Gin and smooches,
Robert