12.16.2006

HH Com 70

Set in and around modern day Manhattan, “From the Shadows” is a roughly 85,000 word horror novel combined with a dose of historical fiction.

The hook starts here
Doron Parker is a thirty-something graphic artist whose fiancĂ©e is killed in what seems like a random act of violence. After waking up in a hospital having survived the attack and learning the police have no leads, he decides to uncover on his own what really happened. This journey takes him from his nightmare filled childhood home on Long Island to the “hidden” downtown streets that form the labyrinth of lower Manhattan. Along the way he discovers unimaginable truths, first and foremost that not only was the love of his life’s killer a creature not of this world…but he created this creature through his art.

Simultaneously, the unassuming and elderly Henry Aaken returns from a sinister lunch-time meeting to find his bookstore completely destroyed and his longtime business partner savagely killed. After hundreds of years, he still carries with him the guilt of many innocent lives lost to the creatures he created through his art, and isn’t sure how to move on and stop punishing himself. With the unexpected realization that someone else in the world carries this “gift”, he must seek out and protect this person.

Unbeknownst to both, not only is there a deep rooted connection between the two, but there are much larger forces at work who will stop at nothing to destroy them.


too many words, not enough specifics.
nameless, faceless evil is boring.

12 comments:

ello said...

I really liked this. Evil creatures created from art. Very intriguing. But I see what Miss. Snark means by needing to specify who the evil creature is.

Emmy Voter said...

I'm intrigued. I think there are unecessary details here, but the underlying idea -- a young artist discovering that he's unwittingly bringing evil into the world through his (presumably dark) art, and an older man with a similar curse seeking to help him -- sounds original and interesting to me. Maybe because I find the idea of personifying moral dilemmas compelling. We'd all like to think our art affects the world, right? What if that effect was physically manifest? Cool.

LPA said...

I like this idea too... the query just needs to be tightened up a bit.

jeff resnick said...

Great feedback everyone, thanks!!
I struggled with how much to reveal...hopefully giving enough away to make it interesting without revealing any of the really
big twists. But alas, not enough for the Main Miss!

I've created a rich and detailed history for these creatures that tie into many known historical occurances. Gotta keep chuggin along!

HawkOwl said...

I'm seeing Miss Snark's point on the "uncovering truths" thing. Everyone's out to uncover mysterious truths. Or sleep with their best friend's boyfriend. I wanna see a novel about creating fresh new falsehoods. That would be refreshing.

Other than that the start reminded me of The Crow and the middle reminded me of the D&D Monster Compendium. So while I still don't want to read your novel, now I feel like reading a novel whereing D&D-like monsters come to life when some Chinese guy with extra-long fingernails paints them on rice paper.

In other words, I'd be putting you in the "have you got anything else" pile.

Xiqay said...

I liked it. I like the premise and found it interesting. fwiw.

But this liking what Miss Snark doesn't is hurting my batting average again.

Steve Prosapio said...

Jeff,
Keep going on this. Very good promise!

shelby said...

The hook reminded me of Stephen King's The Dark Half where a horror writer finds that his main character is real and on a killing rampage. I'm assuming yours is different, but it's hard to tell from the hook. I agree with Miss S that it needs tightening, but it sounds like a solid story if it's not derivitive of King. I'd read it.

Virginia Miss said...

Although I love the idea of the artist creating the creatures that kill, it reminds me of the new tv show "heroes."
Give us more information about the motivation of the antagonist(s) and this might start to stand out a bit.

wonderer said...

Yep, more specifics are needed, and you could tighten up what you've got, but I like the idea and the characters. I would at least flip to the first page.

~Nancy said...

I, too, liked the underlying idea...it sounds intriguing. I'd probably buy it, and I generally don't buy horror.

Tighten the hook, maybe add in a some more specifics (a "sinister lunch-time meeting" doesn't mean anything to me), and I think you've got a winner.

~JerseyGirl

Tsana said...

I thought it was a good hook, though I agree a bit more of the "evil" needs to be explained. Sounds like an interesting book though.