Vengeance by Jonathan Esterman
Vengeance is a 51,000-word supernatural horror completed during the National Novel Writing Month challenge of 2012. It’s premise? Framed for his family’s murder, a man is bent on hunting down the killer in the ultimate act of vengeance. In the book, we meet Jack Endsley, the main character that we follow. More than anything, he initially believes that he wants revenge from the slaying that happened before book begins. However, as he progresses and meets the man that killed his family, he finds himself back in time when he dreams, before his family dies. Reliving the moments and having knowledge of their impending deaths, he takes advantage of the time his is given and repairs his relationships. As he changes events in his dreams, he discovers that they are affecting the future – his future. With this armed knowledge, combined with the realization that his foe is a demon, he enters a deadly gambit to set the demon free in the past, which could potentially save his family. If he fails, not only will he suffer his family’s death once more, but possibly be lost in a time paradox. With time running out, he fights for more than he ever fought for before: his mission of vengeance is now one of hope and reconciliation. Can Jack accomplish this task that bends the very fabric of time and spirituality, or will he be destroyed in the process?
Arielle & David: It’s a wonderful idea that this man gets to go back and repair his relationships with his loved ones. Who wouldn’t love to do that? And the stakes are very high. If he doesn’t succeed, this whole family is going to suffer terribly. What can be improved? Well, we don’t need to know that it was completed during National Novel Writing Month. You only have 250 words, so you have to really use them judiciously. You don’t need to tell us that you’re going to tell us the premise. This pitch tends to be a little hyperbolic: “the ultimate act of vengeance.” I want you to show us, don’t tell us. And don’t tell us that were going to follow the main character. That is understood, it’s expected. And we need to know what’s different unique and horrible about your demon that distinguishes it from all the other billions of demons that have come before it. It’s really unclear what the fabric of spirituality is? Also, from a technical perspective, you don’t get revenge from something you get it for something.