Hey guys, check out this in depth evaluation of my short story THIRST! It’s from a contest I entered to possibly transform the story into a movie.
The writer has created a frightening story of a MAN, now a VAMPIRE, who has left his wife and child for their own survival, as he has been fantasizing about seeing the blood pour from his child’s neck. There is a visceral quality to the writing…an emotional immediacy…that immediately hooks the reader and encourages vicarious identification with the protagonist. We feel his emotional pain and soul-‐searching, and he writing is so assured that it allows us to identify with a man who has monstrous urges and perhaps has already done or been about to do monstrous things. This is no small feat.
The reader is both intrigued and fascinated with his inability to overcome his desire to hunt, though he has already killed a few times that day. Once he spots a couple, the vampire stalks them, wondering exactly how he will attack, and his razor sharp focus is on the WOMAN. Her companion, a MAN, valiantly fights by holding a cross and praying but he is no match. This very short story is terrifying and interesting and, from an adaptation standpoint, offers very mineable internal conflict for he central character. But to be truly viable for short film or pilot adaptation, the plot also needs to be far more developed. The author notes that Thirst is a prequel to a book series, but judging the material on its own merits, without that knowledge, it’s unclear that the contained narrative here is setting up a larger story and/or building the origin and mythology of a serialized character.
Certainly, an accomplished filmmaker and strong performers could come together to create a contained horror short out of this material, but its success would rely exclusively on translating the emotional immediacy and vicarious nature of the writing to create a heightened emotional experience for the audience; there is nothing on a plot or character level that would sustain. But given how well-‐crafted the writing is here on a craft level, it seems clear that the writer could easily imbue the narrative with more distinctive and developed plot points and character beats. Certainly, it might be interesting to actually see firsthand the wife and daughter the protagonist forlornly mentions.
The prologue to the material makes an interesting dichotomy between ancient and modern vampires, specifically noting that, originally, only the Pure Vampires could change forms. It’s clear that the writer is well-‐ versed in vampire lore and has assembled a detailed mythology that could quite conceivably gain and sustain reader and audience interest on a baseline level. Again, more development could and should be done here.
In terms of market potential, the obvious has to be stated: vampire narratives have saturated the landscape, often to iconic and hugely profitable results (e.g. Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etcetera). As such, it’s imperative to bring fresh elements and/or a point-‐ of-‐view to the table in order to really be in a position to compete on a meaningful and wide-‐ranging level. The material in its current incarnation doesn’t fulfill that mandate, but further development could certainly change that.