Project: Wraithmore/40 beats (first draft)

This is supplemental material for an ongoing project. You can see how it developed here:

PART ONE: Stating a premise.

PART TWO: Reacting to feedback.

PART THREE: World Building

PART FOUR: Applying three act structure

PART FIVE: Breaking it into 40 beats.


  1. It’s 1933 and the world has fallen into darkness. 4 years ago, a rift opened in the sky and monsters flooded into the land. America has fallen apart, people live in fortified towns and cities, terrified of the dark, when monsters come out.
  2.  Silas (18) lives in Wraithmore. He hates his town and he’s plagued by nightmarish voices in his head, that tell him to kill. He ignores them, but they disturb him, especially because the voices can often predict the future.
  3. He spends his time working on a car – he dreams of escaping the town and heading for the west coast, where things are better.
  4.  Silas’s father is an elderly scientist who used to work for Edison and Tesla. He’s been a shell of himself since Silas’s mother died.
  5. When Silas’s father gets sick, the town ignores it,
  6. but the lovely and kind Grace (18) stops by with an apple cobbler. She admires Silas’s car. Silas falls desperately in love with her.
  7.  Grace and her father go on a routine trade visit to a neighboring city,
  8. but monsters attack in broad daylight, which has never happened before.
  9.  Word reaches the town as night falls.
  10. 10. Silas decides to venture out into the darkness in his unfinished car. It doesn’t even have working doors. The night beckons.


  1.  Grace is captured by a DIABOLIST, a human who has gained power (basically wizards) by serving the darkness.
  2. Silas drives through the woods, gets ambushed by monsters.
  3. Grace ends up escaping, kicking ass, and wreaking havoc with a shotgun.
  4.  She flees into the night, where she encounters Silas, who’s pinned down by mindless monsters. They team up. Grace’s gun and Silas’s car prove a winning combination.
  5. They take shelter in an abandoned house,
  6. but have to escape/fight a creature that lives in the drains – it’s made up of gallons of congealed blood harvested from murder victims through the years.
  7. Surviving the house, Silas and Grace decipher the journal of the diabolist Grace escaped. The dark is rising, and the monsters are becoming more aggressive because their king, WILHEIM FEIBER is en route by sea, a powerful thing from Europe. He’ll make landfall at Wraithmore. The town is fucked. The journal alludes to the one thing that can stop him, the work of DR. GERWITZ.
  8. MIDPOINT: Silas wants to escape, but he wants to impress Grace more. She easily talks him into helping her save the town. Silas is a complete idiot in matters of the heart, Grace makes it easier for him to embrace the better angels of his nature.
  9. They head upstate, fighting monsters. The dark voices in Silas’s head get louder and louder, a strange musical beat throbs beneath them. Silas, desperate to please Grace, doesn’t tell her about the welling madness in his mind.
  10. Anyway, they get to a tower by the sea, where Dr. Gerwitz lives and works. He’s an old friend of Silas’s father, they both worked with Tesla at Wardencliff. Dr. Gerwitz welcomes them inside,
  11. but something is very wrong. The house is a nest of horrors, Gerwitz has snapped and has been running insane human experiments in an effort to develop something that will kill Feiber. Gerwitz wants to kill Feiber, not to save humanity, but to enslave it himself.
  12. Silas and Grace fight their way through Gerwitz’s legions of monsters, kill Gerwitz, and
  13.  discover the plans for a Tesla-coil like device that can disrupt Diabolist powers.
  14. They race back down the coast, ready to stop Feiber.
  15. Feiber’s ship makes landfall.
  16. He’s an ordinary man in a gray suit with a gray homburg, but when light hits him, he casts a long shadow, and his shadow fights for him. The device makes the shadow waver for a moment, but then Feiber destroys it.
  17.  Feiber senses the taint of darkness in Silas and uses an occult pipe organ to control him like a puppet, making him beat the living shit out of Grace. He tosses her off a cliff, onto a beach of jagged rocks.
  18. Dawn breaks, and Feiber and his forces retreat to the woods.


  1. Silas is broken and guilty. He’s about to throw himself off a cliff, but then he finds something in his pocket (TBD). With her last moments of strength, Grace slipped something into his pocket, which both establishes her forgiveness, understanding and love (again, TBD), and gives him a clue to how to harness his powers.
  2. Silas searches the beach for Grace, she’s survived, but is badly hurt. Silas explains that he’s always heard voices from the dark, Grace forgives him. She sees the good in him and points out that most people never get temped by evil, Silas is stronger for always resisting it.
  3. Silas and Grace return to Wraithmore. They have no plan, but Silas tells them what they’ve found.
  4. Silas’s actions galvanize the town, and they all work together to prepare for the final assault. It turns out that most, if not all of the townsfolk hear the voices in their heads, they’ve just never had the guts to admit it. In the end, Silas works together with Grace, his father, the local blacksmith, and various other townfolk to marry the song of the darkness with the Gerwitz device in a cross between a therimin and a tesla coil. Electrified music.
  5. The monsters attack in waves, spurred by Feiber. The device gives them a fighting chance, but
  6. Feiber recovers, aided by traitors in the town. It all comes down to a climactic final duel in a lighthouse, between Silas, Grace, and Feiber’s monsterous shadow.
  7. Silas and Grace win awesomely (sequence TBD) and save the day.
  8. Silas’s aging father saves the day, but sacrifices himself to give his son a fighting chance.
  9.  WEEKS LATER: The town throws a goodbye for Silas – he’s going to go up and down the coast to warn the other towns and share the technology. Grace insists on going with him. The dark is still coming, but now they have a shot.

Published by Matt Lazarus

WGA screenwriter offering in-depth writing instruction, notes, critique, and assistance.

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