FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Story Statement.
In 1895, an enigmatic father-daughter duo hunts a creature that's terrorizing a Pennsylvania mining town, only to uncover a bigger mystery and the true threat behind the recent bloodshed.
SECOND ASSIGNMENT: Antagonist
Initially, a ghoul-like creature appears to be the only antagonist. Through their investigation, Gideon and Rose unmask the organization responsible of the creature’s existence. A secretive alchemist group known as The Chimera Society is working from the shadows, devising the next stage in human and societal evolution. They use outcasts and vulnerable people in their ruthless experiments, which puts them in conflict with Gideon and Rose, who are flawed heroes but consistent in their defense of the downtrodden.
The face of The Chimera Society is the cunning and merciless Caspian, but he’s not alone. Caspian unleashes corrupt Pinkertons and hideous creations in order to eliminate those who have caught on to his plans. The fight the evil Chimera Society has begun in the small, blue collar town of Haughtogis Point.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT: Titles
(*take note that the story is book 1 of a planned series)
Ghoul: A Gideon Wells Mystery
FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: Genre/Comparables
Gothic Fantasy (with elements of Mystery, Horror, and Comedy)
Theodora Goss (The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter)
David Wong (John Dies at the End)
FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: Core Wound and Primary Conflict
After a Victorian-era investigator and his eccentric daughter become entangled in the machinations of a ruthless scientist, they fight through monsters and the trauma of their past in order to stop the nightmarish experiments that are occuring.
SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Secondary and Inner Conflict
Gideon, an escapee of high society, acts the part of a carefree jester, but inside he carries barely constrained rage. His anger is toward high society and its abuses of the lower class, but he's also angry at himself because of the people he has hurt or failed to save during his investigations.
An example of these conflicts can be seen in early chapters of the story. When the Haughtogis Point mystery opens these old wounds, his wit gives way to wrath, and his initial encounters with the Ragiston family are a disaster. Claude Ragiston wants Gideon to stop the monster that killed his father, but Gideon sees in the Ragistons a different kind of monster, one that abuses and harasses their workers. After several drinks, Gideon’s grudge become unrestrained, and his loose tongue drives a wedge between him and the people he works for.
FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Setting
The setting is 1890s Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The town of Haughtogis Point is fictional, but many locations and details are real, giving a sense of history for readers who enjoy historical fiction. The town is a powder key, with miners protesting against the Ragiston Corporation and their Pinkertons thugs. Similar situations have arisen in nearby towns and lead to deadly battles. Orphans, minorities, and the homeless are especially oppressed.
This is the situation Gideon and Rose face as they hunt the monster and try to figure out its origins. By day, the protagonists take up residence in the decrepit Ragiston mansion. At night they search the streets and get entangled in the Pinketon/miner clash. In between brawls with the locals and fights with the ghoul inside the mansion, they're attacked by a another monstrous threat. Through these events, they uncover fortress tunnels beneath the town, remnants from when Haughtogis Point was used as a British fort. The abandoned tunnels connect to a secret research facility, the source of the town's ills.
In addition to these events, Gideon and Rose both pen letters to their benefactor. The letters bring clarity to the investigation details, inject moments of humor, and provide insight into the real, hurting minds of our heroes.