PW #123: Adult Psychological Suspense: VICTIM CONTROL

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Nina Laurin

Mentee Name: Layne Fargo


Category: Adult

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Word Count: 95,000 words


BLACK SWAN meets UNREAL: Chicago actress Kira expects drama when she books a breakout role with Machiavellian director Malcolm Mercer. But as she strives to beat Mal at his own mind games, Method acting turns to madness, staged violence draws real blood, and Kira starts to realize he’s not the dangerous one. She is.


The actress with the audition slot before mine comes out of the theater sobbing.

It takes her a few seconds to realize she has an audience. My audition is the last of the day, so I’m the only one left waiting in the row of mismatched chairs set up against the lobby wall. When our eyes meet, she takes a small, hiccupping breath, choking back her emotions like vomit.

I don’t remember her name, and I’m not sure she ever knew mine, but we did a play together once. Years ago, one of my first jobs in Chicago. She was the heroine, and I was the slut who seduced her boyfriend. (It wasn’t a very good play.) I’ve seen her a few times since then, on posters for shows at Lookingglass, the Goodman, Steppenwolf—the type of theaters I can’t afford to go to unless I know someone who can hook me up with comp tickets.

She was always so poised, one of those classic ingenues with perfect ballerina posture and a complexion that looked fresh even under a pound of stage makeup. But right now she’s a wreck, shoulders hunched and shaking, lightning-strike lines of mascara cutting down the sides of her face. She didn’t just lose it on the way out, after the audition was over. No, she’s been going for ten minutes, minimum. Which is about the same amount of time she was inside the theater.

What the hell happened in there?

19 comments to PW #123: Adult Psychological Suspense: VICTIM CONTROL

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