Friday, 12 August 2005

I am currently taking an on-line synopsis-writing course from Laurie Campbell. The latest homework assignment was to write a short paragraph (less than 100 words) that summarised the unique selling points of our novels. This is what I came up with:
It is 1809. When Charlotte Everson, a bookish country mouse,
accidentally becomes entangled in an attempt to unmask a French spy ring, she finds herself crossing paths with Lord Alexander Hawkshead. His dreams of a heroic military career frustrated by his family obligations, Hawkshead works for the secret counter-espionage organisation known as Wenlock House, and he has clear ideas on how to catch spies. His approach does not fit well with a young woman apparently determined to be the heroine of one of the gothic romances that she reads so avidly.
I'm not entirely happy with it. One problem is that the names are aren't quite right, but I can fix that later, thanks to the "search and replace" facility in Word. Of more concern to me is that I don't think that it manages to capture the humour that I am aiming for (reading this, would you expect something that had a Heyeresque sense of humour?) and, perhaps more critically, I haven't managed to mention the elephant. But maybe that would be best done in the title, or in the cover design.

6 comments:

Paul said...

"His dreams of a heroic military career frustrated by his family elephant..."?

How's the elephant going to get on with the mouse?

Anonymous said...

1809.
Miss Charlotte Everson, a bookish country mouse, is absolutely thrilled when she accidentally becomes entangled with an attempt to unmask a French spy ring.
Lord Alexander Hawkshead devotes his time to Wenlock House that only a very few know is an secret counter-espionage organisation, and has clear ideas on how to catch spies.
To his dismay, he has no idea how to handle Miss Charlotte nor her aspiration to become the heroine of one of those ghastly gothic romances that she reads so avidly.

Anonymous said...

'organisation, and has clear ideas on how'

Pardon me, 'he' should be between 'and' and 'has'.

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Douglas Hoffman said...

I liked it as written, but 'mouse' threw me. Is she a literal or a metaphoric mouse? If the latter, then this strikes me as young adult (or younger) fiction.

To answer your concerns: yes, it does sound unique; yes, I get the sense this will be light and humorous.

Stephen said...

Thanks Doug - metaphorical mouse; she's an orphan, brought up in the country, never had a London season. "Mouse" may be overstating things, as once she is caught up in events she certainly doesn't shrink from excitement.