Plot Outline- Untitled

Ugh. You got stuck writing a synopsis. Help is on the way.
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Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by Robin » April 21st, 2010, 12:36 pm

I truly apologize for not including everything in the outline. If I did, it would be several pages long and I didnt want to overwhelm you guys -long posts= :(
I included the major events to give a skeleton, so to say, but I have the muscle and skin layered on in the longer outline.

I was afraid that no one else would understand my general concept, which is why I posted this outline. I wanted to know if the idea would be palatable. I know whats in my head, but I just wanted to make sure everyone else would get it.

Thank you for working with me on this :)
Last edited by Robin on April 26th, 2010, 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by Quill » April 21st, 2010, 3:06 pm

I think it's a pretty good story. Not the type I would naturally be drawn to, so I'm not in a position to judge its finer points.

What I do want to call your attention to is the close resonance between Atlanta, Atalanta (and Ata), and Melanion. And even Arcadia. It is confusing to me. I've heard it recommended by editors and others that such close word soundings and common beginning letters be avoided if possible. But maybe you have good reasons...

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Re: Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by A.M.Kuska » April 21st, 2010, 6:26 pm

Robin wrote:(deep breath)
I am submitting my plot outline for my untitled WIP- It is written in 3 parts- Present, Ancient Greece, Present
I am about 3/4 done and wanted to know if I am leaving anything out of the plot. Please let me know if I should add another twist/ turn or if I need to beef it up more.
3/4 done with the outline, or writing the book?
After her foster mother’s death, sixteen year old Ata is sent to live in a group home until she “ages out” as a ward of the State of Georgia. She is physically attacked- the girls shave her head and write on her face with permanent marker, spoiling her beauty. Ata flees the home and returns to the one place she felt safe- the house she shared with her foster mother, Mama Joy.
While trying to break into Mama Joy’s empty house, she is caught by the neighbor, Clint Forestall, a twenty four year old stock broker. After revealing her abuse, he insists she stay at his house as a roommate. Upon her seventeenth birthday, Ata becomes involved with Clint out of loyalty and the relationship soon turns violent. Three months before her eighteenth birthday, Ata meets a mysterious man who reveals her true identity.
If nothing happened all this time, what triggered the violence? This isn't something you need to explain to me here, but something you might want to make sure is clear in the book.
In the process of uncovering her identity, she becomes unconscious and her memories of being Atalanta, Huntress and Princess of Arcadia manifest. From her hunting the Calydonian Boar, she meets a kind man, Melanion who is also participating in the hunt. He is the only hunter that does not mind her participating and stands up for her, which makes Atalanta see him in a different light. After Atalanta is successful in landing the first strike, wounding the beast, a fight breaks out amongst the men because they do not believe she had claim to the prize. Melanion rushes into the brawl just in time to rescue her from a hunter’s blade.

The pair escape into the forest where a heated argument ensues and he passionately kisses Atalanta. She pulls her blade on him, remembering the Centaurs who tried to rape her. He leaves at the insult and tells her she has some daddy issues. Atalanta decides that she needs to resolve her daddy issues and journeys to his kingdom, Arcadia to reconcile with him. On the journey, she remembers Melanion’s kiss and daydreams about the two of them together.
Upon her arrival, her father requires her to marry in order to take her place as princess. She agrees, but only to the man who can outrun her. The race is put in place and she prepares accordingly.

In addition to pompous princes, lords, and other high ranking subjects, Melanion attends the race feast to profess his love for Atalanta. She asks him for three reasons why he loves her, but before he can answer she is summoned by Artemis, Goddess of Hunt. Artemis reminds Atalanta about her oath of virginity for rescuing her life as an abandoned baby and threatens punishment for breaking her vow.

On the day of the race, Atalanta lines up with the racers and makes eye contact with Melanion. During the race, Atalanta is in the lead. Melanion catches up to her and begins to tell her the 3 reasons why he loves her. She is so moved that she slows and allows him to beat her.
The happy couple leave Arcadia to live as hunters in the mountains. They are persuaded by Artemis to be married in a nearby temple, to which they oblige. After the Goddess performs the ceremony, the pair is overcome with lust and passion and begin to make love in the temple. Zeus appears and punishes the two for desecrating his temple by separating them for all eternity.

At the sound of Zeus’ proclamation, Ata awakens in her stranger’s bed in Atlanta. She knows he is her Melanion and goes to her house in preparation to leave Clint. While showering that afternoon, she is startled by Clint’s appearance, as he was supposed to be in NY for 4 more days. He goes into a rage and savagely attacks her, leaving her bloodied on the bathroom floor. Clint readies himself to deal her one final fatal blow, but Atalanta rises. She remembers that she is Atalanta, Huntress and Princess of Arcadia. Atalanta defends herself and Clint dies.
Here this is a little confusing. She loved Melanion yes? Yet Clint who is Melanion is beating her to a bloody pulp? And if they're seperated for all eternity, how did they end up together again?

Edited: Never mind, I just figured out the unnamed stranger is Melanion, which just leaves the question of how he broke Zeus' word

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Re: Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by wildheart » April 21st, 2010, 10:40 pm

In do like this story, but I am confused by some things.

1) Atremis reminds her of her oath to remain a virgin...but then she gets married? That part really tripped me up. But, you obviously know the story better than I do. It just seems like a contrdiction to me.

2) If they were supposed separated for all eternity how is the stranger Melanion?

3) What happens after she kills Clint? Does she got to prison, is it deemed self defence, does she run away? You leave us hanging without knowing what will happen next. I hope that is not how you plan on ending the story.

This story is pretty different from anything I have seen. The only problem I have is that you set us up to believe that certain actions will have consequences...and yet they do not. Yes your character goes through some things, but some big conflicts are taken care of without much of a struggle on her part, which makes the story not as exciting.

I wish you luck on your story! This is something I would read if you end up getting it published!
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Re: Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by ocelott » April 24th, 2010, 6:08 am

This is the sort of thing I get really excited about reading. It's different and exciting and the greek thing has my geek coming out. Like the others, I'm slightly confused by the ending, but as this is only the outline, I'm sure it makes more sense in the actual manuscript, with more detail. As wildheart pointed out, I hope you follow through some of the real world consequences of Clint's death. From the very beginning, even before he becomes violent, Clint skeeves me out a little. I have no idea if that's your intention, but there it is.

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Re: Plot Outline- Untitled

Post by ryanznock » April 26th, 2010, 7:21 pm

First, as a general overview, the story has an interesting premise and I like the Ata-Atlanta-Atalanta parallel (particularly since I live just next door in Decatur), but I think your technique could use a bit of polish. In particular your sentence and paragraph structure feels clumsy. I mean, I can manage to follow what you're saying, but it doesn't feel like the way you would naturally explain the story to a stranger. Also, your tone takes odd shifts occasionally, like using the term 'daddy issues' in the context of an ancient Greek myth.

I'd suggest that your foremost concern should be making sure the synopsis -- and the novel as well -- reads smoothly.

Second, the plot as you describe it doesn't really have much to make it stand out from any telling of the Atalanta myth. Plus, the modern world/ancient world connection doesn't resonate with me. If I were reading a novel where, after an opening with one character, we hopped back in time and didn't return to that character for almost the entire book, I would have a hard time caring about that character. I don't want to say that all stories need to follow the same structure, but generally in these sorts of "you're really a magical person" stories, the weight of the novel takes place in the present day, with only occasional interwoven flashbacks to reveal the character's secret history.

Third, just a minor note, but the advice I've read says that you should put the name of each major character in ALL CAPS the first time you introduce them. Minor characters who only appear in the synopsis for a sentence or two generally don't warrant this.

I hate to be negative, but from what you've posted here I feel your story would really benefit if you pondered the overall structure and how it would come across to the reader. Good luck.

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