1. Luna13
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    Luna13 Member

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    Would you read this?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Luna13, Mar 25, 2012.

    I am currently working on a sort of future-gone-wrong sort of story. I need to know if it sounds interesting, because what's the point of a story nobody wants to read?

    I'm not going to tell you the plot, exactly, but I will tell you (roughly) what I would want on the back cover summary if it ever were to be published.

    If it sounds like something you would read, tell me, and I'll give you more of the plot.

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    So here's my back-cover summary:


    Gina Leiton, a spunky girl with a can-do attitude, knows where she stands. She has excellent grades in everything, and her charismatic nature has earned her lots of friends. She knows that that passing her finals will be a piece of cake, and has already been accepted into a prestigious school where she plans to earn her business degree. As far as the Society is concerned, she is set for life.
    Iris Chariston, on the other hand, has always been a little unsure of herself. Her grades are shaky; usually she passes but just barely. The very thought of her finals is terrifying, for she knows that if she doesn’t pass the Society will send her to what most people refer to as The House. And if there is one thing that Iris must not do, it is go The House.
    The Society runs very smoothly. Those who are intelligent and likeable are given a life of ease. Those with lower grades, or who nobody likes, are sent to a huge building on the outskirts of the city, where they help the city operate by doing the less pleasant necessary tasks.
    This building is like a prison – no one inside is allowed out, and no one outside is allowed in. This building, the dark underbelly of the Society, is the House of Lost and Bitter Things.




    Thanks for any feedback and if you want to hear the whole plot let me know!
  2. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese New Member

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    Hi Luna,

    Keep in mind that different people have very different preferences in genres and story ideas. Some people might like your idea, while others might not. Additionally, a story idea might influence someone to read your book, but it's the story itself that influences one to keep reading your book after they've started. It ultimately depends on how well you write it.

    Personally, I'm not sure whether or not I would read your book. It seems interesting enough, but from the description you have given me, it seems to lack excitement. I don't know if your book will just be your characters avoiding being put in The House, or if they will inevitably end up in The House, and will be trying to escape it or something. I also don't know what "The Society" is, and don't anything about them except they divide people out by class. I'd want to know more about the interactions between your characters and the Society/House.

    Cheers.
  3. RabidChipmunk
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    RabidChipmunk Member

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    Hey, you helped in my thread so I thought I'd help in yours. Like a good neighbor.

    To me, this seems less like a plot and more like a set-up. It's a good set-up, mind, but I don't know where the story's going. Does Iris end up failing and tries to escape her inevitable fate? Does she end up going to the House and tries to escape? Is there any connection between Gina and Iris besides being the opposite of each other? And like Cheddar said, what is the Society?

    You've got an excellent foundation here, now all you need to do is find out what you want to build on to it. Hope I was of assistance :)
  4. Luna13
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    Luna13 Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, guys!

    I am still working on the plot - I have it down generally but still need to smooth it out some. I just needed to know if it sounded generally like something of possibly interesting. So many of my stories have failed because they were so incredibly BORING. I will give you guys the plot as soon as I can, it just needs some, for lack of a better word, refining.

    I know it isn't really a story yet. Anyway, thanks again for your help!
  5. shangrila
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    shangrila New Member

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    You have an interesting base, I think you've tried to put too much into your blurb. For example, you don't need to give a detailed summary of your characters, just a rough idea of what they're like and the challenges they face is enough. And the Society should stay mysterious. Remember, you're trying to get people to read your book, so you want to give them just enough to want to read it without spoiling anything.

    I hope you don't mind, but here's my take on a blurb, using what you've given (and, admittedly, it probably won't be right, since I have no idea of the plot or the characters' motivations):
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When I go to a bookstore, I either look for books I haven't yet read by authors who have done well for me, or I pick up books randomly in genres that interest me.

    I don't start with the blurb. I flip open the book to a random page, and I read a couple paragraphs. Then I look at the first paragraphs of the book. After that, I check the back cover or dust jacket.

    I am much less frequently disappointed with my purchases since I changed to this method from deciding based on the back cover pitch.

    A story idea is meaningless. The author's writing is what matters.
  7. MoonWriter67
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    MoonWriter67 New Member

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    The plot needs more of a hook. How about... the roles are reversed? What if a computer hiccup ends up with Gina being sent to The House and Iris getting a better life? Just an idea I brainstormed. The general premise is interesting.
  8. Kestrel
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    Kestrel New Member

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    I think MoonWriter67's idea is an excellent one and it could throw up a myriad of possibilities. Perhaps Gina, so outraged at the injustice of being wrongly assigned, unites the unfortunate residents of the House in a revolt! Or maybe Iris, finding the privileged elite unbearable, sets about teaching them all a lesson they'll never forget...!

    I think it has potential :)
  9. Jowettc
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    Jowettc New Member

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    I'm going to honestly say, No.

    I don't like the premise; I'm not fond of the contradistinction of the two characters; I think the characterisations are a touch cliched based on the information you have given and I think that, regardless of which way you write it, your potential ending is going to be easily seen from a long way off because there are only a finite amount of given endings available imo.

    Now, sorry if that sounds harsh - but you asked for my opinion and I have hoenstly given it. Naturally you could prove me completely wrong and write an international best seller like The Hunger games (which I also think is incredibly cliched and a vague re-working of The Running Man) - who knows. As someone else said - we are all dfferent and I might hate it while other's love it. At the end of the day - write what you want and to hell with everyone else - including me.
  10. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Member

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    I think what you need is a bit of a rewording of this blurb. It gives information I'd rather much discover while reading not by finding them on the book jacket. For example, it's usually much better to describe the world and not the characters. Second, it makes me wonder if that is all the story will be about. It's not mysterious, not intriguing and I am not so into it. You need to make it a bit vague and not out there for the reader to think 'Yeah, I know what's going to happen so why bother reading it?' you need them to think 'That's so interesting, I'll flip few pages.'

    Some people prefer to look inside the book rather than check the back. I usually check the back and then look inside, but I won't look inside a book that has everything out there. Don't tell what the characters are like but rather what's the world they are in like. Show what's the danger, why this world should exist and what troubles are there in it.

    I think you got an interesting idea, it needs to be deeper though and the blurb needs to be more dynamic.
  11. cs2212
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    cs2212 New Member

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    To be honest, based on the blurb...probably not.

    But that isn't necessarily a reflection on the overall concept you have in your head.

    From the blurb all I can really see is backstory, not where it is going. Does the story follow their fight to pass so they dont end up in the workhouse or is the book going to be about experiences there or some wider push for a change in their society, development of a resistance etc.? It just doesn't give me enough of an idea of what is actually going on for me to care what happens either way. But a review of a blurb isn't a review of your story or overall concept which could be fine.

    It is also effectively what the Victorian workhouses were in a future context, so there isn't necessarily anything wrong with the credibility of the idea. It just needs a bit more still
  12. cs2212
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    cs2212 New Member

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    I like this idea especially though.

    It is belivable to think that the charecters could swap exam papers somehow to subvert the system and save themselves being doomed to a life of destitution. You could show a change in the high performing character believing it is simply wrong thst SHE should go to the workhouse because of her overall high performance to realising after seeing their plight first hand that the people in that situation don't deserve it either.

    It could also work as an effective allegory to the low paid, low prospects jobs and welfare systems which many people find themselves trapped within that is often justified as a system based on meritocracy. You could work to demonstrate that many of these people have potential beyond a stuck up degree, while the character who has 'made it' can explore the shortcomings of being on top and wonder what her life would've been like 'below'.
  13. jazzabel
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    jazzabel I do not like snoopy reporter Supporter Contributor

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    Certainly it reminds of many stories told before, but if you can make it unique then it might make for a good read. It all depends on you, really, it is impossible to tell just from the synopsis.
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Senior Member Contributor

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    I agree with who said it sounds more than the set up rather than a plot. I actually liked moonwriters idea too. But I don't think backstory (as in explaining what the House and the Society are and how everything works) belongs in the back cover summary. Keep working on it, I think it could be an interesting story.
  15. schmiler
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    schmiler New Member

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    I think it definitely has some promising elements. You have two opposite characters in an unfair world which is a good enough set-up. But now you need to push them completely from their comfort zones. Their lives can collide or they can be told on separate paths, however I think a collision of their lives will have a better effect. But the question is how?

    For a blurb it has little too much character break-down. I think with a little less on the characters and a little more on the setting and situation would give it that something more that would make readers want to open that first page. Maybe end it with a question or a hint into the conflict that will occur in the book, if any. From what I read it appears that there is no "action" or "event" that will happen. There needs to be that something that the book edges toward from the get go.

    This is just my opinion. I'm in a similar position, starting a new book is very hard and it's nice to have feedback so you don't feel like you're spending hours and thousands of words for nothing.
  16. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine New Member

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    I think everyone has a different method of choosing a book, I do read the blurb before I bother opening the book because I don't read just the Genres that interest me I try to read everything.

    Your plot is interesting but for me your MC needs to be developed. she's very typical and there are a million stories with her in them so I wouldn't read this book based on your MC because I would find her boring and predictable.

    But you can change that make her different, give her bad points give her a personality that isn't used over and over - make her more real.
    Just my opinion I'm really into character driven work.
  17. live2write
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    live2write Member

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    My suggestion is to write our your story. You just gave us all a pitch to and idea. You need to show us all the story and we need to see how you tie in the story together.
    Pitching ideas is good to see what your readers would be expecting.
  18. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Well, it already exists, it's called the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. And the rules in your book's world are the rules there.

    I have to be honest, perhaps blunt. I would read the jacket, and simply put the book down. But I'll tell you why.

    John Wayne was the first actor to be offered the lead in "High Noon." He turned the part down, because he did not believe that Americans would let thugs dominate society.

    Further, I'm having difficulty finishing The Hunger Games. If you turned a few dozen of my friends loose with weapons, the ruling idiots would have sealed their own fate.

    Freedom is never free. There are always major costs. But they are worth it.

    Your concept is everything I believe is wrong with America today. I do not relish a story where everything I loathe becomes de rigueur. I believe that somewhere out there in all societies there exists "Mad Max."
  19. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    I think it entirely depends on your focus.

    I would put the book straight down because it sounds like it will be a story about kids worrying about school grades in an American school, which indicates a world I find boring and don't really relate to (I was a Gina) in an environment where cliques and year groups carry unfamiliar and indecipherable terms which everybody seems to feel are crucial. Not my school experience either. This gives me the idea that it is "standard teenage American junk with a sinister twist".

    On the other hand, it's likely that any school related stuff is only a prelude to the main bulk of the text, which is about The House and the Society. If so, I would strongly urge you to reconsider the emphasis of your plot line. This could be a really amazing, thrilling and dangerous story (when I read your outline, I immediately conceived of them changing places - because otherwise what the point of the Gina character?), political and challenging the world of the teenager and the widening of their narrowed perspective on society during a coming of age type adventure.
  20. killbill
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    killbill Member

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    This somehow reminds me of the Uma Thurman starer movie Gattaca. The idea is somewhat similar.

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