Monday, 18 June 2012

ECP Plot Synopsis Revised

I'm going on holiday today for a week so I thought I'd leave one last post for you guys to read while I'm gone. This my revised ECP plot synopsis, taking into consideration what my supervisor said. I have made it a little more adult by featuring an older love interest, so scandalous. Read it and tell me what you think! Also, I don't have a title yet so if you have any ideas, let me know.

ECP Plot

Lenore Corvus and her parents move to a new town, Ravensborough, on the edge of Nevermoor. They had to move because her mum, Madeline, became sick. She suffers from Catalepsy, a disease which makes one appear dead. Her Doctor prescribed country air and rest. Lenore didn't like the idea of moving, she liked living in the city.

The house they rent is very cheap and Lenore's dad, Roderick, thinks it is a great bargain. It is big and old, and hasn't been lived in for a long time. The landlord, Mr Usher, is in his sixties and has one blind eye. He comes over to welcome the Corvus's to Ravensborough, and Lenore finds him disturbing, she can't wait for him to leave.
Once Mr Usher does leave, the family move into the house and Lenore's dad settles her mum into their new room; her mum's illness is so severe that her dad has to look after her constantly. Lenore goes to her room and notices a large, dark, body shaped mark on the ceiling. She asks if she can swap rooms but her dad tells her to stop being silly, it's just a room. She has to grow up now that her mum is sick. Bored and lonely, Lenore explores the rest of the house. Lots of the rooms still have many of Mr Usher's belongings covered in dust cloths. Lenore makes her way up into the attic. The attic is filled with more belongings; boxes of books which she flicks through (The Gold Bug), photographs (lots of a blonde woman, some with her face scratched out), and even a box of teeth. This only confirms her suspicions that something creepy is going on involving the house and possibly Mr Usher. Lenore decides not to tell her dad about the things she finds in the attic, he would just tell her she's being silly again.

That night Lenore can't sleep, there is a strange scratching and howling coming from the attic, right above her room, where the dark mark is. She tried to rearrange her room so she couldn't see the dark mark on the ceiling but it still scares her.

On Monday it is her first day of school. She's worried that she won't fit in, or that the students will be horrible. When she gets there she realises that it won't be a problem. The school is eerie and quiet. All the students are silent and incredibly well behaved the opposite of her old school. No one talks to her or tries to make friends with her, they all seem scared. At the end of the day she has a meeting with the headmaster, it is Mr Usher. He is strict, severe and unnerving. He doesn’t break the rules and can’t tolerate those who do.

The next day, after another terrible night's sleep and friendless day, she notices someone outside the school. He’s not wearing school uniform, he’s a few years older than her and he stares at her intently. Unlike with Mr Usher, it does not make Lenore feel uncomfortable. She thinks he looks familiar but she can’t place him.

A few days later the boy finally talks to her, Lenore is grateful that someone has noticed her. His name is Perry and he has recently moved to Ravensborough himself. He walks Lenore home and explains that he thinks that everyone is weird because of the headmaster and his strict ruling. Lenore explains that he is also her landlord. She mentions all the odd things that have happened to her since she's moved into the house. She muses out loud that it sounds like something from an Edgar Allan Poe book. Perry doesn’t know who he is and Lenore says she will look for his books in the school library. Once they near the house Perry says he won’t go any further, her parent’s probably won’t like him much.

At the school’s library Lenore finds a book of Poe’s poems. On one of the pages there is a short cryptic message. After school she shows Perry but he has no idea what it means. Lenore realises that she has seen this sort of code before. It was in one of the books in the attic, The Gold Bug.

Lenore suggests that they go back to her house to decode the message. Perry isn’t sure but Lenore persuades him. They sneak in so her dad won’t notice, but he’s too preoccupied with her mum. Lenore and Perry go up into the attic, though Perry seems very nervous, and using The Gold Bug, crack the code. Up in the attic she shows him the rest of the odd things she found. They share an old small sofa and Lenore likes being close to Perry. The cracked code says something about Ligeia. They don't know what Ligeia is. They decide to go the town library to see if they have any more Poe books and research Ligeia.

At the library they find a short story by Poe called Ligeia as well as other stories. When they go to check them out the elderly, gossipy, librarian gives them a suspicious look, especially to Perry, before talking about a woman called Ligeia who lived in the town, and was very odd. They ask what happened to her and the librarian tells them that she went crazy and now lives up at the Nevermoor Asylum.

At Lenore's house, in the attic, sharing the small sofa again, they read Ligeia and the other books. Ligeia has another two sentenced code, which decoded mentions a body beneath the floorboards, which leads them to the Telltale Heart. In that story there is code mentioning a cat, which leads them to The Black Cat. The code in that book mentions Usher, which not only leads them to The Fall of the House of Usher, where there are no more codes, but to Mr Usher himself; although, all the codes don’t count as proof of anything. At a dead end, Perry suggests that they visit the Asylum. It's only a few miles away; they could go there at the weekend. Lenore agrees and Perry leaves, she’s sad for him to go.

For the next couple of days she goes to school like normal but she feels like Mr Usher knows what they are doing. She doesn’t see Perry for a while either; she misses him and feels lonely again.

On Saturday Perry shows up. He’s brought his motorbike so they can drive to the Nevermoor Asylum. Lenore has never ridden a motorbike before but she loves the thrill and being so close to Perry. Once at the asylum they ask to see Ligeia. She doesn't seem too crazy to them. They ask her about the codes and Mr Usher. At first she seems frightened and dazed, but she soon tells them what happened. Nearly 20 years ago her sister, Rowena, was married to Mr Usher. It was a marriage of convenience and she didn't love him at all. But she had an affair with someone she did love. She soon gave birth to a baby but Rowena and Ligeia were never sure who the father was. When Mr Usher found out about the affair he went crazy and attacked her. He knew her smile was the most beautiful part of her so he pulled out all her teeth. In the end he killed her in a rage and buried her under the floorboards. Ligeia witnessed the whole thing. She was going to tell someone about Mr Usher but he convinced everyone that she was crazy; people already thought she was odd and readily believed him. He told the towns people that Rowena had run away with the child and another man and that he was devastated. The child was actually sent off to an orphanage, Mr Usher hated it. Ligeia was too afraid to tell anyone, even if they did believe her, in case Mr Usher killed her too. After a few years Ligeia was admitted to the Asylum and hadn't left since. She had written the codes in the book years ago hoping that one day someone would find them; if she couldn't talk about it she would write about it.

After telling her tale she looks closely at Perry and proclaims he looks just like his mother, her sister, Rowena. Lenore is shocked but Perry admits he already knew this. Mr Usher had come to him when he was of age and explained that he was a bastard child but Mr Usher would forgive him and take him home. Perry only agreed so he could find out what happened to his mother. However, Mr Usher made it impossible for him to go to the old house; he warned the previous tenants and towns people about him, said he was a delinquent, and of course everyone believed him. But Lenore’s family hadn’t heard that rumor and so he took a chance. Lenore feels used and betrayed. She refuses to talk to him for the rest of their visit.

Before they leave, Perry calls the police and asks them to hurry to the house. Lenore and Perry didn't know, but once they had left, the head Doctor and personal friend of Mr Usher, Doctor Tarr, had called Mr Usher. He always wanted to know if anyone visited Ligeia in case she told anyone the truth. When he finds out it was Lenore and Perry visiting he rushes over to the house. When they arrive home, after driving in silence, Mr Usher is waiting for them. They try to escape him by running into the house and up to the attic, but Mr Usher follows them. A policeman, Mr Dupin, arrives and noticing Perry’s motorbike the door wide open walks in. He bumps into Lenore's dad and together they follow the commotion upstairs.

In the attic Lenore steps forward and accuses Mr Usher of killing his wife/ Perry’s mum. He denies it and strikes Lenore. Perry leaps forward and attacks Mr Usher. During the struggle Mr Dupin and Lenore’s dad burst in. Mr Usher tells them to arrest Perry, the delinquent who attacked the girl, just as the strange howling noise starts again. He is scared and nervous; he hasn’t been in the house for years. Perry gets away from him and goes to Lenore, who has forgotten to be mad at him. Crazed by guilt Mr Usher confesses and pulls up the floorboards for everyone to see the toothless skeleton. Mr Usher is arrested straight away. The howling noise turns out to be Rowena's old cat who had mysteriously survived for over 20 years.

Soon the school has a new headmaster and the quickly the students became more relaxed and Lenore made new friends. Ligeia, after spending years in the Asylum, was now crazy and so couldn't leave, but gets regular visits from her nephew. Perry is no longer seen as a delinquent and people are nicer towards him but still hate his motorbike. Lenore’s dad and Perry are introduced and Perry was right, Lenore’s dad is not keen on him at all, but does respect him. Lenore's mum eventually comes out of her cataleptic state and her health improves greatly, and she likes Perry, too. They could now move back to the city, but Lenore finds that she rather likes it in Ravensborough with Perry after all.

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