Friday, 8 June 2012

ECP Plot Synopsis

I have spent the last three weeks working on my ECP idea. I've suffered a few bumps, one being my laptop breaking and losing all my original ideas, but today I was ready for my meeting with my ECP supervisor. Sadly, it did not appear that my supervisor was ready...she didn't turn up. She did say that her partner was going to hospital this week, but she also said she'd email me if it was a problem, and I received no emails. Safe to say I am a little annoyed. I will have to email her my work, although it's more constructive talking through work face to face rather than over the internet. My supervisor is nice enough but it's becoming clear that she is a bit of a scatterbrain.

My biggest fear is that I'll do lots of work and research over the summer and when I return in September she'll say it's not a good or suitable idea. This is just typical!

I'll just post the synopsis here and you can tell me whether it seems like an appropriate idea for a young adult novel for girls, and maybe some boys.

ECP Plot Synopsis

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 rented was very cheap and Lenore's dad, Roderick, thought it was a great bargain. It was big and old, and hadn't been lived in for a long time. The landlord, Mr Usher, was in his sixties and had one blind eye. He came over to welcome the Corvus's to Ravensborough, and Lenore found him disturbing, she couldn't wait for him to leave.

Once Mr Usher left, the family moved into the house and Lenore's dad settled her mum into her new room. Her mum's illness was so severe that her dad has to look after her constantly. Lenore went to her room and noticed a large, dark, body shaped mark on the ceiling. She asked if she could 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), photos (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 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. During assembly Lenore realises that the headmaster is Mr Usher, her landlord, and he's incredibly strict.

The next day, after another terrible night's sleep, someone talks to her at school. His name is Perry and he has recently moved to Ravensborough himself. 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. Perry says it sounds like something that would happen in an Edgar Allan Poe story. Lenore doesn't know who that is so they go to the school library to find one of his books. The only book there is a compilation of his poems. On one of the pages there is a cryptic message. Perry has no idea what it means but Lenore realises that she has seen this sort of code before. It was in one of the books in the attic, The Gold Bug.

They check the book out and after school go back to Lenore's house. Her dad isn't bothered by what she does, he's too focused on her mum. Lenore and Perry go up into the attic and using The Gold Bug, crack the code. It says something about a one eyed man, something called Ligeia, and a body buried under the floorboards. They don't know what Ligeia is but guess that the one eyed man is Mr Usher. They decide to go the town library to see if they have any more Poe books.

At the library they find a short story by Poe called Ligeia. When they go to check it out the elderly, gossipy, librarian talks about a woman called Ligeia who lived in the town, and she was an odd one. 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 they read Ligeia but it doesn't have any more cryptic messages. Perry suggests that they visit the Asylum. It's only a few miles away, they could go there at the weekend. For the next couple of days they go to school like normal but Lenore feels like Mr Usher knows what they are doing.

On Saturday they walk to the Nevermoor Asylum. Once there they ask to see Ligeia. She doesn't seem too crazy to them. They ask her about the code and Mr Usher. At first she seems frightened but she soon tells them what happened. Nearly 25 years ago her sister, Rowena, was married to Mr Usher. It was a marriage of conveience and she didn't love him at all. But she had an affair with someone she did love. When Mr Usher found out 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 had 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 another man and that he was devestated. 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 code in the book years ago hoping that one day someone would find it; if she couldn't talk about it she would write about it.

Before they had left, Lenore and Perry called the police and asked 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 found out it was Lenore he rushed over to the house.When they arrived home Mr Usher was waiting for them. They tried to escape him by running into the house and up to the attic, Mr Usher followed them. A policeman, Mr Dupin, arrived and, noticing the door wide open, walked in. He bumped into Lenore's dad and together they followed the commotion upstairs.

In the attic Lenore and Perry accused Mr Usher of killing his wife. He denied it but he was becoming more nervous. He hadn't been in the house for years. The strange howling noise started again and this scared Mr Usher. Crazed by guilt he confessed and pulled up the floorboards. Mr Dupin and Lenore's dad arrived just in time to see the toothless skeleton. Mr Usher was arrested straight away. The howling noise had turned out to be Rowena's old cat who had mysteriously survived for over 25 years.

Soon the school had 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. Lenore's mum eventually came out of her Cataleptic state and her health improved greatly. They could now move back to the city, but Lenore found that she rather liked it in Ravensborough with Perry after all.

The End.

So there you have it. I'm not sure if the ending is too abrupt and hopefully the whole murder mystery thing makes sense. All the names are taken from Edgar Allan Poe stories, and so are most of the scenarios. Do you think this would be too scary for teenagers (aged 12 upwards), or do you think they could cope?

Leave a comment below if you have any ideas or constructive criticisms.

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