#87 Crapometer


Synopsis of "No Need for Words"

Orossy is pretty enough to be the girl he pretends to be, and gelded to make sure he stays that way. Disillusioned with his tavern life, he takes a lover for the night: Tommasin, the sadistic overseer of the Asteri farmlands. Tommasin possesses a mind-gift and rifles through Orossy's mind to discover Orossy's traumatic past. He woos the young man into his employ as messenger boy and intimate companion.

When Tommasin starts to get violent one night, Orossy's personality disappears and is replaced with Rossa, a female alter determined to protect Orossy. Rossa knows about Orossy, but not vice versa; all Orossy knows is that he often wakes up with terrible headaches, and no memory of what passed the night before. Tommasin is aware of the difference.

Orossy befriends Lerryn, a mute autistic boy with a talent for sketching plants. They become friends. Orossy knows Lerryn is being abused by his family, and begins to fear for Lerryn's life. Lerryn's father tracks them down, accuses Orossy of rape and beats him.

Lerryn's parents cede his care to the city of Sakkireth. Healer Rewenna, director of the Sakkireth Infirmary, comes to escort Lerryn. On the ride back, she startles Lerryn and he runs away.

Maddren, Lord Governor of the Asteri territory, finds Lerryn outside of his arboretum, senses Lerryn's obsession with his plants, and discovers that Lerryn can use his mind-gift to manipulate their healing properties. He speaks mind-to-mind with Lerryn so the boy can understand. Maddren lets him stay and teaches him to overcome his autism.

Tommasin arrives home with a healer named Rohn to heal Orossy. Orossy reluctantly becomes intimate with him after Rohn says he might be able to restore Orossy's masculinity.

Tommasin sends Orossy to Sakkireth and bring back Lerryn (what??) and puts a compulsion on Orossy's mind so that if Orossy dares to talk about Tommasin or Rohn, he will feel excruciating pain. Rossa is told to seduce Maddren so Tommasin can use her to reach Maddren's mind.

Lerryn rapidly improves. Rewenna takes him as her apprentice to become Master Herbalist, but Lerryn doesn't know how to interact with other children and accidentally harms another student.

Meanwhile, a sick Orossy ends up in the Infirmary under the care of the herb-woman Karraby. They trace his background, and Rewenna is horrified to learn that Orossy had possibly taken advantage of Lerryn in the farmlands.

Orossy wakes, senses Lerryn, and finds him hiding in his stillroom. (he’s a bootlegger?) Rewenna, Maddren and Karraby find them, and Maddren takes both boys home. Karraby, by returning Orossy's dresses and being understanding about his lifestyle, befriends him.

Orossy spends time helping Lerryn improve, and resumes his prostitution. He finds Rohn in a tavern, in town to track Orossy's progress. Later, Rossa nearly succeeds in seducing the Lord Governor while Tommasin searches through his mind. Maddren realizes what is happening, and only Lerryn's pleading keeps Maddren from sending Orossy away.

Lerryn finds Orossy and, curious, offers Orossy money to spend the night with him. Orossy does. Rossa emerges at Orossy's guilt, and realizes it's time for to return to Tommasin.

The next morning, Orossy means to take Lerryn to class by horseback, but is intercepted by Rohn. Lerryn is kidnapped on Orossy's horse and taken away to Tommasin by Rohn's two accomplices. Orossy is knocked unconscious. Rohn takes him back to the tavern, and uses his mind-gift to torture Orossy until Rossa emerges, also helpless. When Rohn is finished, he leans over to whisper a brutal secret: Orossy is Tommasin's bastard son.

Rossa reaches out to Tommasin through their mental link. Tommasin focuses Rossa's mind-gift on Rohn and drives the man mad. Rohn, naked, plunges down the stairs to his death. Orossy is taken to Maddren's. Rewenna tends to him, and after a while they figure out that Lerryn never made it to the Infirmary. Maddren, still unaware of Orossy's split personality, uncovers Tommasin's compulsion after he questions Rossa, who's pretending to be Orossy. He offers Orossy/Rossa the chance to trace it back to its creator and find Lerryn.

Rossa agrees. Maddren traces the compulsion to Tommasin, finds he is a Lycenian spy by the name of Tomak, and uncovers his plans to eradicate the Asteri. Tomak senses him and breaks the compulsion, which nearly kills Orossy.

!!aliens have now officially arrived!!

Karraby meets Rossa, and they go to Lord Maddren, who wants to speak with Orossy. Rossa asks to be able to touch the Lord Governor's mind, in order to find out if he can be trusted with Orossy's safekeeping. Maddren agrees. A traumatized Orossy emerges, and is able to use the bond he has with his horse to track Tomak and Lerryn.

Tomak has kidnapped Lerryn to get the boy to reveal the contents of a vial of poison he means to use to destroy the Asteri. He's used Lerryn's fears against him, and when those failed, forced Lerryn to drink some of the paralytic poison to induce cooperation. Lerryn refuses, and starts to die. Tomak escapes as Maddren approaches.

Rossa reveals her presence to Orossy, and uses her/his mind-gift to help Lerryn survive and takes him back to Sakkireth.

Lerryn begins to heal. Karraby takes care of Rossa and Orossy, and eventually convinces Rossa to merge with Orossy and to go visit Lerryn. Orossy asks if Lerryn still hates him. Lerryn says yes, but that he will forgive him if Orossy makes love to him, because the last time Orossy slept with him, it "was business."

Orossy agrees, but is terrified; he's never understood the real meaning of love. He gives it a valiant effort, but starts having flashbacks to previous encounters before they get very far. Lerryn brings him back, comforting him without words. They're both still afraid, and know Tomak will return one day, but for now they're safe and in love.

You’re awash in events, and names. Time to prune heavily. You have nine named characters and you refer to them sometimes by their title instead of their name. You don’t need every detail of plot, or every character in the book included in the synopsis.

Aliens arrive in the form of bringing in a plot twist about spies that bears no resemblence to anything that’s come before.

You might have a good book here but this doesn’t reveal that; it's a mess.


tcastleb said...

This one's mine; and you're definitely right, Miss Snark. I rewrote this after reading your comments, and, funny thing is, taking out several characters and keeping it to only the major plot points not only makes it shorter, but also more coherent, and hopefully much less messy. Looking at the massive amounts of names in one paragraph now makes me cringe. This one is probably messy because I tried to cut it down from 3,200 words instead of just rewriting it to be shorter.

And, incidentally, as amusing as it would be to bootleg gin in this world, a stillroom can also be used to house dried plants and as a workshop to make medicines and other concoctions.

Thanks for looking it over; your patience and helpful comments are much appreciated.

Linda Maye Adams said...

Not to mention way, way too many of the names sound similar.

Anonymous said...

"all Orossy knows is that he often wakes up with terrible headaches, and no memory of what passed the night before"

I've had a few of those. :)

Rei said...

Just so you know (who knows if you're still reading this thread) - gelded males can still "get it up". I was left with the impression that you thought otherwise by:

"Orossy reluctantly becomes intimate with him after Rohn says he might be able to restore Orossy's masculinity."

I had a better take on this than Miss Snark (although I agree about the names), but what do I know ;)