12.21.2006

HH Com 293 (293!!!)

When the pathologically shy Kay falls for Noel, the guy with all the verbs, she's tempted to hide out in the Symphonians novel she's writing. The Symphonians are four brave and kind people – everything that friends should be – trying to save one of their own from an abusive husband. Kay would prefer to experience love through her novel, but seeks out Noel, in an innocent way of course. Their talks sustain her through the death of her abusive grandpa and the reign of
her authoritarian music teacher. Then Noel asks her out. She gets scared, she's not good enough, and backpedals right out of his life.

But when Carter falls in love with her, she surprises herself by going along for the ride. Kay soon discovers that she can't love Carter the way she loves Noel. When she tries to leave the relationship, Carter attempts suicide.

The Symphonians never turn their back on a friend. Yet they also believe that you must live your life, even if others don't want you to. Kay is determined now to break free and pursue what's hers – and not let anyone, especially herself, talk her out of the life she wants.


WTF???
Is this one of those books where people in books are "in books"?? It's hard to maintain that as a workable trope (and please, no one wag jasper fforde at me--I'm the only person in the world that doesn't like those books, I know)

Is she confused about what's real? I am.

15 comments:

Pisica said...

You're not the only one; I gave up on The Eyre Affair (or whatever the first one was). I may give it another chance, but as I have probably over 1000 books on my to read list and my shelves, I'm not in any rush.

Anonymous said...

Noel seems like a girls name, and even though it is stated it is a HE I found myself wondering if this was a lesbian thing-
and I had no idea what this book thing was about.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm picturing a Heart and Souls type of book. If that's the case, then it sould probably be made a little clearer, and the relative reality should be made clear, is she hearing and seeing them like Joh Nash did, or are they just some imaginary friends that tag along and dissapear whenever she needs them to. It's critical to know that IMO.

December Quinn said...

Anon, Noel (pronounced Nole) is a boy; Noelle (No-el) is a girl.

I liked the description of Noel as a guy with all the verbs; it made me think he's always moving, doing, exciting. But I'm afraid the rest made me think that was meant literally, and it confused me. I wanted to like it, but I didn't understand it.

jb said...

Is it a book within a book? ie instead of a novel, it's two novellas intertwined?

Angus Weeks said...

YOU AREN'T THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO'S BORED BY FFORDE!

yeah. Oh wait, pisica agrees with me too.

No offence, author. I personally have no idea what your plot is about and am only commenting on Miss Snark's comments.

To anonymous - Noel (pron. "Noll", or, more correctly, a cross between "Noll" and "No-el") is a well-known boy's name. Do you mean Noelle? That's a girl's name.

To the author - where did Carter come from? For a moment, I thought that must be Noel's last name.
"in an innocent way of course" - I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds very overstated.

Essentially, this is a project you need to present clearly, rather than obfuscate the details. At the moment, it isn't clear what is going on.

Inkwolf said...

I can totally see a book where a main character writes herself a fantasy life and tries to make her real life fit those ideals, maybe even loses track of where fiction begins and real life ends.

I'm trying to think of a previous book with that plot device, but nothing comes to mind. Maybe the closest is The Green Fat Kingdom (which I've never actually read, but know the general plot.)


(Personally, I love Jasper Fforde, but I wouldn't if I had started with The Eyre Affair. Terribly clunky book! Fortunately, I listened to one of the much-more-entertaining sequels on audio first befoe going back to catch up.)

Melinda said...

*crawls out of smoldering wreckage*

Wow! That crashed and burned! Where's the bourbon!

I have already had an agent tell me, "Girl, this synopsis is as confusing as heck!" so I completely revised it according to the precepts in the previous crapometers. Looks like I'm back at the drawing board.

Also, now I'm thinking about changing Noel's name to Wyatt.

BTW, the Symphonians stay on the page, where they belong; Kay mainly uses them as a way to imagine through her problems, as a way to figure out how to deal with situations, since the girl doesn't get out much.

Thanks for all your comments, guys. And thanks for turning the grenade launcher on the synop, Miss Snark; otherwise, I'd be inflicting this SOB on all the agents, and they don't need that.

Hypergraphia said...

"I can totally see a book where a main character writes herself a fantasy life and tries to make her real life fit those ideals, maybe even loses track of where fiction begins and real life ends. "

I am of the same thought on this statement. The only thing I could think of close was The Princess Bride, but that's really just the grandpa reading the book to the boy. The Neverending Story?

Those are SF/F and I think this is more romance. Good idea though.

skybluepinkrose said...

I love bookish characters, so I want to like this. I get Kay. I also really like the "guy with all the verbs."

I can understand why Noel asks her out -- they've had some relationship buildup. I wish I knew, though, how a pathologically shy girl attracts Carter. You may not want to explain that in a hook, but my concern would be plausibly making this come about in the story, and probably not in the same way she got to know Noel. Maybe you've done exactly that, but I can't tell from the hook.

I'd like to read this, but then, I'm a little strange, too. :)

BuffySquirrel said...

The Eyre Affair got thrown across the room half-finished. I couldn't stand any more of the narrator's creepy insight into other characters' povs.

If Kay would prefer to seek out love thro' her novel, then why does she seek out Noel? She needs a compelling reason, imo, but it's not there. Motivation is vital.

sarahsbooks said...

"I can totally see a book where a main character writes herself a fantasy life and tries to make her real life fit those ideals, maybe even loses track of where fiction begins and real life ends.

I'm trying to think of a previous book with that plot device, but nothing comes to mind."

Lorrie Moore does this in her novel "Anagrams" - the device is initially confusing, then beautiful and sad, and finally devastating. Great book.

mozartgirl said...

Kind of reminds me of Rose Madder by Stephen King where the heroine hides in a picture.

Anonymous said...

I was confused on the first sentence. Is Noel a real person or is he fictional? If the novel Kay is writing isn't intended to be the setting of the book, then that needs to be made clear. Try something more along the lines of: Kay, a shy, aspiring novelist, wishes her real life would be more like the book she's writing. Then Kay meets Noel ....
I agree that we need to know more about Kay's problem or problems and what she does to overcome them. And, for the record, I loved Jasper Fforde's books :-)

batgirl said...

The Interior Life, by Katherine Blake, is a novel where a young housewife imagines a fantasy world and story that run alongside her real life. The characters encourage her (sometimes directly) to do what's right and to take chances in the mundane world as they do in the story, and her life changes drastically as a result.
Cool book.