Friday, 12 February 2010

Would you read my book?

Here's my first draft of the synopsis...

Born in Southern Rhodesia as the youngest of seven children, Harry learns early on to make his own way in life. When his mother dies and his stern Afrikaner father remarries, he finds himself with another seven siblings and his fight for independence intensifies.

Hardworking and intensely stubborn, he finds a job on the mines before meeting his match in the fiery red-headed Nell Carol. Although they can barely understand each other and belong to different social classes, Harry pursues her against both families’ wishes.

They marry and, despite facing financial ruin, political instability and eventually guerrilla violence as Britain loses its colonial hold on the country, they stand firm together, raising two children and sending them to school in South Africa to acquire the education Harry always dreamed of having.

When they are forced to flee the country to avoid political violence, Harry and Nell start over in the small Freestate town of Deneysville. Closer to their children and involved in the community, they are happy again until Nell suffers a massive and unexpected stroke. Within weeks she dies.

Distraught, Harry does everything possible to keep busy. After more than 40 years with Nell, he is unable to function alone. Months pass before he meets Lilly. Divorced and destitute, she is living alone on a plot outside of the town. As their relationship deepens, she brings him back to the roots of his Afrikaans culture. But not everyone approves of their love. Townsfolk and even family members make hurtful comments and shut the couple out.

To escape rumours and judgment, they relocate to KwaZulu-Natal where they once again start over, learning to put past relationships to rest and to embark on new adventures together in their old age.

Thoughts? Comments? Be nice... but honest ;-)


po said...

Hey Tamara, I want to comment on this later cos I won't do it justice in my 5 min break at work. So will write again when I get home :)

Anonymous said...

I only read crime/thrillers/legal dramas/fantasy books, so yours would not be one that I would choose to read (because it's like an historical drama which I can never read), but I think it would appeal to some people, but personally it does not interest me or make me want to read it. You asked for honesty - it sounds boring to me :/


I cringe writing my opinion because you're so sweet, but I just don't like the premise of your novel.

Tara said...

I think it sounds like a solid story that will appeal to people who like that kind of thing :)

Like little Anonymous up there, it's not really the kind of thing I like to read but I can certainly see the appeal in it.

Being Brazen said...

Seems like a good plot and the characters sound well thought out...

im interested to read a bit more to see if I would enjoy it (as its not really my type of book)

Good luck writing it :)

po said...

Another thought, maybe you shouldn't put this on the internet, cos someone could steal your idea? Paranoid maybe, but writers tend to be. Maybe we should ask Damaria about that, seeing as she is a published writer?

Tamara said...

Po: Cool beans. No rush.

Anon: Thanks for the input. I feel that it is a bit dry. But it's draft one, so I'm sure if I keep at it I can improve. And no offence taken - you're not my target market if you don't read historical fiction ;-)

Tara: Thank you. It's a synopsis rather than a blurb (you have to submit this to the publisher explainign exactly what happens in your book, including the ending). At the moment it's a simple chronological account of my subject matter, but I'm working o making it more gripping. I'm not yet sure what my focus should be - a difficulty of documenting a person's life rather than making a story up out of your head ;-)

Brazen: Thanks. Maybe I'll send you the first chapter to have a look at ;-)

Po: I'm only posting the draft synopsis, not my actual copy. See, it's the story of my granddad's life so nobody can actually write the exact same story unless they know him really, really well. If they want to use the same vague idea I guess that's no different to me deciding to use Taming of the Shrew as a basic plotline for a novel. Good luck to them ;-) Also, this is a first draft, so I'm pretty certain it will change oodles before I'm happy with it. Would love to swap notes on the course you're doing!

Meriel said...

i would like to read your book. i like books where you step into someone's world for a bit.

Damaria Senne said...

@po - Just posting the synposis is fine. Even if someone stole the plot, the story would stiill be different because it's being told by different people. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.
@tamara - this sounds like a family drama which has potential for some intense and interesting plot developments. And if Harry is as real to you as some of my characters have been known to be, i'd say, tell the story. See where it takes you. If the story is well told, it wlll find an audience. Would I read the novel if I didn't know you? Probably not, cos for entertainment I tend to go for lots of fluff. Genre romance, with some sci-fi/fantasy/crime thrown in usually suits me.

Slyde said...

i think its super.

not the kind of tale i normally read, either, but i like it.

phillygirl said...

I'm glad you explained the bit about it being a "synopsis rather than a blurb" again in your comment ... as I read it I began to wonder what your book was actually going to be about since the "set-up" seemed so lengthy.

I think I like the sound of it more knowing it's about your granddad, knowing it's based on a real person somehow gives it more meaning to me and makes it somehow a more believable story. The only thing I struggle with when reading true-life stories is there's rarely a proper ending. The book just stops somewhere ... because that's kinda like life. Sometimes they can be just a meandering document of happenings. But otherwise I think there's definitely a market for a life-story like this :)

Good luck with it and I'll be interested to hear how it goes :)

Helen said...

I would read that in a heartbeat. Really. Awesome!!

I hope you enjoy writing it, it sounds like it'll be an amazing journey.