SYNOPSIS FOR: Irregular Heartbeats.
BOOK TITLE: Irregular Heartbeats.
SUB-TITLE: Twelve Tales of Exceptional Amour.
PROPOSAL: A collection of twelve short stories under the umbrella topic of unusual, unlikely, or out of the ordinary amorous relationships, their consequences for the disparate individuals involved in them, and their wider effect upon others. Unusual by virtue of the individuals involved, settings, times, places, circumstances, plots and imagination.
WHY A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES? I believe that single author 'collected short stories' are now making a big come back in reading tastes. People lead busier than ever lives these days and often like to dip in at lunchtimes, last thing at night, etc. Witness the huge resurgence of short story publication and appreciation on the Internet over the past half decade - as exemplified by Writebuzz and its lesser rivals! Also a short story collection offers a good variety to the reader, and is probably therefore the best genre for an unknown fiction author to go for because potential readers/purchasers are more likely to take a chance on there being something they will like in a varied collection. And books of collected short stories make good commercial products as small gifts, Christmas stocking fillers, and the like.
WHY CHOOSE THIS TOPIC? Relationships with other human beings are fundamental to life. 'One on one' relationships involving love, romance, desire, lust, etc. generate some of the strongest emotions known to mankind. I believe most people of both genders have a strong interest in one on one relationships both in the real world (celebrity scandals sell print!) in the make believe world of the popular T.V. soap operas and such, and in printed fiction format as per Mills and Boon, many popular magazines, etc. It is a topic that should appeal to, and can be pitched at, the widest possible potential readership therefore.
SO WHAT WILL MAKE THIS BOOK STAND OUT? This collection - as previously stated - will be concerned with the unusual, the unlikely, and the unexpected. Viewing the chosen topic 'from outside of the box' is maybe one way of describing it!
WON'T THIS JUST BE A COLLECTION OF SOFT EROTICA? No: But neither will it be coy: This will be written for the average adult man or woman to read and enjoy. The collection will have a couple of sad stories, one covertly humorous one, five variously 'feel good' ones, a couple of more serious ones, plus two which go beyond the real world. Four will have female viewpoint characters, six will have male viewpoint characters, and the remaining two will be neutral. The stories are not all of similar length and that is intentional - more variety within the total and better reading choice - i.e. long or short - for the reader. Sex, though perhaps more accurately 'sensuality' will be a feature obviously (in some) but will be handled with care in regard to creating a publishable finished work. At no time will the work feature extremes - i.e. stories that are utterly bleak nor overtly hilarious - nor will it in any way involve sexual violence, coercion, deviant or illegal practices, etc. Likewise no gratuitous swearing. The proper balances are recognised and will be incorporated. There will be no 'gay' content because that I feel is a specialist genre. This will not be a literary work, but will be written for a wider general readership. Character driven primary plots will be employed throughout. Despite its declared aim of 'exploring the unusual' plausibility will be striven for at all times in order to gain and retain reader interest. The book title is taken from its opening story.
AND WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO WRITE 12 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO EACH OTHER STORIES WITHIN THE PARAMETERS PROPOSED? That is what I aim to do! The ultimate purpose of the collection is to leave its reader feeling better overall about Life and Love.
In order, commencing with the first, the proposed stories and their approximate word counts are as follows: (Titles and word counts may be amended later.) A brief individual synopsis of each then follows on.
IRREGULAR HEARTBEATS: (3,000 words.) On the eve of its first anniversary a not long before widowed lady contemplates her on-going affair with a younger man, and tries to find an answer to a soul wrenching dilemma. (Serious, moderately sensual, strongly character driven, as the first story it lays the foundations for those which follow.)
JENTY GIRL SMITH v. ALAN: (4,600 words.) In a village pub a young man chances upon a female gypsy pugilist who four years earlier in school mashed his face. Their second encounter has a surprising outcome and not only, as he discovers, in regard to himself. (Quirky, 'feel good', additional end twist.)
BANGALORE BELLE: (5,500 words.) In the newly independent State of India in 1949 a young Englishman with a school boy love of steam trains is made the unwitting victim of a cruel practicle joke. But its consequences are far reaching and certainly not as expected. (Subtly humorous, main plot twist, 'feel good' factor.)
KISSING MISS ST. LUCIA: (10,000 + words.) Discharged from hospital following a violent car jacking of which he has no clear memory, naïve white student Jamie finds himself drawn into a very sexy affair with his entrancing black neighbour Jodi, a single parent and an all round larger than life character. But why has this unexpected turn of events suddenly come about, where will it lead, and what really lies at the heart of the vaguely menacing world that Jodi and her assorted group of ill matched relatives and associates seem to inhabit? (Sensual, gritty, developmental plot.)
THE INVITATION: (3,000 words.) A young man receives a surprise invitation to visit a stunningly attractive nurse he's recently met. Should he take up the further invitation she extends him? (Slow paced by intention until near end, passingly sensual, unworldly.)
AWAKENING!: (7,000 words.) A vivacious young woman sets out to climb her first mountain and the events which unfold upon its slopes lead her to make her choice between two distinctly different suitors. (Idealistic, romantic, key character testing, very 'feel good'.)
TIPPING POINT: (4,200 words.) A life hardened lower class nightclub lap dancer spars about life, lust, love and the future with her younger, middle class, wannabe lover. (Gritty, very sensual albeit vicariously, strongly character driven.)
THE FINAL FANTASY OF SID THE THREE WHEELER MAN: (5,500 words.) In the very final moments of his life a well intentioned old man learns a hard lesson over the reality of a relationship he's completely misconstrued. (Sad, strongly character driven, moderately sensual in one part.)
ONE SUMMER'S NIGHT: (1,000 words.) A boy and a girl take a moonlit walk together, and enter a magical kingdom of their own imaginative creation. (Ethereal, dreamlike, 'feel good'.)
THE TONYPANDY CUPBOARD: (12,500 + words.) In the course of single afternoon at the start of the 1970's true love is born out of the most improbable of situations. And is briefly re-animated more than three and a half decades later. (Partially 1st person narrative, fast paced action, 'keep the reader guessing', extremely 'feel good' yet simultaneously tinged with subtle regret.)
REMEMBRANCE: (1,100 words.) A disabled woman reflects upon a life chance lost and excessive parental love. (Sad in a mournful sense.)
AN AFTERNOON WITH TONDA: (6,200 words.) In a far distant galaxy in the far distant future a single minded young Earth man becomes involved with a spectacular, yet also very calculating, alien being - with unprecedented consequences for both himself and, potentially, the Universe. (Space opera, cautionary tale, sensual, as the final story it moves the topic onward in Time.)
After editing and general honing down the final word count should be c. 60,000 words. Several of these story titles have previously been published on Writebuzz. However, all are to be completely re-written and in most cases significantly improved from their present form. The 'First Chapter' - in this case first story 'Irregular Heartbeats' - will be posted on this thread as soon as ready. Reviews, comments, and stars (especially!) very welcome!
Many thanks for reading.
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