My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


...I finally bit the bullet this week and took a stab at writing my synopsis.  Something every book needs, apparently, for submitting to agents.  I've taken a step further in that direction too, by purchasing The Writer's and Artist's Yearbook, something I'll need to pick agents/publishers to submit to.  It's all getting scarily real!  I'm also working on my pitches/query letter - the is a great place for heaps of helpful (de)constructive criticism on how and how not to do it.  I'm going to edit one more chapter of Hospital Corners this afternoon and then I'll be working my way through her archives for more useful titbits.

For those who are interested (and don't mind finding out the ending of Hospital Corners), here's my current draft synopsis. 

HOSPITAL CORNERS explores the lives of two women with mental health problems, from multiple viewpoints.

Miss Esme Smith arrives at her local hospital on a winter’s night.  The hospital has changed a great deal since her previous visit, and she feels old, anxious and confused as she tries to make her way around the unfamiliar buildings.  On her wanderings, she sees other patients and we learn of their reasons for being in hospital.  Esme’s hopes of a short stay are dashed when she’s detained by Dr Suzannah Bailey, who’s convinced Esme tried to kill herself.

Suzannah has her own medical issues, but tries to hide them under a professional front.  She lives her life by rules and regulations, strict order and discipline.  It doesn’t make her popular amongst her staff in the busy A&E department.

Charge Nurse Julie Simpson hates the fact Dr B checks up on every patient and obviously doesn’t trust her to make correct diagnoses.  Dr Alex Stevens shares this frustration when Suzannah moves Esme from under his care.  Suzannah’s decision to retain Esme in the crowded A&E department is professional suicide, and neither Alex nor Julie can understand her reasoning.

Suzannah spends hours trying to understand Esme’s case, stealing personal diaries to help her in her quest.  At this point, it becomes clear that the other patients “seen” by Esme are actually hallucinations and memories of her own life-story.  Esme suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and has been in and out of hospital for most of her life. 

Julie and Alex team up, concerned over Suzannah’s disintegrating behaviour.  Alex reveals that he was once in a relationship with Suzannah, but it ended due to her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  He knows that Suzannah is only concerned with Esme’s case because she believes it will help her solve her own mental health problems.  Julie and Alex confront Suzannah, who breaks down and confesses that she, too, suffers from BPD. 

Alex persuades her to look at Esme’s case with an open mind.  Suzannah agrees and meets with Esme, trying to look at her as a face, not a case.  The rest of Esme’s life-story is revealed, including the fact she tried to commit suicide as a child.  Suzannah realises she’s in a strong position to recover from her condition, and is determined to move on with her life instead of denying she has problems.

Esme’s second husband, Brian, arrives at the hospital and explains that Esme suffers from dementia.  While Esme believes it’s a winter’s night, it’s actually spring.  When faced with Brian, she doesn’t recognise him, first believing him to be her father and then to be a stranger.  In the final scene, the only one written directly from Esme’s viewpoint, Esme stands up to her reflection in the mirror, banishing her BPD demons.  But as she looks away from the mirror, her memories fade and she’s left once more as a confused and elderly woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment