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Whoring for Feedback

**Edit note** The precis originally posted has been replaced with a New & Improved version.

I am trying to sell the book I'm writing and I need to come up with a precis. I've written the following, and I need a few pipples to check it out and tell me
Mitos del Pueblo is a collection of stories cut with a scythe from ancient Greece and pasted with adobe into the Mexico of the 1920s and 1930s. As with the stories of the Greek pantheon, these mitos involve a small group of people whose lives weave and layer on top of each other like the blue water and the red earth and the iron gray sky, none of which could exist in the same way without the others.

Orfeo begins the book by taking a job as a singer at the nightclub Zeus and his wife have opened in the town. But Orfeo’s happiness can’t last, and after he leaves town we turn our gaze to Zeus and the birth of Athena. In Greece Zeus may be supreme among the gods, but in Mexico, he is the alcoholic husband of a long-suffering woman who will use this baby as a lesson to him. The birth of Perseponia gives another kind of object lesson: that losing a child to Hades needn’t involve death, but is always painful. Separation is painful for the child too. Medea leaves her controlling father for a handsome stranger, but being the neglected daughter of a rich, powerful man does not adequately prepare her for being the neglected wife of a rich, powerful man. Our last view of the town is when Ares comes to take the corrupt police force in hand. And while he is there, he begins taking the women of the town in hand. Ares thinks that he must choose between Aphrodite, the sexually magnetic wife of another man, and Athena, a young woman who thinks herself his equal. But is the choice his?

For most people, life in a small, semi-rural town is an endless blur of colors. Pink and yellow springs of flowers, green summers, red and brown autumns, gray winters over and over, year after year. If you hold very still and look at them very closely, you can tease out the flashes of gold, streaks of cobalt blue, gleaming bronzes that lurk inside the houses, around the corners, in the fields under the stars. Every town might be Olympus if looked at in the right light of a day two thousand years ago.

I'm just looking for feedback on the form and content of the synopsis. The stories have already been written and aren't open for discussion. Thanks in advance!

**Edit note** The precis originally posted has been replaced with a New & Improved version.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2004 04:45 pm (UTC)
I posted a long, detailed critique, which seems to have disappeared. DO you have comments screened, or did LJ just eat my critique?
May. 25th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
Apparently LJ just ate your critique. I've noticed that any post of mine that took more than 20 minutes and contained at least one piece of amazing wit and/or sage advice is automatically flushed from both LJ and my brain.

It's a feature.
May. 25th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)
Bloody hell. OK, here's the fast summary, before it all goes out of my mind.

There's an irony here that virtually all my concerns are straight from Aristotle. Dramatic unities. Dramatic reversal. Protagonist and antagonist.

I'd like a stronger sense of the story arc of the book as a whole. As it stands, we start with a new nightclub and end with corrupt cops. The story doesn't seem to conclude; it just peters out. I'd like to see a stronger sense of the causality of that. Or is the organization thematic?

I'd also like a stronger feeling for who are the central figures. Is this the story of Zeus and Era and their descendants? of Orfeo and his brother? of the two families in conflict? of the town?

A lot of the issues could be resolved by having a central intelligence telling the stories. Perfect role for Mercury. Perhaps he could tell a newcomer to town how the revolution started ("It all started when an Argentinean couple came to town . . . ") -- or identify certain ruined houses, rundown dance halls, etc.
May. 25th, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC)
Okay, I can understand your points, but the fault obviously lies with my precis, as I have never in my life done one.

The difficulty is that this is not one continuous narrative. It is four entirely separate narratives told from entirely separate points of view by people who happen to be in and from the same town, so the "story" as a whole doesn't just peter out, each one has an ending. But it ends just like life does, with the excitement dying down and people going back to what they were doing.

And I just realized that I left out one more of the stories. Damn!

I guess I need more help than I thought. The problem is that I don't know how to properly convey the dramatic irony, etc. of five different stories in 500 words.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )