Novel Project Outline

Oh yikes, here it is….


Title: Elaine or For the Love of Elaine  

Author: Abigail Grace Kenyon

Genre: Drama, historical fiction, mystery, crime

Audience: 12­+




Elaine Whitney: Sweet and gentle, Elaine is the orphaned child of the previous chauffeur and his wife. At eighteen, she graduates from an all girl’s school and comes back home to the Chadwick estate. However, she is haunted by fear. One morning, she’s found dead on the floor of her room.


Richard Ferrell: This detective is renown for his powers of deduction: he never misses a detail. As a weathered, grim professional, no one suspects him of a terrible crime. But upon meeting Elaine he becomes obsessed, and, upon her rejecting him, he staggers onto a destructive hurtful path of no return.


Ian Donald (tentative): He is the Chadwick estate’s new gardener, the son of Irish (Scottish? Not sure) immigrants. Quiet and reserved, Ian is in his late twenties. He has a hot temper but never inflicts it on others. His grim and strong appearance tends to frighten people away. Nevertheless, Elaine sees past him stoicism and begins a promising friendship with him. For Ian, their friendship might mean something more.


Gifford Boswell: Boswell has been a faithful butler to the Chadwick family for fifty years. At seventy and slowing down, he is respected by all. Fifteen years ago, he took in the chauffeur’s orphaned girl and has raised her ever since: she was his only joy. He has worked up a mutual respect and silent admiration between himself and Ian. When Elaine is found dead, Boswell falls apart in grief.


Vera Sloan: A platinum blonde with a bob, Vera feels she wasn’t made for the kitchen—yet that’s where she works as the cook. She was raised in a large, hungry, and frustrated family in a one room apartment. From the age of fifteen, she’s been on her own. Bitter and with a steel determination to escape her station, she plays the part of a flirty, flighty hair-brained girl, setting her sights on Detective Ferrell. Her resents Elaine for her sweet disposition and lack of aspiration.



Point of View

Third person omniscient, shifting focus on the different characters.



Elaine takes place in the 1930s, and though I haven’t thought of a specific city, it takes place in New England.


Plot Outline

          Her lifeless form lay crumbled at the foot of the bed. Her face white, her lips ashen, her hand desperately clutching the knit bed coverlet…

Elaine Whitney—young, sweet, innocent—was murdered in cold blood. Now, Gifford Boswell the butler and her dotting guardian shuffles through his duties—failing to complete them with alacrity for the first time in fifty years. Ian Donald, the grim gardener, clips away at cream roses—the terror-stricken face of Elaine forever stained into his memory. Vera Sloan, sullen and bitter—her eyes hold the red-hot embers of a raging anger. Richard Ferrell, the newly-hired Chadwick family personal detective, takes control of the case. A sick obsession drives him to see the case through—to see who is tossed the weight of his dear Elaine’s death.



man vs. man: (major) Ferrell forces himself on Elaine and then murders her (Ferrell vs. Elaine). Ferrell implicates Ian in the murder, and Ian tries to prove Ferrell guilty (Ferrell vs. Ian).

man vs. himself: (major) Vera and Ferrell fight their own insurmountable guilt.



Love: Throughout the story, Ian and Boswell’s selfless love is contrasted with Ferrell and Vera’s selfish love—or lust.

Guilt: The destructive gnawing of guilt drives Vera to tell the truth whereas it drives Ferrell near insane.


Literary Devices

Symbolism: different colors of roses will represent the different kinds of love.

Foreshadowing: Vera’s name means truth and she eventually is the one who reveals the truth.

Dramatic Irony: While the reader will know what all the different characters are doing and solve the mystery, many of the characters themselves will still be in the dark.




           This morning I had three story-lines spinning around like flashing lights in my head. I ditched all three and decided to make my idea for an extended and glorified mystery mansion assignment my novel project. Hopefully, that was a correct decision—and hopefully, I’m not swallowed by the amounting tragedy.

“The plot is intriguing, thrilling, and compelling. I felt as though I was solving the mystery along with the characters. Oh, speaking of which—the characters! Oh my, each has a rich backstory and seems to reach out and shake your hand—they’re that realistic. Honest to goodness, I couldn’t stop reading. And I would absolutely buy a copy if she plans on publishing.” –The Fictional Number One Fan of My Writing  


6 thoughts on “Novel Project Outline

  1. Abby, I am soooo excited to read your novella!!!! This sounds soo interesting. I cannot wait to read it as you write it!!! You truly have a way of writing anything with grace and skill.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Abby — I am a wholehearted lover of the detective novel, so I’m intrigued and riveted by this plan.
    I don’t think I’ll be too far off saying that quote at the end! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Abby, I’m so excited to read this!! I am a sucker for mystery stories, though I am the most oblivious person and am always surprised when the culprit is revealed. Also, I am from New England originally (I moved when I was 9) so I whole-heartedly approve of the setting!! Can’t wait!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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