Here is a summary the first 3 checkpoints (Act 1) of the mystery I am working on in my Mystery Writing Class. Any suggestions/comments are appreciated.
Theme: Love trandscends time
Protagonist flaw: Nate lacks self confidence, initiative
Premise: What if Nate's true love is trapped in the past and he cannot overcome his self-doubt/lack of confidence in time to save her?
Nate stared in confusion at the ring in his hand. Just moments ago it had been in the painting, resting in the palm of the young girl so beautifully portrayed there. As he studied her face, a sense of her hopelessness washed over him. He looked around quickly to see if anyone else was in the Museum. Alone, he put the ring in his pocket and slowly turned to leave. His footsteps hesitated momentarily as he heard a woman crying. Closing the door behind him he thought “coward” as he walked away.
Nate is the lead landscape designer at Hillside Museum in Connecticut. He is following a legacy of his father back to great grandfather who were all gardeners/caretakers of the grounds at Hillside Museum. He supervises a crew of two and a host of volunteers who tend the ground and gardens. He is a loner and guards his space and time carefully. He is a gentle dreamer, not a do-er, much to the dismay of Rennie.
Rennie is the Program Director at the Museum and she is frustrated with Nate because he has not fully completed the landscape plans for the grounds for the 100 year celebration set for next week. She continually has to push him to discuss and finalize these plans. She has lately found him inside the Museum standing in front of a one hundred year old painting dated 1909 of a young girl titled “Anna”. She has told him his job is in jeopardy if he does not have the grounds in perfect shape in time.
There are a number of businessmen and townspeople who sit on the board, volunteer, and contribute to the Museum, and have a stake in the outcome of the 100 year celebration.
Nate is once again drawn to the painting. As he stands before it, he hears her voice saying, "Please help me. You are my only hope." His instinct is to flee.