I am currently working on a novel, and I would like people's opinion on the main plotline, please tell me what you think about it and what you would change. It takes place in an unknown area in england in the late victorian era.
Eliza is a 12 year old girl whose wealthy parents died under mysterious circumstances during dinner; One second they are eating, the next they are dead, their faces buried in their plates. She gets moved to an old estate that was changed to and orphanage known as Duestergate Manor (an orphanage that looks after orphaned children with rich parents or ones who have a high status) after the pervious owner, the widowed woman who runs the orphanage's father in law died after cooking himself in an oven in an attempt to kill himself without being noticed. While a servant girl, Natalie, leads her up to the old manor, she sees a strange boy with dark hair and pale skin stare at her from a window in the east wing, even though all the bedrooms and living accommodations for the few orphans at Duestergate Manor are in the West wing. Natalie tells her there's no one there and says that Eliza must be tired, so she brings her to her room, where she meets her room mate, a little girl named Alice who is bullied and picked on by the other orphans as she's the youngest and completely penniless, due to her uncle stealing her inheritance. Eliza quickly befriend's Alice and takes on the role similar to an older sister, and she teaches Alice to read, whose parents had died before they had taught her how.
After a month, Eliza starts seeing strange things around Duestergate, such as hands that appear on doorframes and slip out of sight the moment she looks at them and what she thinks are giant spider legs that disappear around corners. She tells Ms. Duestergate,the woman who runs the orphanage, but she thinks that Eliza is being dellusional. However, after Eliza continuously insists that she is seeing those things, Ms. Duestergate starts getting worried and arranges a psychologist to see her, as there was another child who had made claims like that before, though she refuses to tell Eliza more than that. On the day of her session, she had already organized to go berry picking with Alice in the woods behind the house that afternoon, so she tells Alice to go to the woods and wait for her, and that she could already start picking berries, but that she shouldn't eat any as they might be poison.
Alice goes to the forest and waits for hours, but Eliza doesn't arrive. Dinner time is drawing near, and Alice is already hungry, so she decides to take just one berry that looks juicy and delicious, and eats it. After consuming it, she starts feeling slightly dizzy, so she rushes back to the manor, instantly regretting her impatience. Eliza arrives back in her room that evening after a session that took much longer than she had hoped due to the psychologist trying to use hypnosis to free her of her "illusions" as he called it, and finds Alice screaming in her bed in agony with a doctor next to her. After the doctor tells Eliza what had happened, Alice stops screaming and dies, then is buried the same evening in the manor's graveyard. Eliza can't sleep due to her feeling of guilt, and spends the night at Alice's grave despite the rain. In the middle of the night, she falls asleep and Natalie finds her and brings her back to her bed.
the next day, Eliza wakes up and sees what she believes is Alice's ghost walking through the door, so she follows it all the way to the west wing where she finds a secret door in what appears to be a dead end into which Alice's ghost has vanished to. She opens it up and sees the boy she saw on the day she arrived in the middle of the pitch black room with a candle in one hand a book in another. He looks up at her and she thinks she sees the spider leg like things move around the boy as he does this. He tells her to close the door as she is letting the sunlight in, which could hurt his guardian, killing him. She doesn't understand what he's talking about but does as he says. He introduces himself as Seth, and tells her that he is locked away and kept out of sight because he is 'differen't from the other children. He tells her that he is Ms. Duesterwoods nephew and warns her to listen to the spirit, before resuming to his book. Eliza is fascinated by him, despite the fact that what he says doesn't make sense most of the time, and visits him on a regular basis, and soon enough they become friends. One night, she wakes up to the sound of books falling out of the bookshelf, and sees an eerie and disturbingly deformed creature with long fingers standing in front of Alice's bed. It tells her that it has a key to the world of her heart and will give it to her in exchange for something of hers, so she gives her her book of fairy tales, the last thing that her parents had given her, and she receives the key. The spirit gives her one last warning before he vanishes: She shouldn't enter the darkness in her heart.
After the spirit disappears, Eliza fins a strange, up side down heart shaped door in the back of the room's fireplace and opens it with her key, allowing her to enter a very vibrant world that she can carve out with her imagination, and her parents and Alice exist there as well, as well as Seth, though he seems more drawn back, like he doesn't belong there. In the middle of the vibrant world is a large black castle, which she assumes is the darkness in her heart, so she doesn't enter it and leaves the world of her heart instead.
The next day she visits Seth again and tells him about it, and he believes her, and tells her that the reason she shouldn't enter the castle is that her dakest secrets and fears, and knowledge that she has in her subconscious mind exist there. It is dangerous, but if she enters and survives, she may find out about her parents death. She takes the risk and enters the castle, where she sees the truth behind things in like memories in a third person, and finds out that her parents were poisoned by Ms. Duestergate, who had visited her home the day of her parents death with a girl that she claimed her parents had wanted to adopt: Alice. She was invited in, and it seemed for a moment that Alice would have been adopted, but then Ms. Duestergate slips into the kitchen and poisons the food, aside from the salad which belongs to Eliza as she is a vegetarian. She also finds out that Ms. Duestergate is in fact a demon who steals money from rich orphans and eats their souls once they come of age.
Ms. Duestergate, in her more demonic form, appears before her and stabbes into her heart with a long, dagger like fingernail, before it all vanishes and Eliza is left dying in the middle of a dark stone hall. As she draws her final breath, the spirit appears before her and tells her that it is willing to be Eliza's guardian,as she used to be Alice before her soul was eaten by Ms. Duestergate. It then takes the key to Eliza's heart and plunges it into the hole in her chest and turns it. Eliza returns to the real world, but now has the ability to see the world in which she is meant to be, which is a slight parallel to her current world, but a lot more fantastic and colorful. She understands what happened to Seth and tells him about what happened, and Seth agrees that Ms. Duestergate should be destroyed, but more out of revenge than morality, though he doesn't tell Eliza what Ms. Duestergate has done to him. They find Ms. Duestergate in the garden and once she sees them she turns into the demon that she really is. She tries to attack the children, but the guardians of Eliza and Seth kill her the friends get the other orphans and bring them to safety inside the manor.
After Ms. Duestergate died, Natalie took over the orphanage and let Seth leave his room and share Eliza's, which he happily agrees to. The two of them lose the ability to get into contact with direct sunlight as their guardians would otherwise burn up and they would die themselves, so they are limited to leaving the manor only on cloudy days. As they take a walk in the forest behind the manor, Eliza notices that strange creatures appeared around the manor which she at first believes belong to her world, but then her guardian tells her that she released the fairies from the book Eliza gave it and allows them to spread out into the world once more.
I like that this it'll take place in an orphanage. :> At first, I was tentative because orphans are everywhere, but the setting actually sounds really interesting. Sounds a little creepy, which I love. Dark shadows, etc.
I say, go for it! Looks like you already have a good bit of it figured out. Don't wait for someone' approval before writing something you want to do! First and foremost, you should make sure you're doing something that you like. If you think it's cool, don't hesitate~