At least we're not the only people with this problem. Someone on a mailing list just asked the group for help identifying the title of "a time-travel movie" which "takes place at a party". I could only sympathize. Is anything more frustrating than trying to use IMDb when you don't know the title, the director or actors? In my experience searching IMDb armed with just a plot is fool's errand territory. With luck, the database may remind you of a couple movies you had forgotten.
Are you burdened with a years long search for the title of a book, story or movie? If so, you might want to write about it in the Comments. Someone may know the answer.
The titles and authors of four stories have eluded me for years.
When I was in college, I read a pastiche of Homer's "Iliad" set in modern times or rather what was modern times back then. Really all I remember about this book is characters talking and flirting at parties. Rereading is pretty low priority. I would just like to know the author's name.
A girl (?) received counsel from a sage(?) or wise animal. They told her/him that the solution was "to call a spade a spade." If you named the fake person with their real identity--aka that they were a gargoyle or whatever they were--they lost their power.
Does anyone remember a book based on that garbled description?
For years, I was convinced the book's title was either "The Octagon Room" or "The Octagon House" but trying to use that title to search for the book didn't help. I have no clue re the rest of the plot or the author. It's not Andre Norton, who actually did write a book with that title--which is probably why I latched on to it as the title of my mystery book.
The last mystery story is the one I would like most to solve.
I bought a paperback of fantasy stories in very late 2000 or 2001. The largest entry was either a novelette or a novella. I lean toward the latter. The author was a well-respected fantasy author but I have no idea who she is. Based on when I bought the book, I assume it was published in 1999 or 2000. I wonder how many fantasy anthologies were published during those years. Anyway, I told a teenaged girl how good the story was & she asked to borrow the book. I lost contact with her shortly after that and she never returned it.
I recall a substantial part of the plot compared to my other mysterious books. Does any of this sound familiar? I would so love to know who wrote this story!
The protagonist is a young woman being held captive in a tiny suite of rooms on the top floor of a keep. The story is entirely in her POV. It's winter, brutally cold and her garments aren't made for the season. If she wants to see outside she has to step out on to a tiny balcony. The balcony offers no escape route but she can look down at a small building surrounded by a high wall. (A wing of her building?)
Within that wall a man older than she is and of some importance is being held captive. He walks about the bit of grounds every day. Eventually he looks up when she's on the balcony and sees her. He takes care to look away and never calls out to her--possibly to prevent their captors from realizing they've seen each other?
Periodically, a man with a guard visits the woman. He asks her questions she can't answer, in fact questions she doesn't understand. Back when I read this, I theorized that the woman might have amnesia about recent events in her past, severe enough that she couldn't understand the context the questions. Near the end of the story, I began wondering if her captors might have the wrong person in custody. Her interrogator frightens her because he has say over her living conditions, possibly her life, and because he gets increasingly frustrated with each visit. I don't remember him physically hurting her. I think, maybe, he can put psychological pressure on her via magic. Or not.
My remaining memories of the plot are pretty scattered. The people in the castle are at war, likely with people in another part of their own country. The captive man is of high rank, perhaps an earl, and they may be holding him for ransom in the European middle ages sense. His son/nephew visits him briefly. The earl has much more freedom in his captivity than the heroine does. He uses it to send blankets and warm clothes up to her. At their traditional winter feast (Yule?) she receives a basket of non-prisoner type food from him and an encouraging note. I think she's able to send a note in return.
She guesses that their captors have lost the war when the earl is released and rides away. Eventually she's freed from her living quarters. Having nowhere to go or rather not knowing where home is, possibly due to amnesia, she stays in the keep. She spends her days half-expecting and hoping the earl will send for her. He doesn't, but news arrives that he and his bride-to-be have been reunited and that their wedding is imminent. Giving up the now obviously misplaced hope of the earl's return, the protagonist begins working in the keep. (perhaps as a maid?)
A very dissatisfying end for someone hoping for a romantic conclusion!
Now it's your turn, oh fellow losers of plots or titles or names of characters and actors. Have fragments of stories eluded you for years to the point where you no longer expect a solution?
Take heart! Describe your plight. Maybe someone will know exactly what you're talking about.