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Plot - You don't know me

Updated: 1 day ago

Night photo shot of the Shanghai skyline, with skyscrapers overlooking the river.

Literary plot genre: adventure; romance; thriller | Shanghai, 2022

Main characters

Laura Mandelli is a young cook in love with Asia. She buys a tiny street food stall on a commercial street in the city and starts selling Italian cuisine. She speaks little of the locals' language and is often laughed at. However, she is a stubborn woman who is undaunted and pursues her project.

Hi Hon is the cook of a small family-run restaurant located across the street from Laura's kiosk. Hi Hon is tireless: she takes care of her parents, the business and even the needs of her teenage sister, a real handful. Hi Hon is initially annoyed by the arrival of the foreign contestant, but their kitchens are within sight and the two can constantly observe each other.

Slowly, the young man is charmed by the girl's manners and also by her cooking skills; while Laura is impressed by the boy's vitality and by that strange family.

The call to adventure

Hi Hon and Laura date and fall in love, their passion for cooking and for Asia uniting them. Hi Hon's parents are elderly, and when their only son introduces Laura as his betrothed, no one objects. Even Gin, Hi Hon's sister, begins to approach Laura; after all, she is the only woman with whom he can have an exchange.

Laura proves to be charming and very sweet. In agreement with her husband, she closes the kiosk to devote herself to the restaurant. But one day the local mob shows up to collect money loaned to Hi Hon to start the business and threatens to burn down the restaurant and kill the man. Laura who was at the market returns and witnesses the scene and the threats, and her intervention turns the tables.

The conflict

Laura proves to be a prepared and unscrupulous warrior: she sends three thugs to the hospital and puts the others on the run. Hi Hon realizes that the woman he married is not a sweet, helpless girl. Husband and wife discover that they know nothing about each other.

The truth finally emerges between the two: she is a former hit man forced to flee Europe, he is a hardened gambler who has lost money to return to moneylenders at the gambling tables. When the two are on the verge of separating, Gin is kidnapped by the criminals: they will release her for a ransom equal to ten times the debt incurred.

The key

Laura has a lot of money and can pay the ransom. But she knows she must devise a system to get out of the grip of blackmail. Having made the 'money/Gin' exchange, Laura drags her husband into a rousing adventure that leads her first to recover the money, and then to involve the police so that the gang can be broken up.

But when it all seems to be over, one of the bosses threatens Laura's life, and only Hi Hon's interposition prevents her from being killed, but he is badly shot. They have saved each other and the idea of separating is no longer among their future plans.


Even people we think we know can have shocking secrets. That's what happened to Laura and Hi Hon. And love will still prevail. Two lovers who think they know each other but don't, a lot of trouble coming their way, and a big city as a backdrop: these are the ingredients of a successful recipe.

Year, place, situation can be changed at will, as long as you focus on the two characters, pushing the reader to believe in a 'normal' reality that will later have to be disrupted. For instance, the place could be San Francisco during the Wild West period or Madrid at the end of the Second War.

Play with imagination and experiment. Finally, for this kind of plot, I suggest you use the omniscient point of view: it will make it easier for you to show the reader the reactions of the thugs or the police.


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