12.23.2006

HH Com 363

AGONY AT ANTIETAM takes place during the Civil War Maryland campaign of September, 1862 and culminates with the bloodiest single day in American history, the Battle of Antietam. Two soldiers with a mysterious connection, a stoic Rebel private and a Yankee lieutenant, a tortured genius, must fight each other for victory, survival, and the love of the same woman. The Rebel must also avenge the murder of his brother at the hands of renegades from the same side while the Yankee must flee military detectives who wrongfully accuse him of murder.


This isn't a hook, it's a description. Be specific. Focus on the characters and what's at stake. "tortured genius" is the worst sort of cliche. And "love of the same woman" is such an over used trope that it should never be used agaian.

3 comments:

Writerious said...

A private and a lieutenant are in love with the same woman?

Not in those days.

See, an officer would be from an upper class family and would only consider marrying an upper class woman (and if he sported with a lower class woman, he'd never dream of marrying her). A private would be from the lower classes, and a lower class man might love and admire an upper class woman, but he'd never have a ghost of a chance of actually having a relationship with her.

So unless their honey is a "camp follower" who makes her living in a "horizontal occupation" and they both have the hots for her, that premise isn't going to work.

Angus Weeks said...

I was confused as to how many people there were.

I counted two mysteriously connected soldiers, plus a rebel private, plus a Yankee lieutenant, and yet another person who is a tortured genius.

I felt sorry for the girl. She'd sure have a tale to tell.

I think you need to find a way for the characters (I think there are really only two men?) to come through individually. Perhaps describe each and his raison d'etre in separate sentences?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the grand finale involves 2 determined men wading through all that blood and chaos to swordfight in the middle of the battlefield as limbs and cannonballs fly around them. Very dramatic. But only knowing what we've heard of background, their uncanny ability to recognize each other among enemy ranks and meet up strains belief. Maybe that's not what happens at all. Maybe we need to know a little more.