HH Com 430

Five orphaned siblings, foraging the hills of Pennsylvania in the1890’s, find employment on a large estate. There they meet Isabel, a fanatic raising money, funds for the revolution in The Pearl of the Antilles. She hires the oldest brother to smuggle arms into Cuba and, soon after, the remaining siblings discover the perversions of the estate’s heir and are consequently scattered across the globe.

Severed from their fiercely protective brothers and sisters, their character flaws and weaknesses threaten their survival. Raised by a military man, the two sisters face additional obstacles, as does Isabel, by refusing to adopt subservient roles. Their defiance periodically evokes men’s rage, illustrated when one is tossed into the Chicago River’s icy waters, and another is blinded then institutionalized and left to converse with the insane. The brothers flout danger: braving stormy seas and the same assassins Spain has unleashed at Jose Marti; riling the Spaniards with Yellow Journalistic exaggerations; and abetting Isabel when she cries, “You have to get me aboard The Maine, tonight!”

Meanwhile, on Havana’s sultry back streets, bone weary from three years of rebellion, Isabel’s Cuban lover wonders if he’s lost her in his obsessive search for the black-hearted man whose betrayal led his friends, Marti, and resplendent General Antonio Maceo to their deaths.

They were humbled into solemn desperation. To what lengths would love compel one to go, in order to save another? Whose prayers to be reunited would be answered? My novel, “Sand of the Pearl”, is their tale.

What, no mention of the kitchen sink?

You've got so much going on here it's hard..no, impossible, to follow.
Who is the main character? Please don't tell me it's five orphans. Pick one.

Who's the bad guy?

This is a mess.


Anonymous said...

It's extremely difficult to use a group of people as a protagonist. It has been done (small towns, ball teams, etc), but the entire group must function as a single character with a single motivation. Not the best choice for a first novel.

good luck.

Anonymous said...

I looks like you have three or four stories going on at the same time. They're interesting stories, but you will probably want to split them up. Maybe you can do a series of books. Sounds exciting, but if you have that many main characters, then it usually turns into a long book, maybe a trillogy like Lord of the Rings because you have to follow the characters around. I don't think I'd be trying to do a trillogy as a first novel.

Anonymous said...

You should know by now Her Snakiness doesn't go for multiple protags. Where Eagles Dare, The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven, or The Last Of The Mohicans would never have made it off the slush pile.

I recognoze your hook from one of the e-mails Miss Snark posted before the COM started. You should have listened to the people that told you to just keep the hook to the protags that make it.

Twill said...

This sounded quite interesting to me. In Orson Scott Card's MICE theory, this is a Milieu story - the milieu being Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American war. 1890 Cuba is the main character, and the orphans exist to show off Cuba's various features at that time.

Miss Snark appears to only be interested in Character and Event stories. (Except when something else steals her or KY's interest.)

It might help your novel to take *each* character and write the best hook you can for that character. Lead your query with the best single hook, and follow with the fact that it is about that character and his/her four siblings. There will be plenty of time to show the other four character arcs if the agent or puclisher wants to read more.