12.28.2006

HH Com 542

A literary novel, it is a murder mystery where the narrator considers why cowhands are tall in the saddle (even though tall men are out of place on the range) and ponders why Descartes' theory of the concurrence of mind and body is particularly relevant in any consideration of the Western cowhand … among other things.

(your hook starts here despite the deleight of dualism on a palomino)
Ten years after gunfighter Jed Matthews broke jail and escaped hanging for a murder he didn't commit, Jed returns to Independence to determine who should live – and who must die.

For 72 hours, three generations of Western men molded by a violent frontier they collectively won or by a civilizing (wtf??) West examine the secrets they kept about the murder and confront those who have betrayed them and face those whom they have betrayed. .

The sheriff who imprisoned Jed (and who raised Jed after Jed's parent's deaths) tries to convince Stacy, a greenhorn kid Jed saved rom death ten years ago, he can not stop Jed's hanging. But once Stacy realizes Jed saving his life had caused Jed's death sentence,
Stacy risks his life to save Jed, endangering them all. (and stops here)

Throughout the story, the narrator polishes the legend of Jed Matthews while Jed questions the real reason for his return and seems to contradict the narrator's story until myth and reality finally become one around a desolate desert grave where Jed Matthews and the secrets
of the town of Independence are at last laid to rest.


Too much going on here.
Regardless of your narrative structure, focus on Jed. He's back, and now there's hell to pay. Does hell take Amex?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ten years after gunfighter Jed Matthews broke jail and escaped hanging for a murder he didn't commit, Jed returns to Independence to determine who should live – and who must die.


High Plains Drifter

I Said said...

Yeah, I got Clint Eastwood's face in my mind instantly too.

Even if you could do this well, this hook is so mired down in who's who that I lost interest.

Dave said...

PAragraph 2 is too many words. It should be like:
"For 72 hours, three generations of Western men, molded by a violence and deceit, confront their secrets -- betrayal and murder."

I'm not sure the paragraph "The sheriff who imprisoned" is present day or ten years before. It's flabby, way too many thoughts running around in it.

I do like this piece - - "until myth and reality finally become one around a desolate desert grave where Jed Matthews and the secrets
of the town of Independence are at last laid to rest."

I think it should be: "Myth and reality join at a desolate desert grave where Jed lays the secrets of Independence to rest."

Dave said...

I forgot to make a comment about this line - - "ponders why Descartes' theory of the concurrence of mind and body is particularly relevant in any consideration of the Western cowhand"

Does the author realize that most people know Descartes said "I think therefore I am" and nothing else about him? They don't even know that he is French. They think he's Roman. Go Figure~!

A philosophy western will not sell, never. A western with philosophical underpinings will sell but only if the readers come to understand the philosophical underpinings through reading - not being told.

Great Ceaser's Ghost, you'll scare your readers away with that line. You may want to say that you've created a western with cowboys that talk like the women in "Steel Magnolias" but you better not. Cowboys don't admit to being philosophical, they just are.

jeanne said...

Dave, Love your line:
"Cowboys don't admit to being philosophical, they just are."

Anonymous said...

Recommendation: get an English major to edit this for you before sending it in. PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

Fourth paragraph: you say "Jed" eight times in two sentences.

Fifth paragraph: three times in one sentence.

It does make the sentences perfectly clear, but - my goodness - it's sooooo distracting.

Anonymous said...

This writing is nowhere near ready for representation. A few of the sentences don't even make sense.