12.29.2006

HH Com 573

When an empire defeats a neighboring nation, the winning army marches home in triumph for a week of parades and celebration before the victorious soldiers trickle back to their farms and businesses. What happens to the grunts on the losing side?

Stranded in the victor's territory, Jaken, Halver and Kesi are used to fighting for their lives, but this time, a rising wind of political turmoil and racial tension is putting what remains of their homeland, along with the rest of the Empire's diverse working population, at risk. The subtle signs hint at a single powerful manipulator nudging the situation in a direction that will make the trio miss the good old days of fighting a hopeless war.

Magic is a tool for the influential and the legendary. The three discarded soldiers will have to make do with wit, steel and luck. It's got to turn out better than last time.


This is too removed and distant from the actual story to be a hook. You've got a good idea but this doesn't let it show off much.

9 comments:

Luc2 said...

I actually liked this. The question at the end of the first paragraph is good, and the "miss the good old days of fighting a hopeless war"-part.
Too bad. I wanted to see pages.

Good luck, writer.

Anne said...

You've got a terrific idea. I agree with MS. I'd love to see this on a more personal level with the three soldiers.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how things operate in fantasy worlds, but in this one the winning army (like, oh, say, the Romans) would be rewarded with land, move in, and marry a local girl. THAT was how you held on to what you won. No one marched home, because you joined the army to GET a home.

I strongly suggest the writer read some real history and extrapolate from there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. (Miss Snark, you're very gracious. I was kinda expecting a 'WTF?'.)

This is a very educational experience. As soon as I saw a few good examples, I could think of a dozen ways to improve this hook.

*heads back to the ol' drawing board*

~Nancy said...

I like the idea, too. But as Miss Snark and anne said, I'd bring it to a more personal level. I want to see this from the soldiers' eyes, as you intimated in the first paragraph.

And...a few more details, too, about where they are, that sort of thing.

This sounds like a good story. Good luck with it!

~JerseyGirl

~Nancy said...

Whoops, one last thing. This sentence had me intrigued: It's got to turn out better than last time.

That would make me read at least the first page or two.

~JerseyGirl

jamiehall said...

I certainly sense a good idea here. You just need to execute the hook better. The good news: I don't think you're going to have a problem convincing publishers and agents that your book is different from all the other fantasy books about wars.

Anonymous said...

The first Anonymous has a good point, and it's hard to get all the fine points of grand strategy across in a 250-word hook.

The Empire in my story has (not entirely unlike the Romans), both a professional military composed of career soldiers and officers (in this world, tithed to the army by each major family, delivered for training at the age of twelve) and a more temporary army (here, raised by levies). Unlike the case with the Romans, magic allows for fairly speedy transport of people to well-known locations, allowing the use of temporary troops who were needed at home for the growing season. (Think Britain in 1066, when Harold had to send most of his levied troops home.) In our world, this would have been impractical over long distances. That's where the fantasy elements change things a bit.

Once an area is subdued, the Empire sends the temporary troops home, well-burdened with loot, and sends in disciplined career soldiers trained in policing, along with teams of bureaucrats. Over the generations, if all goes well, the conquered people blend into the Corvan Empire. The Empire's not so interested in taking land per se; it's interested in a regular supply of raw materials (metal, wood, slaves) from subjugated territories. The Corvans have enough trouble keeping their population levels high enough to properly occupy their own territory, but that's another part of the story.

dana p said...

Hey, I think I saw this -- in a completely different form -- over at EE's place. I liked it there, and I like it again here (although this version is very skimpy on details). Good luck with your next iteration, author. I look forward to reading the book some day.