Hannah of Three Miserable Knobs
ROMANCE ADVENTURE HISTORICAL FICTION BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA
17th Century or Earlier
This a love and adventure story that follows Hannah's life through the late 1700s to the 1800s. She makes her way to America from Wales and finds both trusted allies and dangerous enemies throughout the course of her life. Her ability to know the difference keeps her alive.
Hannah, as a young girl, meets the love of her life and they make plans. Those plans face constant interruptions. Hannah is deported as an alleged prostitute, but escapes to a tobacco farm, holding slaves, where she tutors the children. Another danger and she is off to Elizabethtown by coach.
The book revolves around the two romance interests in her life and the intervening years between the two. Her first love follows and finds her, the book ends with Hannah's end, but the story is really resolved when her true love dies and her secret is revealed.
The story begins in a seaside village in Wales, from where Hannah makes her way to London and the Baltimore Maryland. She spends most of her adult life in the mountains of Western Maryland.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Main Character Details
Name: Hannah Pryor
Age: She is about 15 when the story begins
Key Traits: Educated,Faithful,Adventurous,Skillful,Confident,Complex,Decisive
Additional Character Details
Name: Reds Elliott
Age: He is about 16 when the story begins
Key Traits: Masculine,Engaging,Funny,Romantic,Charming,Educated,Honorable,Naive
Additional Character Details
Age: He is about 25 to 30, when he first appears.
Key Traits: Masculine,Adventurous,Sexy,Selfless,Confident,Complex,Romantic,Heroic,Leader,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
Hannah's curiosity causes the first of her adventures, but there are many as she goes from childhood to adulthood abruptly. Tough lessons for a woman in the world she faces follow her throughout the story, but she learns from each using the consequences as life referrals. She manages to survive rape, a rough sea voyage to the rebellious colonies, finds friends among slaves on a tobacco farm and with a widowed merchant in a growing town in Western Maryland. She becomes a rare female landowner, 77 acres of Three Miserable Knobs. Reds, her first love, a spoiled English boy, seems incapable of living up to his promises to her and the child they share, but does man-up eventually. He finds Hannah just as Arrow dies. Old habits are hard to break and his relapse in responsibility ends badly. Arrow, a tall, dark Native American becomes her rescuer when she nearly freezes to death during her retreat into the wild Maryland mountains. Their encounter leads to love and children, only one of whom survives. She is unable to return the favor, when he is fatally injured in an accident.
Hannah Pryor accidentally has a child with a man she shouldn't have. She searches for him after his promise of marriage only to get shipped off to America by her first love's awful brother. Thanks to many strangers' kindnesses she is able to make her way and start a new family in America. After the death of her new Native American husband, Hannah's first love finds her and they have many children together in a secret arrangement that protects Hannah's property.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The story's logline makes Hannah seem like she is fighting for survival often on an adventure, but she rarely even goes hungry and always has a place to stay. While she does get in a few scuffles, there is not a lot of tension or lasting trauma that stems from these injustices of being a woman in the Georgian era. Making her survival be more about finding her way in the world and knowing her own heart would more resemble her conflict than adventure and enemies pursuing her as that is a small portion of the novel.
Draw of Story
The time period of Colonial America and a single woman's perspective traveling to a plantation and finding love with a Native American are not commonly seen in the era which is usually dominated by Revolutionary War political drama and Indian War conflict. It is interesting that a love story turns into how a woman's priority became protecting her own interests and business that she earned without her husbands rather than being a domesticated wife.
The main character seems to be too level headed for many of the traumas that happen to her which undermine her emotional depth and the arc of the conflicts. For example she fixates on her first suitor more than the death of her child from being beaten and raped while pregnant. This does not seem to phase her as much as why her lover was unresponsive. By adding more reactions to the characters, the levels of different situations will be heightened and more impactful. This will help the characters show range and growth to make them dynamic instead of static.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that Hannah has to blend her two lives together even though they are worlds apart. She has made her own way in the world despite her circumstances at a time when women had little rights and she was in an unknown land against her will.
This could have a decent sized fan based for fans of historical dramas and or romance.
If made more historically accurate, this could have Awards potential for design and possibly acting as it has the range of The Revenant (which won a lot) just without the theme of revenge.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE REVENANT, THE NIGHTINGALE, OUTLANDER, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, FELICITY (MOVIE), THE WITCH, INTO THE WEST, BRIDGET JONES BABY,
What’s New About the Story
The character and resolve of Hannah Pryor is original in that she goes from being an unwed pregnant teenager from a small town in Wales to a businesswoman and landowner in Colonial America. To make her more compelling, more reactions to traumatic things that happen while she is trying to survive will make her more relatable as sometimes she is stone cold about things that would have lasting effects even to the level of PTSD such as miscarrying her child on a ship after being gang raped by her coworkers. She remembers her former children, but seems to adjust almost too well to America at times. Her setbacks rarely create setbacks that stick.
Hannah's ambition in an era of complete patriarchal rule is commendable. Her position as a business owner, entrepreneur, and homesteader are believably earned by the character through her hardwork and determination. She is also able to blend her two lives together when she is reunited with her former family.
Uniqueness of Story
The build up tension can be improved to make this a rare gem so that the drama is impactful and has levels. For example, when Ellen suspects that Hannah and John are having an affair, this lasts all of a couple pages and then it is smoothed over. Ellen is then suddenly supportive of the sister pursuing the deadbeat father of Hannah's secret lovechild who Ellen has to pretend is her own. By developing this problem of respectability towards society and Ellen's confusion and projection would contribute to a viable reason Hannah wouldn't be able to write home about her whereabouts or return for her daughter. Another might be as there is a sort of love triangle, touching more upon it, besides Reds getting drunk once and Hannah's feelings of abandonment would help deepen their relationship conflict.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
One change would be as the time period is the 1700s to 1800s to change the book profile's "17th century or Earlier" to match the storyline and accuracy of indentured servants existing alongside slaves in America. Creating more lasting consequences and continued reactions to past or ongoing events would help raise the stakes and show growth of the characters. For example Reds clearly has a gambling problem and drinking problem, but he is never given an intervention. Naming an American Indian something besides Arrow might be advisable. Also giving him a more dynamic arc rather than as a flat character whose personality in certain scenarios is just silently critiquing Western racism and needing a lot explained to him because he is an "outsider." The characters have certain conflicts that are repeat behavior that are forgiven too easily or brushed aside and accepted. Besides the example of Reds's alcoholism, another would be Hannah's choice to not have minimal contact with her daughter but not writing letters to her sister's house when she easily could have sent letters to maintain a relationship with her family back in Wales.