Destiny

Book Cover

HISTORICAL FICTION

18th Century,19th Century,Earlier 20th Century,17th Century or Earlier,1940s & '50s,Across Centuries

Randy Willis

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Logline

Destiny is a sweeping family saga that spans four centuries. It is the story of two great nations and Randy Willis's ancestor’s struggle from tyranny—religious and political. A powerful epic with love stories, battles, testimonies, drama, politics, history, and even humor. Inspired by true stories.

Genre

Historical Fiction

Short Summary

See Youtube video: https://youtu.be/jkzpyTJfvR0 December 25, 1941 The Ole Willis Place On Barber Creek Longleaf, Louisiana Ran Willis arises before sunrise, nestles next to the fireplace, with hot coffee—as alone as the morning star.


Destiny depicts real historical figures and actual events woven together with imaginary conversations using fiction’s storytelling techniques. It is a sweeping family saga that spans four centuries. Destiny is the story of two great nations and my ancestor’s struggle from tyranny.

Setting

England to Louisiana

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Joseph Willis

Age: 18 to 96

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Educated,Adventurous,Patriotic,Faithful,Funny,Romantic,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: James Bowie

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Patriotic

Additional Character Details

Name: Solomon Northup

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Heroic

Additional Character Details

Name: Edwin Epps

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Unapologetic,Power Hungry,Narcisstic,Blunt

Development Pitch

I’ve read that novels don’t need an introduction, but Destiny is more than a novel. It is three nonfiction novels. Truman Capote claimed to have invented this genre with his book In Cold Blood in 1965. Destiny depicts real historical figures and actual events woven together with imaginary conversations using fiction’s storytelling techniques. Destiny was inspired by true stories handed down by my ancestors. In some instances, it is 100% fiction. The trilogy was revised and expanded in 2021. Three Winds Blowing, for instance, is sixty pages longer than the original. It is a sweeping family saga that spans four centuries. Destiny is the story of two great nations, and my ancestor’s struggle from tyranny—religious and political. —Randy Willis, 2021 “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C. S. Lewis

About The Author

Randy Willis is as much at home in the saddle as he is in front of the computer where he composes his family sagas. Drawing on his family heritage of explorers, settlers, soldiers, cowboys, and pastors, Randy carries on the tradition of loving the outdoors and sharing it in the adventures he creates for readers of his novels. He is the author of Destiny, Beckoning Candle, Twice a Slave, Three Winds Blowing, Carolinas Wind, Louisiana Wind, The Apostle to the Opelousas, The Story of Joseph Willis, and many articles. Twice a Slave has been chosen as a Jerry B. Jenkins Select Book, along with four bestselling authors. Jerry Jenkins is the author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series. Twice a Slave has been adapted into a dramatic play at Louisiana College, by Dr. D. "Pete" Richardson (Associate Professor of Theater with Louisiana College). Randy Willis owns Randy Willis Music Publishing (an ASCAP-affiliated music publishing company) and Town Lake Music Publishing, LLC (a BMI-affiliated music publishing company). He is an ASCAP-affiliated songwriter. He was an artist manager. He is the founder of Operation Warm Heart, which feeds and clothes the homeless. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Our Mission Possible (empowering at-risk teens to discover their greatness) in Austin, Texas. He was a charter member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Willis Institute for Great Awakening Studies at Louisiana College. Randy Willis was born in Oakdale, Louisiana, and lived as a boy near Longleaf, Louisiana, and Barber Creek. He currently resides in the Texas Hill Country near his three sons and their families. He graduated from Angleton High School in Angleton, Texas, and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He was a graduate student at Texas State University for six years. He is the father of three sons and has five grandchildren.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: American Writers Publishing, LLC

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

978-1-7335674-6-6

Genre

RELIGION, DRAMA

Brief

The Willis family evolves for four centuries. Their livelihoods and survival taking them from the humble working class of London to the rural farm life of uncharted Louisiana. The generations of family make sure to keep their history alive through telling the next generation of their ancestors.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile is reflective of the trilogy however it could be improved by removing the youtube link in the short summary. If needed to be included it could be part of the pitch which more encapsulates the atmosphere and tone of the piece. The quotations in the pitch are applicable but the audience would get a better understanding of the story by showcasing an explanation of the theme behind the quote in how it relates to all three stories to form a cohesive whole outside of character relations.

Draw of Story

Many of the individual stories especially when survival was not always a certainty in the early days are intriguing because they contain an uncertainty and explore lesser known territories.

Possible Drawbacks

The overlapping timelines between the three books of the trilogy is a bit confusing structure wise, but perhaps the chronology and thematic arc will make the three pieces more unified naturally if altered into a different format.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that there are four generations of people that are interconnected and affected by history. The historical figure when they come in contact with the family members are unexpected.

Fanbase Potential

As a family drama this could potentially have a large fanbase if the theme is more concrete in how the stories are connected. For example the tale is called destiny and earlier characters discuss such sometimes, but there are few concrete examples about how a character is affected by destiny regardless of their choices to show the theme rather than talk about the theme. This destiny theme would allow more freedom of the timeline so that it wouldn't have to be linear.

Awards Potential

Although there is so much material, because the characters are in an extremely large ensemble there is not enough time for any to develop in order to garner any nominations.

Envisioned Budget

LARGE BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

THIS IS US, INTO THE WEST, THE THUNDERBIRDS, THE WALTONS, THE AMERICANS

What’s New About the Story

There are many unique elements in each story especially the more historical as the setting in uncommon for much of the narrative. For example, Native American slave trade in Louisiana isn't really represented at all on screen.

Lead Characters

There is not really any lead character given that the family saga is so large, but as an ensemble it is inspiring to see the respect the younger generation has for the prior generations and the hopeful nature everyone has to allow the family line to survive for so long even during extremely harsh conditions.

Uniqueness of Story

The family saga has so much potential, but the structure is confusing as is the main theme of destiny. There are different stories within the narrative that definitely provide rare perspectives in history such as being the first protestant minister in untamed Louisiana.

Possible Formats

TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

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

Perhaps focusing of fewer characters between the different generations or matching narratives thematically rather than going in chronological order would make the volume of the story more digestible and clarify the narrative structure to feel more cohesive.