Leaving Sparta

Ty Bruner

Book Cover

GENRE

HISTORICAL FICTION

    Core Theme

    THE RISE OF TEXAS HOLD'EM AS A POPULAR GAME; BOY COMING OF AGE THRIVING THROUGH GAMBLING.

    TIME PERIOD

    Earlier 20th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

    CHARACTER LIST

    ELI SWAIN. 17. QUIET, BRAVE, HUMBLE, SMART.

    BARTHOLOMEW SWAIN. 40'S. ELI'S FATHER, GOT INJURED WHILE WORKING IN THEIR FARM'S CROP.

    JOSEPH COMMINS 45. ELI'S PROFESSOR AND MENTOR. FORMER PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER.

    SIDDUTH WALTON (SID). 50. ELI'S OPPONENT. BULLY. NASTY, SKILLED BUT FUSSY PLAYER.

    YELLOW SUIT. ELI AND SID'S OPPONENT. CLASSY, FAIR PLAY.

    LOUISE SWAIN. ELI'S MOM.

    ELIZABETH SWAIN. ELI'S SISTER.

    Logline

    Historical fiction about a farmer's son living in the now submerged city of Sparta, Texas who gambles everything in a high stakes poker game to save his family and leave Sparta after tragedy strikes. A story of character and coming of age under desperate circumstances.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,55+,18-34

    Target Gender: Universal,Male Leaning

    Setting

    Sparta, Texas (1903)

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: No

    Starting Description

    The protagonist (Eli Swain) encounters hardship when his father is injured in a cotton gin and the family farm is lost in a flood. Eli is a natural card player that ends up in a high stakes game of the newest brand of poker, Texas Hold 'Em.

    Ending Description

    The story ends when Eli stakes the deed to his flooded farm in a high stakes game of Hold 'Em against seasoned and unscrupulous players. He utilizes all of his natural talent and learned skills from his mentor, Joseph Cummins, who has his own colorful past.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Rags to Riches

    Main Character Details

    Name: Eli Swain

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Confident,Desperate,Heroic,Honorable,Skillful,Underdog,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Joseph Cummins

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Modest,Empathetic,Engaging,Skillful,Leader,Educated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sidduth Walton

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Skillful,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Eli Swain is the hardworking son of a farmer in Sparta, Texas in 1900's. He is also talented in the art of poker and reading people. He and his family encounter hardship that would destroy most but Eli, with the help of his teacher and mentor, has learned a new skillset that may help save his family and help them start a new life. It is a coming of age story that sees a boy who would have lived an ordinary life on a farm but is now forced to rely on his wits, talent, and cunning against card players from all over the area who meet in the small town of Bland to gamble high stakes in the Cadillac of poker games.....Texas Hold 'Em.

    Genre

    DRAMA

    Brief

    Eli Swain is a young man seeking to save his family and his sick father from poverty after their farm is flooded in the city of Sparta. With the help of his teacher Joseph, also a professional gambler, Eli is forced to trust on his talents and takes his chances on a Texas Hold'Em battle.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Book Profile reflects book accurately.

    Draw of Story

    What drew me into this story is the situation in the journey of the character Eli Swain. His coming of age process in an extremely difficult family situation, allied with his vulnerability and honesty makes it impossible for the reader not to get involved and root for him.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Even though writing is dynamic and enticing, paragraphs are too long and punctuation should be reviewed.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie because the protagonist is interesting and all that is being risked makes the poker game night thrilling.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase if adapted due to the popularity that the poker game Texas Hold'Em gathers nowadays, as it shows its origins along with interesting characters.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential if adapted because it would require great scenario and costume work, as well as demand exquisite acting during poker matches.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

    What’s New About the Story

    The original thing about the story is that it shows the origins of a very popular game, as well as the american social context of the situation it was created.

    Lead Characters

    Eli Swain is a smart, good-hearted boy who is growing up with heavy responsibilities in his shoulders. He is a vulnerable and also talented and charismatic character. Joseph Cummings is his mentor, but also has an interesting past and is an intriguing character. Sid is also an interesting villain.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This work needs to be improved in terms of character and story development.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This is a very interesting story, developed with great writing and amazing potential for audiovisual adaptation. However, characters, context and story require better development.

    Brief

    Eli is a young man whose family is in a difficult situation after a flood in their farm. Having learned with how to play a new game, Texas Hold'Em, he decides to risk everything in order to save his family and begin anew.

    What We Liked

    It's an intriguing story sure to catch the audience's attention as it shows the origins of Texas Hold'Em along with a relatable protagonist and fascinating side characters.

    Film: It would be a great adaptation for Film as it brings along a classic story development, characters are solid and engaging, and there is a happy ending.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV as the protagonist's arc depicts a boy coming of age as he deals with adult responsibilities as he learns how to play Texas Hold'Em and read people, and this journey plus thrilling games may keep audience hooked during several episodes.

    Key points:
    Poker game; Texas Hold'em origins; charismatic and lucky protagonist; happy ending; great villain

    Synopsis

    Eli is a responsible young man taking care of his family and their humble farm, in the now submerged city of Sparta, after his dad, Bartholomew Swain, got his arm seriously injured working.

    Even though Eli had too many responsibilities for a young man, he was able to keep up with farm's chores and also going to school cheerfully.

    At school, Joseph Cummins - Eli's teacher and a former professional player who decided to retire after earning some money gambling - teaches the boy how to play Texas Hold'Em, a game that has been emerging in the region.

    As they manage to win a few bucks, he realizes the boy is talented.

    One day, when a heavy rain floods the land of the Swains ruining the cotton harvest, Eli decides to risk all they had - including the deed of the farm - in a Texas Hold'Em game, hoping for a strike of luck able to save his poor family from desperation.

    In the decisive day of the game, Eli takes the time to study his strongest opponents, that narrow down to the rude Sid, a man he had faced before, and a gentleman in a Yellow Suit.

    As he gets the best hand of his life, dismisses Yellow Suit and faces Sid, Eli counts with the pride of his opponent to match his bet. That way, luck and strategy is the combination that enables Eli's family to start all over in a different place with enough money and Bart's health restored.

    About The Author

    Ty Bruner is an amateur writer and career firefighter from the Pacific Northwest. He attended Eastern Washington University pursuing an English degree with a focus on Creative Writing. He lives with his family in Spokane and has recently returned to his passion of writing.