New York Pitch Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, Poetry

Poets, Writers, Author Salon Reviews, New York Pitch Conference, Algonkian Writer Conferences
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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2017, 11:20 

Joined: 11 Nov 2016, 23:16
Posts: 2
First assignment – Write your story statement.

Calm the internal chaos of a biracial identity in a world where both sides are in constant discord.

Second assignment - in 200 words or less, sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story. Keep in mind their goals, their
background, and the ways they react to the world about them.

Malik Johnson is the epitome of misused potential. He was on the fast track to success after scoring a number of academic scholarships to several prestigious universities all over the country. He defeated the odds of growing up in a broken, improvised family. He was determined to become successful after watching his father succumb to drugs and his mother struggle raising he and his brother alone while working two minimum wages jobs. The summer prior to heading off to college his 13- year old brother was murdered by a rookie police officer during the middle of a store robbery where his brother was an innocent bystander. The murder of his young innocent brother transforms the drive Malik had to succeed to revenge and anger against a system that he has always believed oppressed him. Malik becomes obsessed with finding a way to make “white society” pay. He establishes a movement he titles Blind Justice. Malik develops a strong social media following and travels around the country preaching messages that center around violence and revenge while disguising itself as empowerment. His goal goes against unity and supports division of the black race against the white race. He taglines turning the Oppressed into the Oppressors. Malik’s bipolar/ delusional tendencies lead to an irrational way of thought while maintaining a strategic and intelligent way execution. He gathers an agenda to obtain alignment with Theresa when the murder of her white mother and the persecution of her black father dominates the media and causes intense racial tension. Society doesn't disappoint as Americans choose one side over the other.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed).

1. Torn
2. Monochrome
3. Impartially Mixed in Chaos

Develop two smart comparables for your novel. This is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen genre. Who compares to you? And why?

1. Mudbound – Hillary Jordan
2. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: write your own conflict line following the format above. Keep in mind it helps energize an entire plot line and the antagonist(s) must be noted or inferred.

The life of a young biracial woman is tragically dislodged and she finds herself in a fight for her identity while in the midst of discovering it.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: sketch out the conditions for the inner conflict your protagonist will have. Why will they feel in turmoil? Conflicted? Anxious? Sketch out one hypothetical scenario in the story wherein this would be the case--consider the trigger and the reaction.

Theresa has never felt the need to truly commit to anything in her life. She’s not black and she’s not white. In her mind, she doesn’t even consider herself biracial. She is just Theresa. She always considered herself a free spirit and at 25 years old she has been everything from a Life Coach to a Traveling Writer. Her live-in boyfriend of 5 years, harps on her scatterbrain ways however enjoys how her immature tendencies lends him additional capacity to have the upper hand. She is in desperate need of Adderall instead she is consistently stoned. Her easygoing nature could be deemed as laziness as her life mirrors her thoughts, all over the place. The disappearance of her mother forces her into the realm of responsibility and decisiveness. Initially overwhelmed, Theresa’s mind is in a constant tornado of grief, fear, ambiguity and guilt as everyone waits for her to draw her line in the sand. This is crippling to Theresa as the pressure builds and her decisions begin to define her forever.

Next, likewise sketch a hypothetical scenario for the "secondary conflict" involving the social environment. Will this involve family? Friends? Associates? What is the nature of it?

Theresa’s mother disappearance causes a media firestorm. America’s sweetheart and beloved retired tennis star is gone and the suspicion is malice. When the finger is pointed at Theresa’s African- American father it erupts racial division as the American public attacks his character to preserve the “white girl next door” image Theresa’s mother held. Theresa is handicapped with anxiety as all eyes are on her while she finds herself having to choose to stand behind her father or the white public which seems to be in defense of her missing mother. Before she can firmly choose, it is discovered that her live-in boyfriend was responsible for the disappearance and death of her mother. Buried in grief, betrayal and guilt, her decisions are manipulated when she falls in love with a damaged soul disguised as black leader/activist. She tries to find herself as his bi-polar world consumes her.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail. What makes it interesting enough, scene by scene, to allow for uniqueness and cinema in your narrative and story? Please don't simply repeat what you already have which may well be too quiet. You can change it. That's why you're here! Start now. Imagination is your best friend, and be aggressive with it.

The physical setting of the novel is Denver, Colorado where Theresa resides. The environment is one of growth and a different way being in the world. The legalization of marijuana creates a sense of newness in how everything is approached and a stronger sense of freedom and individuality. The overall setting is the Media and the influence it will possess in every aspect of the setting and characters. Social media particularly solidifies a solid backdrop to the environment of the characters and vitality of interpersonal conflict.

PostPosted: 13 Jun 2017, 00:53 

Joined: 20 May 2017, 18:52
Posts: 3
These Crimes Between Us by Lee Doyle

1. Story Statement

Lynette, JJ and Maggie must confront a family legacy of infidelity and betrayal.

2. Antagonist plot line

Heather Fauxbor, paralegal secretary and the spoiled daughter of a washed up San Francisco socialite, is every vulnerable, married woman’s nightmare; and the predictable solution for neglected husbands.

Blond-haired, blue-eyed and botoxed, Heather presents as emotionally undemanding and snaps up Bart Willits, a Marin County attorney. Bart’s now ex-wife, Lynette Willits, a mother of three, is reeling from the affair and divorce and her mother’s recent cancer diagnosis. She quietly hatches an unusual plan for revenge, which brings to light the forces that led to her marriage’s undoing, and her father’s betrayal of mother Maggie, 35 years earlier.

3. Breakthrough Title

These Crimes Between Us

4. Comps

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

5. Primary conflict
A 45-year old woman and mother of three betrayed by her husband, takes revenge on the “other woman,” and discovers the father she idolized had an affair 35 years earlier — with devastating consequences for the entire family.

6. Inner Conflict + Secondary Conflict

- When Lynette discovers her father Harold had an affair when she was a young girl, devastating her mother Maggie and contributing to Maggie's cancer, Lynnette's heart is pulled in multiple directions. Maggie is emotionally unraveling. A passive woman, she finally asserts herself and decides to stop cancer treatment despite Harold's pleas not to give up. At the same time, Lynette takes up with JJ, a co-worker and former Army Ranger haunted by his experiences in Somalia. JJ is her first relationship since her divorce. Enraged, confused and trying not to fall in love, Lynette decides to trust JJ even as she's facing her father's betrayal of her mother, and confronting the underlying reasons her own marriage crumbled.

-The five members of the women’s group Lynette belong to struggle with infertility, loss, and insensitive spouses and boyfriends. Clare’s loss of a twin in utero shatters her, bringing the women closer.

7. Setting

These Crimes Between Us is primarily set in Marin County and in San Francisco — just before the dot-com market crashes — specifically Twin Peaks (on JJ and the protagonist Lynnette’s first date, she’s looking out at Twin Peaks while they wait for the elevator, where she and her ex-husband lived as newlyweds); SafeSoft’s headquarters in South of Market; and a Mission district art gallery, Atomic.

In Marin, the social environment is driven by political correctness and an obsession with being self-actualized. Mount Tamalpais in Marin County is a strong presence throughout the novel, during the Women’s Circle meeting, when Lynette’s son Scottie goes to the Marin General ER after a skateboard accident. Here, we first meet Bart, Lynnette’s ex-husband, now living with the antagonist, Heather Faubor.

John and Marina’s wedding and meditation center is set in the building of the shuttered modeling/casting ILM studio used for the early Star Wars films.

One chapter is set in Washington D.C. at the Vietnam Wall, the Hyatt Hotel; and another in downtown Mumbai, India; in the point of view of JJ, the male protagonist.

Character backstory happens in Somalia (JJ’s military service), Kentucky (Maggie’s childhood home), Syracuse, NY (JJ’s childhood home) and Costa Rica (JJ’s father).

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