Answers to the pre-conference questions

A forum for Algonkian Novel Workshop attendees to complete an array of pre-workshop assignments focusing on story premise, comparables, antagonist and protagonist characters, and more.
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Answers to the pre-conference questions

#1 Post by bnachman » 21 Nov 2014, 19:08

1. The protagonist will do whatever it takes, including staging his own death, to save lives by convincing those in power to pass safer gun laws.

2. The antagonists, personified by Senator Eileen Norton, are gun advocates who will do whatever they can to block the passage of new gun-safety laws. They ignore the growing number of innocent people who are shot to death while going about their lives and provide explanations that don't take into account that mental illness and violent movies and video games are prevalent in countries with far fewer firearm deaths. The antagonists are staunch advocates of the right of Americans to own guns, often because they profit from gun-industry money.

3. The title, "i4i," is an updated spelling for the biblical code of justice in which those who inflict harm on others are punished in the same manner.

4. Comparables:
a) John Grisham's "Gray Mountain," in which a small team of lawyers battle Big Coal. In "i4i, a small group of men and women, who've lost loved ones to gun violence, fight the powerful gun industry.
b) Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl," in which a wife stages her death to frame her husband. In "i4i" a college student stages his death to convince his influential mother to change her position on gun-safety laws.
c) The Canadian television police procedural "Motive," in which viewers know the identities of the victim and the killer, but the question "Why?" lingers.

5. After the death of his father in a mass shooting, a young man plots to defeat the powerful gun industry by staging his own death.

6. a) The protagonist struggles to achieve his goal without drawing on the unwitting help of his powerful, estranged mother. Only when his plan includes her does he achieve success.
b) Other key characters also experience conflict. The newspaper reporter chasing the story has recently returned from rehab. He still battles the temptation that defeated him and threatened his beloved career. The police detective on the case detests the slow process of investigating crimes and plans to return to beat work. He needs to leave his job on a high note. The mother of the protagonist needs to reexamine her position on gun laws now that she experiences —first hand— the agony of losing a loved one to gun violence.

7. "i4i" is a bi-coastal mystery/thriller. It begins on a beach in New York and moves to a posh Beverly Hills hotel. Scenes are also set in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, Central Park, on Broadway and in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. A few scenes also take place in Wyoming, at a summer camp, a sprawling range-style home and in an upscale assisted living facility. None of these scenes is quiet, particularly chapter one, where the protagonist is shot in the head during the finale of a fireworks display.

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