New York Pitch Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, Poetry

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PostPosted: 21 Sep 2017, 06:14 

Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 06:05
Posts: 1

A heartwarming yet precocious young African American girl must overcome the two devils in her life, her stepfather Leroy, and her innate self-hatred, while trying to keep her white Yale University neighbor out of trouble in a racially divided town.


The main antagonist is Leroy. Leroy is a man who has been brought low by his wife’s infidelity and the dark child, Ella, that she has given birth to who is clearly not his. Leroy cannot leave his wife because she is the one that puts food on the table from her low paying but steady job. Instead, Leroy does all he can to make Ella’s life a misery… and nowhere does he draw a line.

The World in Water Colors
Saving Ella


Maya Angelou’s “I know why the caged bird sings.” The story has a similar warmth, undertones of faith and likewise is targeted at adults yet told in first person by a child protagonist.
Sue Monk Kidd’s “The secret life of Bees” The story is told by a precocious child, in the south with race and class dimensions.


The trials of precocious Ella, a dark skinned eleven year old who loves words and memorizes the dictionary for fun but who lives with her physically and sexually abusive light skinned mother and stepfather and their genetically blessed children.


The sudden appearance of a mysterious white woman (Ms. St James) into the all black neighborhood. There are some perplexing questions that no one, not even Ella can understand, such as why Ms. St James has decided to take up residence in the black part of town and why she is so bent on writing a book that could cause a riot on the streets of Ricksville?


(A story within a story) Within the excerpts of the book written by Ms. St James, the conflict of ideologies between Hetty and her husband, Jack.


The small southern rural town of Ricksville, Mississippi, which is a located (fictitiously) a few miles away the real town of Longdale Mississippi. Londale is most remembered historically for the lynchings of voter registration advocates during the civil rights era (1964) otherwise known as Mississippi Burning. The novel takes place 15 years after this historic event and although things have moved on as it were, the older residents are still very wary of strangers because of what happened in Longdale. The younger generation has little notion of the importance of these events and is far more accepting of Ms. St James and her sudden appearance in the town. The scenes take place largely in south Ricksville, a poorer black community, divided from its northern white residents (North Ricksville) by Main street. A cast of characters live in south Ricksville including Mr. Macabe, (old, blind and wise), fiery Nate, who used to be the town drunk but now owns Nate’s Diner, Ms. Robertson, who is always trying to trap Mr. Macabe with her lemonade and pies, and the children who live on Ricksville street.

PostPosted: 28 Nov 2017, 08:22 

Joined: 28 Nov 2017, 06:04
Posts: 2
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:

There are three levels of antagonist in my story. The first level is the denial of information afforded to the “good guys.” Those in charge don’t tell the truth of what often happens to other members of their nation that are kidnapped by the evil Krawlings. This spurs one of the protagonists forward to seek the truth about what really happens when people among them disappear. The second level of antagonist in my story are the Krawlings themselves. The Krawlings are constantly attempting to infiltrate the boundaries of the "good" nation to kidnap more victims. The good nation lives on edge, always fearing when the next abduction will occur. This leads to conflict among the people of the nation. The third level of antagonist is the Emperor of the Krawlings, Emperor Skazergrin. He strives to invade and annihilate the good nation. When he obtains a magic gem that allows him to combine the magic strength of his entire nation within himself, he kidnaps the supreme protector of the good nation, thereby leaving them helpless to the oncoming onslaught from the Krawlings and Emperor Skazergrin, who set out to destroy them once and for all.

PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 07:27 

Joined: 05 Dec 2017, 07:07
Posts: 1

Story statement – Ata will stop at nothing to save his family and in the process the entire valley.


Antagonist Statement – As the eldest brother, Auca is destined to lead the Hurin. However, his sense of entitlement and hubris sabotage his bid to be Sapa (King). Apu Tambo is subsequently appointed tribal leader - inciting a venomous resentment towards his younger sibling. Despite of his sociopathy Auca desperately yearns for his people’s adoration. This need for affirmation results in his enlistment of a legendary tribe of cannibals to exterminate his family. And to keep his involvement secret - an entire village. Sadly, this isn’t the worst thing Auca has ever done.


Titles - Ata and The Valley of Blood, Ata and the Serpent Queen, Valley of Shadow and Light


Comparables – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a novel of YA historical fiction and narrates from first-person points of view using multiple characters. Ata and The Sacred Valley of Death uses a similar method of storytelling to provide a circular perspective to the reader.

Amor Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow, while dark, has a levity and a devil-may-care lightness which provides not only tone but prevents the story from becoming overly morose. This same carefree and casual attitude is also present in Ata and The Valley of Death - but with quotation marks.


Conflict line – When his uncles stage a palace coup, Ata must perform a series of seemingly impossible tasks to restore order to the entire valley.

Primary conflict - Ata must find a way to save himself, then his family, from his treacherous uncles.

Secondary conflict – Mythological cannibals, rival tribes, and the forces nature look to derail Ata’s quest.

Inner conflict – Upon discovering the tangled nature of his bloodlines Ata grapples with his own identity forcing him to redefine what “family” truly means.


Inner Conflict Trigger and Reaction – Contrary to popular opinion Ata has always harbored warm feelings towards his Uncle Auca. Upon learning about Auca’s betrayal, Ata initially denies his uncle’s involvement. His subsequent journey mirrors the stages of grief culminating in his acceptance that Auca is his father. This revelation sends Ata to a very dark place where he must reconcile the past in order to have a chance at any future.

Social Conflict: Ata must navigate through a foreign land surrounded by seeming enemies. Like Carthage and Rome, oil and water, the Chanca and the Hurin share some traits yet are always at odds. Forced into Chancan territory Ata’s grandfather, King Paramandu, sentences him to death. With cunning logic Ata convinces the king to spare his life and to assist in the rescue of his family.


Setting - The story is set in the sacred Urubamba River Valley of Peru during the late 12th century.

From the shimmering salt pans of Moray to waterfalls which seem to appear as if by magic from the cliffs above, from jagged snow-capped peaks touching the sky to terraces dominating the hillsides no place on earth brims with the diversity and character of this Peruvian Altiplano.

Whether spotting a black Jaguar against the green of the jungle or listening to a flock of parrots call out for their morning meal or even drinking a half-washed glass of Chicha Beer, the Sacred Valley of the Inca is the real life embodiment of a fairy tale. Beautiful, dangerous and filled with mystery, the Valley touches a primal part of the soul.

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