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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 18:43 
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Algonkian Writer Conferences - Pre-Event Writer Assignments

For the New York Pitch Conference Only

Below are seven assignments which include readings and links. All of these are vital to reaching an understanding of what elements go into the writing of a commercially viable literary project, whether novel or narrative non-fiction. There is more to it, as you will learn at the conference, but this is for starters and a good primer.

You may return here as many times as you need to edit your topic post (login and click "edit" at the bottom of your post), even following the pitch conference. Pay special attention to antagonistic force, breakout title, conflict issues and setting.

Quiet novels do not sell. Keep that in mind.

Michael Neff
NYC Pitch Conference Director
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Instructions for Posting Responses

After you've registered and logged in, read the assignments below, click on "Post Reply" on the upper left of the page and enter your responses in the box provided, then click "submit." Once done, your reply will appear in this topic. Please make one reply for all of your responses so the forum topic will not become cluttered.

Strongly suggest typing up your reply in a separate file then copying it over to your post before submitting. Not a good idea to lose what you've done!


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THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT

Before you begin to consider or rewrite your story premise, you must develop a simple "story statement." In other words, what's the mission of your protagonist (hero/ine)? Their goal? What must be done? What must she or he create? Destroy? Save? Accomplish? Defeated?Defy the dictator of the city and bury brother’s body (ANTIGONE)? Place a bet that will shake up the asylum (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST)? Do whatever it takes to recover lost love (THE GREAT GATSBY)? Save the farm and live to tell the story (COLD MOUNTAIN)? Find the wizard and a way home to Kansas (WIZARD OF OZ)? Note that all of these are books with strong antagonists who drive or catalyze the plot line going forward. More on that later.

If you cannot conceive or write a simple story statement like those above (which will help define your story premise) then you don’t have a work of commercial fiction. Keep in mind that the PLOT LINE is an elaboration of the statement, of this "primary complication" of story statement. Also, look over the brief summaries of these novels in the Author Connect Deal News. These contain the simple statement, but more elaborated into a short hook.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

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THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT

Since the antagonist in most successful commercial fiction is the driver of the plot line(s), what chances do you as a writer have of getting your manuscript, regardless of genre, commercially published if the story and narrative therein fail to meet reader demands for sufficient suspense, character concern, and conflict?

Answer: none. But what major factor makes for a quiet or dull manuscript brimming with insipid characters and a story that cascades from chapter to chapter with tens of thousands of words, all of them combining irresistibly to produce an audible thudding sound in the mind, rather like a fist hitting a side of cold beef?

Such a dearth of vitality in narrative and story frequently results from the unwillingness of the writer to create a suitable antagonist who stirs and spices the plot hash. And let's make it clear what we're talking about. By "antagonist" we specifically refer to an actual fictional character, an embodiment of certain traits and motivations who plays a significant role in catalyzing and energizing plot line(s), or at bare minimum, in assisting to evolve the protagonist's character arc (and by default the story itself) by igniting complication(s) the protagonist, and possibly other characters, must face and solve (or fail to solve).

CONTINUE READING ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.authorsalon.com/page/general/AntagonistsInLiterature/

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.

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CONJURING YOUR BREAKOUT TITLE

What is your breakout title? How important is a great title before you even become published? Very important! Quite often, agents and editors will get a feel for a work and even sense the marketing potential just from a title. A title has the ability to attract and condition the reader's attention. It can be magical or thud like a bag of wet chalk, so choose carefully. A poor title sends the clear message that what comes after will also be of poor quality.

Go to Amazon.Com and research a good share of titles in your genre, come up with options, write them down and let them simmer for at least 24 hours.Consider character or place names, settings, or a "label" that describes a major character, like THE ENGLISH PATIENT or THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST. Consider also images, objects, or metaphors in the novel that might help create a title, or perhaps a quotation from another source (poetry, the Bible, etc.) that thematically represents your story. Or how about a title that summarizes the whole story: THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, etc.

Keep in mind that the difference between a mediocre title and a great title is the difference between THE DEAD GIRL'S SKELETON and THE LOVELY BONES, between TIME TO LOVE THAT CHOLERA and LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA between STRANGERS FROM WITHIN (Golding's original title) and LORD OF THE FLIES, between BEING LIGHT AND UNBEARABLE and THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING.

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

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DECIDING YOUR GENRE AND APPROACHING COMPARABLES

Did you know that a high percentage of new novel writers don't fully understand their genre, much less comprehend comparables?

When informing professionals about the nuances of your novel, whether by query letter or oral pitch, you must know your genre first, and provide smart comparables second. In other words, you need to transcend just a simple statement of genre (literary, mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, etc.) by identifying and relating your novel more specifically to each publisher's or agent's area of expertise, and you accomplish this by wisely comparing your novel to contemporary published novels they will most likely recognize and appreciate--and it usually doesn't take more than two good comps to make your point.Agents and publishing house editors always want to know the comps.

There is more than one reason for this. First, it helps them understand your readership, and thus how to position your work for the market. Secondly, it demonstrates up front that you are a professional who understands your contemporary market, not just the classics. Very important! And finally, it serves as a tool to enable them to pitch your novel to the decision-makers in the business.Most likely you will need to research your comps. We've included some great starter websites for this purpose below. If you're not sure how to begin, go to Amazon.Com, type in the title of a novel you believe very similar to yours, choose it, then scroll down the page to see Amazon's list of "Readers Also Bought This" and begin your search that way.

Keep in mind that before you begin, you should know enough about your own novel to make the comparison in the first place!By the way, beware of using comparables by overly popular and classic authors. If you compare your work to classic authors like H.G. Wells and Gabriel Marquez in the same breath you will risk being declared insane. If you compare your work to huge contemporary authors like Nick Hornby or Jodi Picoult or Nora Ephron or Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling, and so forth, you will not be laughed at, but you will also not be taken seriously since thousands of others compare their work to the same writers. Best to use two rising stars in your genre. If you can't do this, use only one classic or popular author and combine with a rising star. Choose carefully!

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT:

- Read Caitlin's Comparables on Author Salon: http://www.authorsalon.com/craft/view/62/
- 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?


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CONSIDERING THE PRIMARY CONFLICT - COMING OF THE "AGON"

Conflict, tension, complication, drama--all basically related, and all going a long way to keeping the reader's eyes fixated on your story. These days, serving up a big manuscript of quiet is a sure path to damnation. You need tension on the page (esp in fiction), at all times, and the best way to accomplish this is to create (or find them in your nonfiction story) conflict and complications in the plot and narrative.

Consider "conflict" divided into three parts, all of which you should ideally have present. First, the primary conflict which drives through the core of the work from beginning to end and which zeniths with an important climax (falling action and denouement to follow). Next, secondary conflicts or complications which can take various social forms (anything from a vigorous love subplot to family issues to turmoil with fellow characters). Finally, those inner conflicts the major characters must endure and resolve.

And now, onto the PRIMARY CONFLICT.

If you've taken care to consider your story description and your hook line, you should be able to identify your main conflict(s). Let's look at some basic information regarding the history of conflict in storytelling:

Conflict was first described in ancient Greek literature as the agon, or central contest in tragedy. According to Aristotle, in order to hold the interest, the hero must have a single conflict. The agon, or act of conflict, involves the protagonist (the "first fighter") and the antagonist (a more recent term), corresponding to the hero and villain. The outcome of the contest cannot be known in advance, and, according to later critics such as Plutarch, the hero's struggle should be ennobling. Is that always true these days? Not always, but let's move on.

Even in contemporary, non-dramatic literature, critics have observed that the agon is the central unit of the plot. The easier it is for the protagonist to triumph, the less value there is in the drama. In internal and external conflict alike, the antagonist must act upon the protagonist and must seem at first to overmatch him or her.

The above defines classic drama that creates conflict with real stakes. You see it everywhere, to one degree or another, from classic contemporary westerns like THE SAVAGE BREED to a time-tested novel as literary as THE GREAT GATSBY. And of course, you need to have conflict or complications in nonfiction also, in some form, or you have a story that is too quiet.

For examples let's return to the story descriptions and create some CONFLICT LINES. Note these come close to being genuine hook lines, but that conflict is present regardless of genre.

The Hand of Fatima by Ildefonso Falcones
A young Moor torn between Islam and Christianity, scorned and tormented by both, struggles to bridge the two faiths by seeking common ground in the very nature of God.

Summer's Sisters by Judy Blume
After sharing a magical summer with a friend, a young woman must confront her friend's betrayal of her with the man she loved.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
As an apprentice mage seeks revenge on an elder magician who humiliated him, he unleashes a powerful Djinni who joins the mage to confront a danger that threatens their entire world.

Note that it is fairly easy to ascertain the stakes in each case above: a young woman's love and friendship, the entire world, and harmony between opposed religions. If you cannot make the stakes clear, the odds are you don't have any.

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.

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OTHER MATTERS OF CONFLICT: TWO MORE LEVELS

Consider "conflict" divided into three parts, all of which you should ideally have present. First, the primary conflict which drives through the core of the work from beginning to end and which zeniths with an important climax (falling action and denouement to follow). Next, secondary conflicts or complications which can take various social forms (anything from a vigorous love subplot to family issues to turmoil with fellow characters). Finally, those inner conflicts the major characters must endure and resolve. You must note the inner personal conflicts elsewhere in this profile, but make certain to note any important interpersonal conflicts within this particular category."

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.

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?


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THE INCREDIBLE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING

When considering your novel, whether taking place in a contemporary urban world or on a distant magical planet in Andromeda, you must first sketch the best overall setting and sub-settings for your story. Consider: the more unique and intriguing (or quirky) your setting, the more easily you're able to create energetic scenes, narrative, and overall story.

A great setting maximizes opportunities for interesting characters, circumstances, and complications, and therefore makes your writing life so much easier.

Imagination is truly your best friend when it comes to writing competitive fiction, and nothing provides a stronger foundation than a great setting. One of the best selling contemporary novels, THE HUNGER GAMES, is driven by the circumstances of the setting, and the characters are a product of that unique environment, the plot also.

But even if you're not writing SF/F, the choice of setting is just as important, perhaps even more so. If you must place your upmarket story in a sleepy little town in Maine winter, then choose a setting within that town that maximizes opportunities for verve and conflict, for example, a bed and breakfast stocked to the ceiling with odd characters who combine to create comical, suspenseful, dangerous or difficult complications or subplot reversals that the bewildered and sympathetic protagonist must endure and resolve while he or she is perhaps engaged in a bigger plot line: restarting an old love affair, reuniting with a family member, starting a new business, etc. And don't forget that non-gratuitous sex goes a long way, especially for American readers.

CONTINUE TO READ THIS ARTICLE THEN RETURN: http://www.authorsalon.com/craft/view/97/

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.

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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2017, 01:50 
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PRE-CONFERENCE ASSIGNMENTS
After by Rachel Leidenfrost

1. The Act of Story Statement:

Desperate teens escape to the waste in search of science, technology and survival

***

2. The Antagonist Plots the Point

Power is the only thing that matters. These kids are idiots. Pru doesn’t even realize what she has. And Thomas – he’s convinced that finding some lost science, technology, or medicine will help save the world. I hear them a whisper away, talking in the waste about their plans and hopes for a better future. They’re freaking morons. In this world, you either have your boot on the other man’s throat or you are that man – down on the ground. I’m never going to be on the ground again. I’m going to capture Pru’s family secrets and her medallion and rise-up in the ranks for greater power.

The world is bleak, but there are resources – certainly not medicine or so-called science. But there are buildings, guns, some crops, people. Such resources belong to the strong – to those who are willing to take them. Thomas is foolish to worry about the medallion, to try to get Pru to stop using it. He should be asking ‘what else can it do?’ and ‘how can we use it to dominate?’

Little do they know that I have a plan. Pru is going to be a key player in my rise to the top.

***

3. Create a breakout title


After
The Elementals
Escape to the Waste

***

4. Deciding your genre and choosing comparables

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy

Legend by Marie Lu
Similarities:
• Young adults are change agents
• Post-apocalyptic setting
• They fight plague and disease
• Young adults compete for position, though in Legend it’s via the results of a trial
• They have limited medicine, technology and food – though in Legend its limited by poverty and position
• They’ve lost a big portion of their history
Key Differences:
• Legend is way more militaristic and has a much larger society
• Legend’s society is more defined with very clear us vs. them lines – Republic vs. poor vs. Patriots vs. Colonies
• In Legend, there is no magical element (i.e., twisted DNA strand) but rather special (but human) skills and abilities
• In Legend, many of the hardships – e.g., the plagues – are purposely designed by those in power

The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Similarities:
• Young adults are change agents
• Both stories are quest-based
• Pru (After) has a genetic twist that enables her to control the elements around her; Brin (Wishsong) has a genetic twist that enables her to change what people see and experience
• In both, the heroes are battling for the salvation of the world
• In both, it is dangerous to be different
Key Differences:
• After is a hybrid novel with elements of several genres; Wishsong is straight fantasy and includes a broader array of traditional elements – such as dwarves, elves, etc.
• After is set in the future after humans have destroyed the planet, but is still very much so on earth (versus an imagined world like the Four Lands)
• The magic in After is rare and not accepted as normal by anyone; people with abilities similar to Pru’s have been tortured to try and capture their “secrets”

***

5. Considering the Primary Conflict

Two young adults use science and even mysterious powers to push back against antiquated practices and fight strangers bent on destruction and domination in their quest for survival.


***
6. Other Matters of Conflict – Two More Levels

Pru feels inner turmoil because she wants to be a “good girl” – she doesn’t want to let down her mom and the town. But the most important things for her are logic, facts, the future, and finding hope…. She may want to be a good girl, but she’s really a rebel at heart. The things that are important to her aren’t to anyone else – until she meets Thomas, who recently moved to Greenville from the adjacent settlement after the death of his parents to live with an Uncle.

She feels frustrated and alone, hopeless against a bleak future. She struggles to accept the status quo. The mere idea of exploring the waste makes her feel excited, alive. And then one day, after she harnesses a power she didn’t know she had, escape becomes a necessity.

She uses her powers over the Elements and feels first confused and later frustrated that she doesn’t understand them better. But, she also feels annoyed that Thomas doesn’t accept them unconditionally. Haven’t they been looking for hope and doesn’t this appear to fit the bill? She is unafraid – of her powers and the world in general. This is partially because of naivety and partially because life is so bleak that anything is an improvement, no matter the risk. She ultimately feels some guilt about hurting others with her powers but it is secondary to the feeling of strength that comes from being able to protect loved ones.

---------------------------------------
A secondary conflict is the fight for food and survival in Greenville. The good (Pru’s mom Virginia, Pru’s best friend Charity, Charity’s boyfriend Daniel) stage off against the evil and slovenly (the guards - in particular Miguel - and the new Elder). The falling ash continues to mount and everyone is starving and desperate. Charity is rapidly wasting away with the fever and Daniel can’t endure anymore. He stands up for what is right, fighting back against the guards for food and supplies. He is caught and tortured by Miguel – shocking all of the guards, who are inert in their fear at what is becoming of the town. After Pru’s departure and with the suspicious town against her, Virginia takes another tact – reluctantly marrying the powerful Miguel to save the rest of her family and ensure that they don’t starve.


****

7. The Incredible Importance of Setting

Setting 1: Our prologue begins in modern-day America, which is in the midst of WWIII. A young man who has been sent away by his family to remain safe travels to a nearby mountain to watch the world at war. He sees a patchwork of the land – bombed out towns standing shoulder to shoulder with fields that are still green and villages that are still whole. What he sees shapes the rest of his life as he contemplates the question ‘what can one man do to make a difference?’

Setting 2: Chapter one begins in 2263 in Greenville – a settlement in post-apocalyptic America. Life in Greenville is devoid of science, technology and medicine. There are no luxuries. The settlement has steadily shrunk as the population has died off and today is less than 100 buildings. Some of these are re-purposed buildings from before the war, with glass windows and insulation. Many are wood structures constructed to house families close to the fields that they all depend on. Electricity and cars are a thing of pure imagination. The entire settlement – and an adjacent town nearby – is enclosed in a roughly constructed rock wall that was built many years ago to protect the villagers from the dangers of the wasteland. The waste surrounds the village as far as the eye can see in any direction – it’s dark gray shapes and burnt-out structures are a testament to the world left behind. Greenville is desperate and starving. Things become even worse after a great rumbling shakes the earth and ash begins to fall from the skies; it falls unfettered for weeks on end, blanketing the fields and covering the water canisters. As the town becomes increasingly desperate, tensions rise.

Setting 3: One young villager dreams of the waste and its untapped potential for a different future. Could there be running water out there? Other settlements? Pru hungers to know if there is more to life; when an incident forces her to flee, she and a friend venture out into the unknown. As they walk, the pair eventually find that they’ve outdistanced the falling ash and that the world outside has some hope. The waste includes expansive plains, a creepy forest, a creek, and even a mountain with a most unusual inhabitant. Our travelers meet these different terrains and features with a mix of emotions – including fear, exaltation, and hope. Ultimately, the exploration of the waste solidifies our main characters as they begin to grow up and discover who they were meant to be and what is most important to them each.

Setting 4: In the waste, Pru and Thomas find Newtown, a better resourced settlement of uncertain origins. Newtown is much more comfortable than Greenville, with unheard of resources including a well, medical stores, lookout stations and more. Reluctant to trust outsiders, Pru and Thomas prove their worth when the village is attacked and they are able to use Thomas’ forbidden knowledge of history and Pru’s secret powers to save the town. Pru and Thomas head home after the battle as heroes; they have high hopes for the future and a plan to move their friends and family to Newtown. These plans are crushed when they arrive back at Greenville only to discover something unexpected has happened.


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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2017, 16:03 
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ACT OF STORY STATEMENT
To be worthy of the person who means everything to him – and stay alive in a time of hatred and disease.

ANTAGONIST
There are multiple antagonistic forces in If I’m Lucky. First, there’s Bill, Jordan’s almost perfect boyfriend. Strong and personable, Bill sees Jordan’s potential long before Jordan does. Bill’s fear is that Jordan will figure out that he’s something special and leave Bill behind. Bill’s fear manifests itself in the form of jealousy, to the point of inflicting injuries on his mate. Additional antagonistic forces are in the form of
1) Randy, Jordan’s manager, who treats Jordan poorly as a cover up for his own shame,
2) Timothy Flynn, a redneck, homophobic neighbor, who becomes increasingly hateful toward his fellow residents,
3) Dr. Robert Lorenzini, a stunning professor with a New York attitude, who isn’t accustomed to getting “no” as an answer,
4) Lars, a fellow student, who makes it a point to destroy Jordan and Bill’s relationship, and
5) Tommy, the record executive who uses Jordan’s sexuality against him to negotiate a deal.
6) Finally, there is another antagonist, a disease that takes its toll on the relationship.

TITLES
If I’m Lucky . . .
Not by chance
By chance

COMPS
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” meets “How to Survive a Plague,” or
“Call Me by Your Name” meets “La La Land”

PRIMARY CONFLICT
An aimless young man who desires nothing more to live a life free from ridicule and shame meets the person who brings him out of his shell and into the spotlight, but at a cost that may include his life.

INNER CONFLICT
Jordan Whitman lives in a world where he is defined by a few acts that he performs in private. By exterior forces, he is considered a freak, an aberration, a sinner. Having found someone who deems him worthy, he begins to fulfil his potential, but struggles with being true to himself.

SECONDARY CONFLICT
When Jordan first gets together with Bill, their biggest fear is being outed and the consequences related thereto. As time passes, the plague that at first seemed so distant gets ever closer.

SETTING
There are four main settings for this work. The first is a large Midwestern public university in the mid ‘80’s, a time and place where all but the bravest gays stayed in the closet. The second setting is Paris, where the characters feel free to express their feelings even in the most exposed sites. The third setting is graduate school in Phoenix, a place far away from family to allow openness. The fourth setting is an oasis in New York, where a mature Jordan feels free to live his life without caring what others think, to a certain extent.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2017, 01:34 
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SCI-FI entry by K.C. Aegis.

1. Story Statement:

Discover what is forcing synthetic humans to misbehave before they grow too numerous to control.

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2. Antagonist:

In a lot of ways, Kaleb Johansen personifies the misogynistic world in which he lives. He is a syn technician, and while he relishes his abusive hold over the synthetic creatures in his collection, he has become bored with their unwavering need to satisfy their human owners. He craves a challenge. He wants conflict.

So naturally, he is thrilled when he discovers the syn named Zephy. Infected with a perception-altering virus, the syn desires autonomy and is horrified by Kaleb’s abuse. Kaleb couldn’t be happier and looks forward to pushing the syn beyond her breaking point.

When he learns that one of his other synthetics, the personality copy of a young woman named Naomi Graves, has gone missing and is suspected of murdering the woman she’s modeled after, he decides to track her down before the authorities find her and implicate Kaleb’s involvement. He suspects Zephy has something to do with the disappearance and brings her on the search to keep her under his watch.

This all leads to a confrontation with the three main protagonists and the revelation that something else far more sinister is unfolding within the syn community.

****************************************************

3. Breakout Title:

1) Binding Program
2) A Synthetic’s Tale
3) I Will Break If Broken

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4. Comps.

Adult Science Fiction

Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: Multiple POV’s with an artificial, female protagonist.

Leviathan Wakes, The Expanse Series by James S. A. Corey: Interwoven POVs with quick pacing and each chapter ending with a cliffhanger.

Other obvious comparisons could be made to I,Robot; Westworld, Ex Machina,(artificial beings finding loopholes in the programming that binds them) and possibly The Handmaid’s Tale(the world’s unfair treatment of women).

****************************************************

5. Primary Conflict:

Author’s Note: The story follows three interwoven POV’s, each with their own conflicts that become increasingly intertwined as the plot progresses. I’ve included all three, but for purposes of a pitch, I suppose the plotline following Wendy Chrome would be the most encompassing.

1) Wendy Chrome:
When an engineered disease makes sex lethal, men and women turn to artificial companions called syns. Intimacy Crimes Investigator, Wendy Chrome tracks down an artificial woman at the center of a synthetic uprising.

2) Zephy:
As a Synthetic, Zephy must accept slavery or rail against the forced fantasy known as the Binding Program.

3) Naomi Graves
The war against Synthetics is approaching and young drug addict, Naomi Graves, must side with either her human memories or her new fiberglass body.

****************************************************

6. Secondary Conflict:

1) Wendy Chrome:

Inner: The Fusion pandemic has forever separated men and women from sharing an intimate connection. Under the guise of quarantine, women have become second class citizens. Wendy struggles for respect in a male dominated society.

Secondary: She has a growing attraction for her handsome new partner, but she is haunted by the memory of what happened the last time she loved someone. Her first love died when her Fusion infected body killed him.

2) Zephy:

Inner: Before she can truly be free, she must convince herself that she deserves it. This might seem like a simple task, but proves difficult when the entire world says otherwise.

Secondary: In order to escape her abusive owner, she must break into a syn storage and steal equipment that will allow her to slip off the grid, undetected. To do this, she must defend herself from a persistent investigator and avoid her master’s suspicions.

3) Naomi Graves:

Inner: She struggles for a sense of belonging in a world where human connection no longer exists. She sees herself as inferior to the hyper-sexualized syns men seem to idolize. She sometimes wonders if life would be better if she was just an object. It isn’t long before she realizes the error in this sort of thinking.

Secondary: She confronts her human self and demands to know why she sold her personality into servitude. Then, she is forced to watch as her human-self dies right in front of her. Later, men try to use Naomi for their own selfish urges. First, she must escape a pair of transients who use the Binding Program to accost her. And later, she must defend herself against a larger plot to use her “human personality” in a scheme to free syns everywhere.
****************************************************
7. Setting:

Within a city long transformed by the effects of the Fusion Pandemic, men and women have learned to live apart from one another. But many still remember the want for human intimacy and have built a race of synthetic humans to act as substitute. At night, the glass-topped streets of the solar causeway are ablaze with personalized advertisements that race alongside passing cruisers.
The story begins in the women’s quarters, an area of the city worn down by poverty and neglect. A syn is discovered breaking the rules laid out in the Binding Program and is sent to a syn tech for inspection.

Resembling something between a mechanic’s garage and a doctor’s office, Kaleb’s shop hosts a half dozen steel work stations prepped and ready to receive damaged syns. These “operating tables” are surrounded by a myriad of glowing data screens that illuminate, if you look closely, the smudges of inky synthetic blood.

From there, the story moves through an assortment of familiar settings altered by the presence of syns and the absence of human contact. At a night club nearby, young adults revel in vapor induced highs while sexual acts between syns and humans are displayed on large water screens pouring down from a misty ceiling.

Outside the city, a hazardous area of farmland soon becomes a focal point in the search for altered syns. Powerful insecticides make these “Toxic Fields” poisonous to humans. Prolonged exposure to the caustic air will kill any unprotected humans through asphyxia. For obvious reasons, this makes the fields an excellent gathering site for syns craving autonomy.

****************************************************

Thank you for reading,
---K.C. Aegis


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2017, 11:01 
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Joined: 22 Aug 2014, 22:31
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Algonkian Pitch Conference, March 2017
Pre-Conference Assignments

1. Story Statement -
When everything changes around her, can she just stay the same?
2. The Antagonist Plots the Point –
Nine days ago, Lillian was a happy wife and mother. Only after her husband is suddenly gone does she start to imagine a different life without him and considering the life before him. Could a woman raised as a Manhattan socialite really belong on an upstate farm? As she packs her life and heads back to the city, her children see a new Lillian, brave and mysterious in her search for meaning. But the ambition comes easily, because this is the Lillian she has always been. Was the farm her husband’s dream or had they really shared in its transformation?
Lillian’s old ways come back easily, but the city is harsh and mouthy, willing to reveal more than a woman’s past and fickle in unveiling her future.
The antagonist, is the world? Her dead husband? Her selfish children? Her meddling sister? Lillian’s conflict is with herself, her indecision, the hand she’s been dealt.
(New…working on …. “If Cam hadn’t died, would Lillian have ever known he was cheating? As her devastation is compounded by the memory of an unfaithful father, she uncovers one bureau too many and learns that though her father had his share of secrets, a mistress wasn’t one of them.)
3. Breakout Title –
Same Girl, Different Everything
Easy Go
Lilly Go Lightly
4. Genre & Comparables –
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Comparables: All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg & What We Lose, by Zinzi Clemmons
AGU
Fun and light within a serious story.
WWL
A woman caught in her own middle. Am I this, am I that? Walk back or run ahead?
5. Conflict Line –
**NEW ... The conflict is deception. All coming to a head when she discovers the truths about the mistress, her sister, herself.
Lillian is torn – between the life she thought she loved and the one that seems to come just naturally. As her internal voices settle on either shoulder, people in her life do the same, until finally, neither of them are familiar at all.
6. Other Matters of Conflict –
Bonnie is always in conflict with a judgmental world, her free spirit and trying to inject her ways into her sweet sister Lilly.
Lillian’s older children are in conflict with her, as she steps into an identity they have never seen.
Lillian’s inner conflicts are many, with her conscience, her dead husband, time.
7. Setting –
While the primary setting is modern day Manhattan, Pine Island is never far from the thoughts of the main characters. Manhattan is everything, but Pine Island, though entirely opposite, is really the driving force, the safe haven, the past.
Manhattan holds information about Lillian and Bonnie’s childhood, memories, parents and trauma. Their environments there reveal a life of privilege and wealth, which is quite the opposite from Pine Island.
The farm is simple, rural and pure in its creation of the Cameron family. Pine Island envelopes a young couple until the idea that they came from Brooklyn and Manhattan simply doesn’t fit. Their children are products of the farm, which fostered their marriage and their delusions.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2017, 22:02 
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Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 02:02
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ACT OF STORY – When Tru Davenport gets accepted to SCIFAD, a design-school just for Third-genders, she realizes this is her only ticket out of the dichot world, and will do whatever it takes to make it there, lest she suffer the same fate as her missing best-friend.

ANTAGONIST – Professor Rizza is supposed to be Tru’s advisor, but seems to have eyes on Tru’s every moves, doubts Tru’s allegiance to the vision of a city ruled by Third designers, and is suspicious of Tru’s independent mind. Rizza was once a designer as well, but these new designers don’t seem to understand how fashion works in Seattle City, or the art of landing endorsements. Rizza becomes caught between the powerful corporate CEOs like the Black Mandarin, who finances this world, and unruly students like Tru, whose unexpected celebrity makes her more powerful than anticipated. But Rizza has multiple tricks to get people like Tru to play the game, even if it means toying with the lives her best friends.

TITLES
• THIRDS
• WHITE TIGER BLUE DRAGON
• TRUVAD SOLARITY


COMPS - Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy

1. THIRDS is like a queer-Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)

Similarities:
• In both, the fate of our world is in the hands of teenage protagonists
• In both, the world is in which media and celebrity erase the boundaries of public and private.
• Both incorporate the juxtaposition of an elitist, fashion-obsessed metropolis against the small-town worlds from which the protagonists originate.
• Both would have huge crossover with adult readers because of the way they are commentaries on identifiable problems in our own culture.
Differences:
• Seattle City is a more identifiable and complex allegory to our world than the dystopian post-apocalyptic Districts or the Capital.
• More so in THIRDS than in HUNGER GAMES, the teenage protagonists are culturally fluent in using media and celebrity and fashion to their own advantage, possibly making THIRDS more appealing to millennial and young-adult readers.
• HUNGER GAMES is a powerful commentary on violence, where THIRDS introduces a powerful new commentary on sex and gender.
• THIRDS responds (through fantastical fiction) to our current, post-election distrust of media, of polarizing political dichotomies, and national conversations about the transgender issues in ways that HUNGER GAMES couldn’t have anticipated.

2. Alternately, I think THIRDS could follow on the accomplishments of newer YA SciFi Fantasy novels with LGBT characters like The Summer Prince (by Alaya Dawn Johnson), that didn’t quite have the readership of Hunger Games.

Similarities
• Both have young protagonists pitted against out-of-touch adult ruling-classes.
• Both have rich, idyllic futuristic settings.
• Both play with and invert issues of gender and sexuality in our own world.
• Both entertain themes of creating powerful art that can move people.
• Both employ a competition as a driving force of the story.
Differences
• THE SUMMER PRINCE is set in futuristic Brazil; THIRDS is set in futuristic Seattle City.
• The culture/language/metaphor of the fantastical world of Seattle City is probably more accessible to young and queer YA readers than the Portuguese of Johnson’s Palmeres Tres.
• THE SUMMER PRINCE reads more high literary in places; THIRDS is more of an up-market page-turner.

PRIMARY CONFLICT - Making it as a designer in Seattle City depends on winning the same corporate endorsements for which all of her classmates are also competing. And with more and more transigents being uploaded to the Cloud every day, it’s a gamble Tru Davenport can’t afford to lose.

INNER CONFLICT - Becoming a Third calls into question to everything Tru grew up believing about herself and her gender. But she can’t go back to the world of dichots. So she grabs her seam ripper and begins to fashion someone new.

SECONDARY CONFLICT - Tru’s best friend from high school, Shawn, has disappeared and Tru fears he went ahead with his own transition. Or worse, that he’s already been sent off to the Cloud. But when it turns out Shawn has started his own uprising on the Cloud, Tru is caught between sympathizing with her old friend, and taking a stand that will endanger her chances of winning endorsements, complicate her new romance with Zoee, and may even jeopardize the lives of her new friends.

SETTING
Primary setting:
Seattle City – The island city just to the west of the mountains where Tru grew up that’s opening its doors back up to the Incorporated West for the Great Jubilee. The Imperial occupation of the city had improved it from the city Tru’s grandmother would have known. Gone are the highways and concrete and sad city parks. Instead, the air is fresh and the temperate rainforest below has swallowed up everything besides the glass towers that seem to grow out of the same spongy earth. And high above the forest floor are the sky bridges that form the runways where Seattle City’s East-Collides-with–West fashion revolution is played out. But now Seattle city wants them—the young Third designers of SCIFAD—to be their ambassadors of this new world to the West for the Jubilee.
Sub-settings:
Tiger Mountain – the little mountain town high in the Snoqualmie Alps east of Seattle City where Tru grew up, which is technically part of the Incorporated West, but has not yet been swallowed up and developed in the Incorporated world’s demand for more terrestrial space, and who’s inhabitants are slightly suspicious of the Incorporated world and even more suspicious of Seattle City, which used to harbor Imperial spies too close to it’s back door. Because of its altitude, Tiger Mountain doesn’t get very good reception, which is why Tru and her best friend Shawn opt for carving messages, and sometimes anti-Incorporation graffiti, into the moss covering the north sides of every tree and rooftop.
The Underground – The original city before the Great Seattle fire, on top of which the new city was built with its new boulevards and fancy concrete sidewalks embedded with amethyst stones, leaving a blackened world of speak-easies and hotels cast in an amethyst twilight, which became the secret meeting place of the Uranians and their experiments in Tru’s grandmother’s generation. And in spite rising ocean levels, the Underground isn’t totally dead, but, Tru learns, is still the safest place for transigents to hide when the tide is out.
The Cloud – The satellite city that glows like its own constellation in the night sky, the Cloud was created by CantonCorp, hosts the headquarters of the four big corporate empires, and solved the problem of overpopulation and gender instability by uploading a billion people—the elderly, and those who are physically and mentally unstable, including transigents—to its silvery habitats. But Tru, in searching for her best friend Shawn, discovers that those exiled from Earth have formed their own “Epigo” artist-colonies in the Cloud forests. And maybe they aren’t the ones who deserve her pity.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2017, 23:13 
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The Jewban Detective by Casey Gilson

Assignment 1: Story Statement

Find out who is trying to kill you and your client, and kill him.

Assignment 2: Antagonists Plot Point

Michael Bellamy is the right hand man and confidant of billionaire James Caldwell. He has fallen in love with James’ wife, Judith. Together they plan to murder James. Michael devises an intricate plot to use private detective Angel Levy to accomplish the murder. He also plans to murder Angel Levy, one of three men he holds responsible for the death of his mother. Years ago, she committed suicide after a nasty divorce trial. Michael convinces James that Judith is having an affair and sends him to hire Angel. Then the games begin.

Michael is a brilliant engineer. He is also a sociopath who has already murdered his step-father and his step-father’s lawyer for presenting perjured testimony at the divorce trial. Michael has allowed James to take advantage of his brilliance. He is not motivated by money. He is arrogant, calculating, a bit of a metrosexual. He is a risk taker, but his arrogance leads him to underestimate his opponent. While appearing to be in control, he is ruled by inner demons stemming from his difficult childhood. Trying to find the demons, Judith has fallen in love with him.

Starting from humble beginnings in Luray, Virginia, Judith has used her intelligence, beauty, and ambition to gain wealth and status. She has helped her socially awkward husband to achieve political influence commensurate with his wealth. Obsessed with business, he has left her alone too often with Michael. She can see that Michael’s obsession with Angel Levy has clouded his judgement. She understands Angel Levy is far more formidable than Michael believes, and she becomes increasingly fearful that Michael will not be able carry his complicated plan. Unwilling to give up her wealth and position, she has her own Plan B if Michael’s plan fails.

Assignment 3: Titles

The Jewban Detective
The Life You Save: An Angel Levy Mystery
Twilight in Paradise: An Angel Levy Mystery

Assignment 4: Genre is Dark Suspense; Noir with humor
Comparables

Marshall Karp. Cut, Paste, Kill.
A team of detectives, sardonic humor, crackling dialogue, a story of vengeance, a character driven narrative

Ace Atkins. Cheap Shot, a Spencer series novel created by Robert B. Parker.
Traditional private eye mystery, great cast of characters around which a series is built,
reliance on dialogue to move narrative, dialogue that is natural and witty and never wastes words*

*Mine is not the light-hearted wit of Parker's Spenser. My characters' wit is caustic. They use words like weapons.

Assignment 5: Plot Statement

Private detective Angel Levy must discover who is behind a plot to murder him and his client
while keeping his two operatives (computer hacker Red Macvane and new hire William Oshoff) out
of harm’s way as he saves the client and exacts his own brand of justice.

Assignment 6. Inner Conflicts

Angel Levy: After the Cuban Revolution, Angel’s father, a hazzan in a Sephardic synagogue in Havana, sends Angel and his mother to Miami. Angel will not see him again until the Mariel Boat lift. Angel grows up in the tightly knit community of Cuban Jews, but he runs the streets, goes to Viet Nam in the last years of the war, becomes a sergeant in the Marines, and is in Saigon on the day it falls. After the war, he joins the West Palm Beach Police and later becomes a detective in The of Palm Beach Police Force. After a child molester he captured was released from jail on a technicality and subsequently abused and murdered a child, Angel tracked him down and took justice into his own hands. It cost him his career. He then went to work for a private investigator, Alvin Peacock (now dead), the kind of P.I. who put the Shame in Shamus.
Angel no longer believes, as in father did, in a Just God or in the justice system. If his father lived by the 613 rules of Judaism, he believes in only one: do what is necessary. Still he struggles with the moral complexities of his often sleazy profession, and tries to do the right thing. Thus, in a subplot ,when a client is trying to use him to kidnap his children by taking them out of the country, Levy has to figure out a way to do what he is being paid to do (catch the client’s wife with her lover) while thwarting the client’s hidden agenda.He has many contradicts: highly intelligent but brutal (not unlike his antagonist), educated in his religion but agnostic. He deals with infidelity but was faithful to his now dead wife: One life, one wife. Distrustful, he rarely confides in people, not even the two men who work for him.

William Oshoff: William’s mother abandoned him when he was four, and he was raised by an abusive father he no longer sees. As a troubled youth, he spent time in Juvenile detention. He then straightened himself out enough to go to college, but quit after three years to join the Marines. He served in Intelligence and took part on the Gulf War and Somalia. Part of his job was calling in airstrikes. He is haunted by his childhood and war experience, and has trouble sleeping. Handsome and enigmatic, he has built an “Edifice of Indifference” that masks his inner turmoil. That edifice begins to crumble when he starts to work for Angel and meets Ana Sanchez. He loves her but has problems with commitment. The affair has an unexpected consequence for Red Macvane as the two men try to save Angel Levy who they believe is walking unawares into a trap. The events of the story lead Oshoff to quaestion the immorality inherent in invading people’s private lives and in Angel’s penchant for violence, but at the end he breaks a promise made to Ana not seek revenge against Miles.

Ana Sanchez: Ana, like Angel Levy, is a Cuban American. Her father was heavily in involved in the Anti-Castro movement, and his and her mother’s eyes were always directed toward their homeland. Ana does not share their vision. She feels her father loves Cuba more than he loves his family. She has rebelled by taking up with Miles, a far right, skinhead musician who has rebelled from his liberal, upper class parents. She falls in love with William almost as soon as she meets, but she is not sure she is ready to give up her relationship with Miles for someone she just met. When Miles does something unspeakable, she determines her course.

Judith Caldwell: Judith grew up on a small farm in Luray, Virginia. Early on she recognized the effect she had on men, but she was ambitious and wanted to succeed on brains and not beauty. She became engaged to the son of wealthy Tidewater aristocrats, who put an end to the engagement when they discovered her father owned a feed store. Then she took up with the father of her ex-fiancé’s best friend, who took her to Palm Beach, promised to divorce his wife, but quickly reneged. When she met James, she gradually fell in love with him and used her intelligence and ambition to gain him the political clout commensurate with his vast wealth. Left alone too often with Michael, she falls in love again, and together they plot to murder him. Because of a pre-nuptial agreement, she get nothing if she divorces James, but as a widow…. She becomes increasingly concerned that Michael is obsessed with Angel Levy, underestimates him, and may not be able to carry out his complicated plan. Unwilling to go to jail or back to Luray, she develops her own plan B.

Sean “Red” Macvane: Charming and witty, Red has a checkered past. A computer hacker, he figured out a way to steal pennies off of bank transactions and accumulated a small fortune, but he slipped up and was caught. Angel helped him out of his legal jam and now uses him to investigate people’s private lives using the same hacking skills that got him into trouble. He married May, a Palm Beach socialite, divorced her, but continues to take money from her and to sleep with her. He falls in love with Susan Quinn, a society columnist, but loses her because he can’t end his relationship with May. He resents his “forced servitude” to Angel and like William, he has a problem with Angel’s apparent lack of concern about a client’s attempt to use the detectives to kidnap his children. This hits too close to home because his mother refused to let him see his father after their nasty divorce. His caustic wit is sometimes self-directed.

Susan Quinn (Suzie Q): A gifted reporter stuck writing a society column, she sometimes helps Angel Levy with his cases, having access to information neither he nor Red can get. She fell in love with Red, but broke up with him when he couldn’t cut ties with May. As the Caldwell investigation explodes, she sees it as a way to advance her career.

Assignment 7: Setting

The novel is set in West Palm Beach in the mid 1990’s just before the city went down the sinkhole of gentrification. The city is still suffering from the blight experienced by many larger cities in the 70’s and 80’s. Houses are boarded up, lots stand vacant, businesses have moved out. Across the Intracoastal is its affluent neighbor, The Town of Palm Beach, home to more billionaires than are in Trump’s cabinet and as isolated from the rest of the tawdry world as their money can buy. The police are quick to chase strangers off the island. If you’re familiar with Lawrence Sanders’ cozy depiction of Palm Beach, this ain’t it. Other settings include the run-down, courtyard apartment complex where William Oshoff lives in Fort Lauderdale, a trailer park in Delray, and the Caldwell’s private retreat, Golden Key, in the Lower Florida Keys. There, the novel reaches its violent climax. The settings juxtapose the two different worlds existing in South Florida. Much of the action occurs at night in the humid, rainy, lightning-strike capital of the world.

Angel Levy's office on North Dixie overlooks the Palm Beach County Courthouse. it resembles a lawyer's office more than it does a private detective's: arched windows, mahogany desk, walnut bookcases, a leather couch that is beginning to wrinkle and sag.

An Irish Pub, or rather an American's idea of what an Irish Pub is supposed to be, serves a a cop bar where Angel meets with former police friends, and some who are not so friendly.

Oshoff's run down apartment is located in a converted courtyard motel off Ft Lauderdale Beach. It rents by the week, month, and season, but nobody stays too long. His furniture is a year away from occupying a dumpster. The courtyard has a pool, deck, and lounge chairs where Ana Sanchez spends evenings with a bottle of Jack Daniels, waiting for her musician boyfriend to come home. Macvane takes one look at Oshoff's apartment and asks, "Couldn't you afford a room at the Y?"

Red Macvane's upscale Palm Beach Shores condo, paid for by his ex-wife May, sits on the southern tip of Singer Island, with views of Peanut Island to the west and the Palm Beach Inlet to the south. From his balcony, you can see his Grady-White fishing boat on a dock, and on quiet nights you are close enough to the mainland to hear the hum of ordinary lives.

The Caldwell estate in the Town of Palm Beach boasts a two-story Spanish Revival villa of imported Italian stone. Only the second floor and the terra cotta roof are visible behind an eight-foot hedge and a wrought-iron fence. The entrance to the estate has a brick drive lined with palms, Elephant Ears, Dwarf Cavendish Banana trees, and other exotic plants. The estate includes a nine car garage, above which are servants quarters. Behind the villa are tennis courts, fruit tree gardens, and a lap pool. Oshoff and Macvane, dressed as telephone repairmen, enter the mansion to bug the phones. Macvane suggests Oshoff leave a trail of bread crumbs in case he gets lost. They spend several nights parked near the mansion listening to Judith's phone conversations and following her to The Aspen, a posh Worth Avenue (think Rodeo Drive) watering hole. The mansion is close enough to the ocean to hear the lapping of the waves.

A run-down trailer park on Federal Highway between Boca Raton and Delray is the last of what had been a string of trailer parks. A manger's trailer sits at the entrance. The trailer homes sit on concrete blocks. Beer and booze bottles overflow the garbage cans. In the midst of a tropical downpour, Angel and company raid a trailer where a bail jumping criminal is having an affair with the wife of a sleazy Colombian client. Welcome to the other side of paradise.

Golden Key is the Caldwell's private retreat. A six-acre, tropical island, it sits two miles from Summerland key in Cudjoe Bay. It is completely isolated, a short wave radio its only connection to the outside world. In the center of the Key is a two story old-style Florida house with wraparound porches and few modern conveniences-- just the sort of place Hemingway might have chosen to write, drink, and watch sunsets or, if you're Michael Bellamy, to commit murder.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 18:59 
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No One Runs in the Country by Mary Lewis

Assignment 1: Story

Laura needs to meet the father who abandoned her when she was a kid. She thinks, mostly unconsciously, that this will finally set her life in order. It will give her the confidence to succeed in her dream career, sustainable farming, and have better relationships.

Assignment 2: Antagonists
Laura's main antagonist is her own idea of herself and what will save her. She thinks that if she ever finds her dad, everything in her life will fall into place.

Mom: Mom has betrayed Laura's trust in the most fundamental way, keeping her from contacting her father. As the book develops we find out why, but serious issues of trust remain.

Rachel: she's upset that Laura is taking over her job, but Laura must show she's in charge and also learn from her.

Gunnar: a father figure in some ways, he is sometimes authoritarian. She must fight his tendency to see her as a child so she can become a professional and a colleague.

Zach: He seeks the love he didn't get from his cold mother, from every woman he has a relationship with, including Laura.

Dad: She knows nothing about him since he left the family. So the antagonist is the fantasy she has made of him in his absence.

Interns: they need Laura to be in command, and she has to learn how to do this. They also need guidance in their personal life, and Laura does not feel at all up to it.

Assignment 3: Title

No One Runs in the Country
Earth Works
A Postcard from Daddy

Assignment 4: Comparables
Genre: literary fiction

Prodigal Summer: Barbara Kingsolver
Similarities:
    the close attention to nature. the way natural settings enhance the emotion of a scene, the connections between characters.
    the woods, the fields, the tractors, the kitchen with preserves.
    the close 3rd person narrator, a female character, though older than Laura. Like Laura, she has a close attachment to the natural world, and also follows a profession that can protect it.
    the terrain, with limestone cliffs, woods, streams
    the first scene, as in my novel, starts with a description of the landscape, and then the main character meets a man to whom she is attracted. It is also early spring in both. Eddie Bondo is a hunter, and like Zach, has different ideas about how to interact with the natural world. He will be a challenge to the main character's view of herself.
    Theme of caring for the natural world
    Big storm at the end, similar to the hailstorm in my book, how it affects the characters.
Differences:
    There are several narrators instead of one, three stories that she picks up and sets down alternately. other than Deanna, there is Lusa, a young farm wife with an interest in moths, whose husband dies. Also Garnett, the old man who wants to bring back the chestnut.
    Deanna has no mother, has been married. Is not longing for an absent father. Has a better sense of herself than Laura does.
    There is much more detail about biology: of the coyotes, the moths, the trees. Though I am a biologist, I put in less, fearing to show too much of an agenda, i.e. love the natural world, stay away from pesticides. For her she adds, don't poach coyotes, bring back the chestnut (oddly, I was part of a farm that raised chestnuts).
    She uses a character, Garnett who doesn't agree with some nature preserving practices, like minimizing pesticides. It's an effective way to explore the issues than with someone who is preaching the good side.
    The connection between characters of the different stories emerges as the book goes on. egg. Deanna's father dated Nannie Rowley, who eventually acts as a mother to Deanna.
Driftless: David Rhodes
Similarities:
    The rural setting in the driftless area, and the importance of that setting on the characters
    Close observation of natural settings, their impact on emotion
    Farm life: many characters who grow of things, and need to be in tune to the rhythms of the seasons.
    Small town life. He understands it so well. I do have some settings in town, with minor characters who live there.
    A theme, amongst several characters, of fear that they can't do well, ending at least sometimes in a success.
    Theme of attachment to a landscape, wanting to preserve it, or a way of life.
    Close third person narrative
    Strong characters with deep motivations
Differences:
    Many different stories rather than one main character, and many more characters than in my book
    More up front contemplation of moral issues, in a way that gets into not only into exposition but also into dialogue.

Assignment 5: Primary Conflict

The things that get in the way of Laura finding herself, primarily her own idea that finding her father is the path to doing this. The main external obstruction is that her mother is preventing her from seeing her father.

Assignment 6: Secondary and Internal Conflicts
Secondary Conflicts
    Her struggle to be less dependent on her mother. Her anger over her mother keeping her apart from her father.
    Laura must assert herself as manager of the greenhouse despite Rachel's resentment, and Gunnar's unconscious tendency to treat her like a child.
    She falls in love with Zach, but finds he's looking for the approval he never got from his mother, and she can't provide this.
    Zach and Vlado have a deep animosity towards each other, that goes beyond their attraction to Laura.
    Rachel wants a relationship with Vlado, and sees Laura as taking him away from her.
    Both Britta and Janelle need help from Laura for their personal problems, and Laura doesn't feel up to it.
    Janelle's angst over Trevor's love for her, mirrors Laura's worry over Zach.
    The struggle to raise food: difficulties with survival of seedlings in the greenhouse, watering, disease, replanting. Planting in the field: difficulties with moisture, machines. Hail damage that means loss of crop and replanting.

Internal Conflicts
    Laura has to deal with her own sense of identity, so bound up with her feelings about her father. Can she become the competent woman she longs to be, despite her over-dependence on her fantasies about him, and in the face of her dysfunctional relationship with her mother? Will she be able to have healthy relationships with men?

Assignment 7: Settings

Setting is at the core of this book. In every scene I strive to make it say something about action, emotion, theme.

The farm
Front grassy area inside the circle of the driveway. has a big tree, and a bench where she first talks to Zach. It is also the setting for the visit of her mother who comes with her boyfriend, to make up after she has revealed she'd destroyed postcards to Laura from her dad for years. Zach shows shock over how mean she is to her mother.

Greenhouse
a large space with tables for growing flats of seedlings, an area for filling pots, and a small office. A fan that makes the thousands of young seedlings move in its breeze, water from the hose sprays to make rainbows in the sun.
Many scenes occur here, these are a few:
Laura first meets Rachel here, and joins with her in moving diseased plants out. This establishes Rachel as a person of expertise, and shows her resentment towards Laura.
She adjusts window openers with Vlado, and they learn about each other.
The first project for the interns is filling flats with potting soil. This gives Laura a chance to be in charge, but also let Rachel shine in demonstrating how to do it.
In the empty greenhouse, Britta tells Laura bout her gaming addiction.
After the hailstorm everyone gathers around Laura and Vlado, and tensions are high, because of the near escape, the placing of blame by Gunnar, the tension between Zach and Vlado.
Her dad meets her mom for the first time in years, and hits it off with her boyfriend.

Machine Shed
A big pole shed, dark on the inside, full of tractors, machinery. Where she first sees Zach.

Barn Office
The old wooden barn, has a space for an office.
She frets at the desk about who to hire as interns
At other times she stresses over emails to her Dad here.
Zach and Vlado each visit her there on business, sometimes more

House
farm kitchen: many encounters: breakfast w Claire and Vlado and Gunnar.
meeting to decide on interns
meal when interns come
final meal to prepare for field day
her bedroom: was the son's room, has car wallpaper
Vlado's bedroom is across from hers. they share the bathroom.
front porch: swing where she sits with Vlado

Roads:
her journey from LaCrosse to the farm to start her job: sense of big change, along with crossing the bridge over the Mississippi. Drives along the valley of the Root River, with its bluffs, then the road climbs past ancient cliffs to the uplands.
where Laura runs, talks to her Mom while listening to the frogs in a nearby pond.

Fields
Repairing a fence with Zach: where they begin to fall in love
Planting broccoli: scene with Zach, their first kiss. Vlado sees they're slacking, is angry with Zach.
Harvesting spinach with Vlado, then the hailstorm where they save each other.
Bonfire near the pond at night. Through the smoke and fire she watches all the other characters interacting, enjoying themselves. Vlado sneaks up and sits with her. Last scene in book

Landscape away from farm
her journey from LaCrosse to the farm to start her job: sense of big change, along with crossing the bridge over the Mississippi. Drives along the valley of the Root River, with its bluffs, then the road climbs past ancient cliffs to the uplands.
spring field where she and Zach find out about their pasts, after he picks her up to return to the farm after a visit to her mom's. black earth, new oats.
the river where she tubes with Janelle and Trevor, and Trevor nearly drowns

Town
2 Cafes one in Harmony on a date with Zach, one in Decorah, darker, where she talks to Dad.
Farmer's market: the pickup where bed where she and Dad meet.
Wall of the farm store: where Claire is doing a mural of old time farming

LaCrosse:
bridge: crossing it at the beginning, is like how she did with her father.
her mother’s house, the place where she grew up: where she recovers from illness post hailstorm
where she discovers a postcard from Dad before her mother sees it.

Landsverk Lutheran
She sees Zach's pickup in the parking lot and decides to go in. Meets him and his dad in parking lot.

Simley Creek
where she and Dad used to fish. She goes there, imagines him being there.


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 04:40 
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NYC PITCH ASSIGNMENTS
I Won't Tell by Paige Agnew

Story Statement:
Kayla fights to make the right decisions for herself regarding her unwanted pregnancy and build a bridge through the pain of sexual assault to find a future worth living.

The Antagonist: Steven Fairley
The whirlwind of change in Kayla’s life has taken everything from her. Her boyfriend, her best friend, her relationships with her parents, her body, her sanity. The only thing no one’s taken is the truth, her secrets, the identity of who fathered her child. And after weeks of scrounging up hope, of trying to fit the pieces back into some semblance of a life, she discovers she’s not the only one who knows the truth and someone seeks to destroy her with it.

Steven Fairley thinks he can do whatever he wants. He can touch who he wants and tease who he wants, because it’s all good fun, right? And laughing at himself and others is the only way he can get ahead, forget that his family hates him, that he was held back a grade, that he can’t seem to get anything right. Life has disrespected him in enough ways and he won’t let Kayla and her new popular friends think they can put him in his place. Not when he knows Kayla kissed her new friend’s dead boyfriend. Not when he suspects she’s carrying his child. Not when he knows he can blackmail her with it.

Titles:
-I Won’t Tell
-What the Truth Didn’t Know
-If a Tree Falls

Genre Comparables:
My novel is reminiscent of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and All the Rage by Courtney Summers. These books about sexual violence focus on the aftermath of their protagonists’ assault with themes of isolation both by their communities and the ways they isolate themselves. They each employ techniques of dramatic irony and use that ongoing friction of the reader’s sympathy for the character against the misunderstanding, harassment, and bullying of the people around them because their situations. There is also the tension of the reader’s frustration yet understanding of why these characters can’t and won’t speak up from themselves, shining a light on rape culture and the shame and trauma that silences women.

However, my novel offers something that many in its genre haven’t. The YA novels about sexual assault exist in comfortable numbers, but not in abundance, and the YA novels about teenage pregnancy are few and far between. While my story and the two mentioned above concentrate on the fallout, my character’s fallout is much different. On top of everything else, she’s pregnant with her victimizer’s child, a victimizer that she had close ties with for seventeen years of her life, and she is dealing with his death as well. Kayla’s aftermath features struggling to regain the autonomy that’s been stolen from her and to find the voice to stand up for the decisions she wants to make about her pregnancy and the truth of her situation. These are complex, layered circumstances that are offered with diversity from an African-American protagonist.

Primary Conflict:
Abortion, adoption—Kayla’s being pushed in every direction and struggles to stand up for what she wants, all while the weighted truth about her assault sits on her shoulders untold, and just when she’s found a morsel of peace, someone who knows her secret threatens to destroy it all.

Inner Conflict:
Every day Kayla wakes up and is faced with the truth she won’t allow passed her lips. That the boy next door finally gave her the attention she desired only to shatter everything in seconds and hurt her in ways she never imagined him capable. And now that he’s dead, does mourning him make her crazy? Does being happy about it make her a monster? Everyone loved him and with his tragic car accident still fresh, would the truth bring unnecessary pain to the people in his life, or would anyone even believe her? No. No, they wouldn’t, so she keeps her silence as a shield. Part of the truth leaks anyway, and while everyone now knows she’s pregnant, no one knows how or who, and she won’t let them. She’s the school slut, her friends have abandoned her, her boyfriend thinks she’s a cheater, and her strict religious parents, who already want to disown her, might throw her out on the street if they know she’s considering abortion. Still, her lips can’t form those words. Those words are the only thing she has left. And if they unravel, the rest of her might too.

Secondary Conflict:
Everyone’s abandoned Kayla, but the popular Libby Swanson, girlfriend of Kayla’s now dead victimizer, wants to be her friend. Libby wants to build on the connection they both have through him, since Kayla grew up beside him as his neighbor, but Kayla would do anything to forget about him and could never bring herself to tell Libby she’s carrying his child. But Libby persists and her kindness is rare in Kayla life when everyone else would rather judge her for her secrets and choices. But is it wrong, accepting Libby’s friendship? Keeping the truth locked away from someone who deserves it? But those decisions might be taken from her. After Libby staged a takedown for the sleazy Steven Fairley for harassing Kayla, he wants revenge. He knows who fathered Kayla’s child. He knows the threat of that secret hitting the air would put Kayla in the palm of his hand. And with the smartest girl in school on his beck and call, he might pass junior year yet. But what would the Ivy League schools Kayla’s accepted to do if she plagiarizes for him and they find out?

Settings:
School: Kayla is a high school senior that skipped a grade, so school has always been a slightly uneven place for her. All the people she grew up with are a grade behind her and her current classmates still feel a grade before her. Because of this, she doesn’t have a sense of true belonging. That’s heightened once the whole school finds out she’s pregnant and she’s isolated from the junior class, in which her boyfriend resides, and the senior class, where her best friend has given up on her because she disagrees with how she handles her secrets and her pregnancy. Going to school often feels like a battleground for dealing with rumors, glares, nosey and judgmental teachers, and later the harassment from Steven Fairley.

Home: Kayla often refers to her home as a tundra. She feels as if her parents hate her and they barely speak to her because of their disappointment in her pregnancy. To make matters worse, she lives right next door to the boy who assaulted her. At home is where she’s forced to face the memories she has of him and their lives together, both good and bad. She’s forced to see and interact with his parents and even her bedroom window has a direct view into his. Yet despite its complications, her bedroom is the one place where she feels an ounce of solace and is also the place where she feels most comfortable confronting her pain.

Church: The story takes place in West Michigan which is known as the Midwest “Bible Belt.” I can personally attest to there being a church on almost every corner. Her family is very religious, though Kayla only feels lukewarm about her own faith and is often annoyed that she has to go there at all. The friction created by her parents’ religion often carries on to her home life, especially when she’s considering abortion. But this setting, the things that transpire there, are different than what people commonly think of with church. Keeping in mind that this is told from an African American perspective, there is a distinctiveness in the black community when it comes to religion. The music, greetings, expressions of praise and sermon delivery all fit into the cultural experience—one that is rarely represented in the media, or the times when it is, it’s done in an exaggerated fashion. This setting creates a window for the rest of the world into the widely understood experience among black people when it comes to church, and this ultimately affects Kayla, for better and worse, in her journey.


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 19:37 
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PRE-CONFERENCE ASSISGNMENTS

Assignment 1: STORY STATEMENT

• Darrell, a reluctant ghost hunter, moves to the scenic Eastern Shore for a great new job and a second chance at love, but the haunting of a ghost there gives him no peace until Darrell tracks down those responsible for a lynching, thirty years earlier.

Assignment 2: ANTAGONIST SKETCH
• William “Bud” Williams: A high school football hero and hell-raiser in his teens, Bud Williams has grown to become one of the most successful and admired men in town, as well as president of the bank and the school board. Taught from early on that he is better than others, every aspect of his life embodies status—tall, handsome, preserved physique even at fifty, dressing in imported, tailored clothes, driving expensive cars and even careful to use only refined diction. Polished and self-possessed, he understands that other people exist to serve him and he has a driving need to be in charge. Like his ancestors, he longs for the way things were, but can live with the status quo. The Williams family has generated considerable good will by donating generously to worthy causes such as school issues, the local food bank, and the domestic shelter, and Bud, as the scion of the clan, is the principal beneficiary. But, as a teen, he and two other students lynched a black youth who dared to date a white girl. When threatened with exposure some thirty years later, Williams will stop at nothing to keep his privilege, his money and his position.

Assignment 3: BREAKOUT TITLE
• Blood on the Chesapeake
• Shadow on the Chesapeake
• An Eerie Lesson in Murder

Assignment 4: GENRE AND COMPARABLES
Amateur Sleuth and Ghost Story with a side of romance
• The City of Masks by Daniel Hecht: Although Hecht’s protagonist, Cree Black, is a professional, she, like Darrell, comes to ghost hunting reluctantly, at least at first. Like Darrell, Cree too is a sensitive and able to “experience” the spirit world—with visions, apparitions and messages-- that others cannot. Also, Hecht uses the setting of New Orleans to fuel the mystery much like the mixed heritage of the Chesapeake Bay provides a rich background for my novel.
• In the Electric Mist of the Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke: Although Burke’s protagonist is no amateur (Dave Robicheaux is a detective in New Orleans) he, like Darrell, has uncomfortable and unwanted encounters with the spirit world. Also, similar to my novel, Burke portrays ghosts not as terrifying phantoms, but as shadowy characters able to provide clues to the murder he is investigating.

Assignment 5; CONFLICT LINE
• The ghost of a lynching victim haunts a reluctant ghost hunter and gives him no peace until he tracks down and exposes those responsible for the decades old crime.



Assignment 6: INTERNAL CONFLICT OF PROTAGONIST
• Darrell only wants to teach and coach teenagers, and maybe find the girl of his dreams. He doesn’t want to be a sensitive, but he is. Ghosts come to him. His first encounter with a ghost did not go well and he carries the OCD scars to prove it. In his new town, he battles to control his OCD in his work and with his new love, even as a second ghost haunts him and prods him into taking action.
• After his fiancé cheated on him a year earlier, Darrell broke the engagement and, burned by the whole experience, is leery of relationships. Still, he cannot help himself when he meets Erin, a stunning, twenty-something redhead, and he falls hard. Though insecure around her because of his OCD, he struggles to build his self-confidence and pursues her. Strangely, it’s Darrell’s selfless efforts to fight for the ghost, despite his personal demons, that charms and ultimately wins over Erin.


Assignment 7: SETTING
• The story takes place on the scenic Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, a quaint resort area known for its languid sails and historic charm. The quiet town of Wilshire is, to all appearances, a perfect sleepy getaway, a haven for wealthy locals and a weekend mecca for the privileged from nearby DC, with gingerbread houses, manicured lawns and expensive sailboats. Behind the idyllic façade and away from the shore lies another world, inhabited by the working poor who support this rich lifestyle even while dealing with poverty and discrimination. And Wilshire hides a horrible secret. Decades earlier, three local teens lynched a young black student at the high school and covered it up as a suicide.
• The primary story is set in 1998, a time of posterity for the nation, including the Eastern Shore. The antagonists in the story, in their fifties, are all major players in the small town of Wilshire. Equally important, they were all teens in the early sixties, while civil rights struggles rocked this area, like much of the country. In the midst of this social upheaval, it is the lynching of a black youth in 1964 that ignites the mystery.
• Setting several scenes in the town high school is deliberate. The contrast between the common and mundane experience of high school life on the one hand and the fear and intimidation of being haunted in the same vacant offices and classrooms on the other, serves to ramp up the narrative tension.
• Resort Town Scenes
o Some chapters feature the iconic scenes of the Eastern Shore resort towns—both fictional and real--picturesque streets, famous restaurants and breathtaking shorelines with images that would make any vacation brochure or website.
o A few chapters also feature the areas away from the shore, with dilapidated trailer courts, rundown beer joints and cheap housing and commercial districts.
• On the Waters of Chesapeake Bay
o Two scenes highlight sailing on the Bay, the first showing the quiet, natural beauty of being on the water, the second showing the Bay at its worst with huge, intimidating swells, threatening death and ready to swallow the unprepared.
• The Town High School—Office, classroom and halls, Widows Walk
o The cramped Athletic Office, with its old fixtures and moldy walls, is where Darrell encounters the ghost on his first day, and several times later. The ghost finds ways to communicate with Darrell in this space. According to legend, this was also the secret rendezvous for the forbidden couple before they were discovered.
o Classrooms and Hallways—These settings are used to contrast the mundane and uneventful experiences of high school with the feelings of anxiety and intimidation of being haunted in the same spaces. The very ordinary-ness of these places to so many readers is transformed into uncertain and scary territory with the ghost lurking nearby.
o Widow’s Walk atop the school—This structural “affectation”--complete with four posts, raised green cupola and surrounded by white picket railing—provides the most expansive view around of the entire Bay area. This walk, which Darrell visits often, was the scene of the lynching in the 60’s and is the setting for the climax where Darrell and Erin confront the perpetrators.
• Darrell’s Apartment—Darrell’s apartment is the typical one bedroom complex complete with queen bed, small table and chairs, new leather couch and improvised coffee table. Like all other spaces in Darrell’s life, this one is kept painstakingly neat and organized. In addition to the scene of a light romantic encounter or two, this space is also haunted with apparitions in the light and nightmares after dark.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2017, 17:49 
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PRE-CONFERENCE ASSIGNMENTS

Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash by Tammy Pasterick

THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT
A father fights to save his family in the face of his wife’s unraveling sanity.

THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT
Slovak immigrant Karina Kovac has been toiling in a mill town outside of Pittsburgh for over a decade. Married to a steelworker with little income and few prospects, she is worn out and desperate for an easier life. Her position as housekeeper and mistress in a mill executive’s modern home is a welcome escape from her dismal ethnic neighborhood and the burdens of motherhood. But the glimpse she’s received of the lifestyles of the upper class is making her bitter and resentful about returning to her family each night. When Karina learns that her employer is being transferred to New York City, she is devastated. The thought of returning to work at one of the town’s unsanitary boarding houses is unbearable. Panicked, she begs her employer to take her with him. She knows his lust for her has become uncontrollable. But when Karina’s plans are unexpectedly derailed, she makes a reckless decision that jeopardizes her family’s future and her own fragile sanity.

BREAKOUT TITLE
Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash
Valley of Smoke and Ash
Tears Beneath the Smokestacks

GENRE AND COMPARABLES
Historical Fiction

Comparables
In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor
-Setting is in a Pennsylvania steel town near the turn of the 20th century
-Multiple POV characters
-Diverse cast of characters
-Examines and compares the lifestyles of the lower and upper classes
-Tragedies of the poor serve as a stark contrast to the frivolities of the wealthy

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
-Setting is in an ethnic neighborhood in the meat-packing area of Chicago in the early 1900’s
-Eastern European immigrants are struggling to build a new life in America
-Immigrants are exploited by industry and forced to endure deplorable working conditions
-American society views these immigrants as inferior and treats them with contempt

PRIMARY CONFLICT
An Eastern European immigrant struggling to make ends meet in the shadow of a steel mill fights to save his family when his wife becomes unhinged.

PROTAGONIST’S INNER CONFLICT
Janos Kovac has been struggling for years to make his wife happy—or at least something short of miserable. But lately, she seems entirely out of his reach. She wants nothing to do with him. He misses the lively young woman who used to be in love with him and wonders what he did to deserve her neglect. He worries that perhaps she has found something better to focus on. Or someone. He is sad about the distance his wife has put between them, but even more heartbroken for his children who are desperate for the attention of their mother. Janos feels as if he is failing his family.

SECONDARY CONFLICT INVOLVING THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
Janos witnesses a horrific accident at his furnace. A co-worker is splashed by molten steel and burnt beyond recognition. Janos runs to the man's side and tries to comfort him as he is dying, but it is too late. The man is already gone. Traumatized by witnessing such a gruesome event, Janos contemplates leaving the mill. He has long worried about the dangers of his work, but knows his prospects are limited. Despite his near perfect English and over a decade of experience as a melter at one of the mill’s sixty furnaces, he has never been able to advance. He cannot escape the stigma of being an immigrant. Janos desperately wants to make a change, but fears the only place for a “Hunky” is in the mills or the mines.

SETTINGS
Riverton, Pennsylvania
Ten miles outside of Pittsburgh—the steel capital of the world in 1910—lies the town of Riverton. It is shrouded in smoke and alive with the bustle of immigrants making their way to and from the mill. They suffer coughing fits and rub at their burning eyes as they journey past the smokestacks, cursing the dark cloud hovering above them. It is the golden age of steel in the land of opportunity. There is work for every able body. But no one warned these immigrants of the suffering—the long hours, hazardous working conditions, accidents, and even deaths. Battered and weary, they put one foot in front of the other and try to stay strong for the sake of their families. They need to put food on the table.

Sub-settings of Riverton
The steel mill is hot and noisy, and the air is stifling. The workers choke on mineral dust and furnace exhaust during their twelve-hour shifts, seven days per week. The furnaces are filled with molten steel heated to over 2500°F, making the poor souls who tend them feel as if they are standing amid the raging flames of hell. Accidents are a daily occurrence.

The Kovac home is in a poor, ethnic neighborhood with no electricity or indoor plumbing. The family must share a water pump, as well as a communal privy, with seven other families who live on the same court.

The boarding house is full of drunken immigrants and prostitutes. It is a ramshackle structure built into the side of a hill with a limestone rock face serving as its back wall. The thirteen-year-old boy who lives there must sleep on an old sour-smelling mattress stained yellow with the sweat and oil of working men. The boarding house is a lively place when the sun goes down.

Shadyside, Pennsylvania
A wealthy suburb of Pittsburgh, Shadyside is filled with stately mansions and exquisite gardens. Steel magnates and their socialite wives host elaborate twelve-course dinner parties and boast of travels to Europe and Newport, Rhode Island. The women try to impress each other with their expensive gowns and sparkling jewelry while the men show off their hunting trophies and brand new automobiles.

Abbott’s Hollow, Pennsylvania
Nestled deep in the Allegheny Mountains of Central Pennsylvania, the coal mining village of Abbott’s Hollow is a dreary place to live. The rundown houses are covered in a fine layer of coal dust brought home on the tools and clothes of the miners. Showers of coal ash rain down from the chimneys, darkening what once was a lush mountain landscape. Industry has left its ugly mark on this remote hollow.

Sub-setting of Abbott’s Hollow
Hundreds of feet underground, the coal mine is cold, dark, and cramped. With only dim carbide headlamps to light the way, miners blast through the bedrock in search of the fuel needed to support Pittsburgh’s steel production. The work is back-breaking, the air suffocating, and the threat of a methane explosion ever present.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2017, 18:33 
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TWO TRUTHS & A LIE by Jennifer Jabaley
Women’s Fiction

1. Story Statement

A former juror must uncover the buried truth from a twenty year old murder trial.

2. Antagonist

This story is told from three alternating points of view. I will address the antagonistic forces that appear in each character arc.

MARIA (the juror): The main antagonistic force in Maria’s story is time and health. She has barely survived a recent heart attack and her doctor’s prognosis is grim. She must uncover the truth before her time on earth is over. Additional antagonist forces are flashbacks to the other jurors’ viewpoints and their deliberation in the jury room. Now, twenty years later, Maria fears she may have allowed a personal discrimination against the defendant sway her and the rest of the jury’s decision.

NATALIE (the chaplain): The antagonist in Natalie’s story arc is her mother and the shame Natalie associates with having a mother who left her when she was young. This antagonistic relationship creates a fear of abandonment that threatens her romantic relationship as well as trust issues that hinder a deepening relationship with Maria.

KRYSTAL (the convict): In Krystal’s story (told twenty years earlier in the months leading up to her trial) the antagonist is Susanna Montgomery – the ex-fiancé of Krystal’s boyfriend. Susanna epitomizes everything Krystal feels she lacks: elegance, wealth and accomplishment. Susanna has one mission: to get Richard back and a classic love triangle is formed. An underlying antagonist current is Krystal’s belief that in the end, relationships between the rich and the poor never work out. While Richard says her wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing is irrelevant, Krystal fears Susanna’s status and sophistication will lure him back.

3. Breakout Title

TWO TRUTHS & A LIE

GENUINE LIES

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

4. Genre and Comparables

TWO TRUTHS & A LIE is a commercial Women’s Fiction told in a fast, breezy pace. This story would appeal to readers who like deeper themes buried beneath a beach read in the vein of Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin.

Some comparable Women’s Fiction authors, whose books are found in a beach bag or at a book club and explore seminal moments and choices that come to define women and impact everything from romance, friendships, careers and their families:

Sarah Pekkanen (Washington Square Press)
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
Karma Brown (Mira)
Kristy Woodson Harvey (Berkley/Gallery)
Emily Liebert (Berkley)

5. Primary Conflict

This story is told from three points of view, each with their own story arc, but all support the central spine of the story which is Maria’s primary conflict:

After a near fatal heart attack, a former juror has one thing to do before she dies. She must resolve her fear that she let her own bias influence the verdict in a murder trial. Is the woman behind bars actually innocent?

6. Secondary Conflicts

MARIA:
Inner conflict: Maria realizes she may have let a personal story of betrayal influence her dislike for the defendant on the trial where she sat as a juror.

Secondary conflict: Maria’s health is declining. It is a race against the clock to journey to the prison to confront the convict and dig deeper than the story they heard in the courtroom.

NATALIE:
Inner Conflict: After being abandoned by her mother as a child, Natalie builds walls to protect her heart from hurt. As Natalie works with her patient Maria to solve the mystery, Natalie and Maria develop a mother-daughter bond that Natalie has the urge to resist for fear of loss and hurt. As her feelings for Maria grow, Natalie must learn to break down her barriers and learn to trust.

Secondary Conflict: Natalie loves her job as a chaplain because she has a gift for helping her terminal patients find peace. When her patient, Maria’s one dying wish is to reexamine a murder trial from twenty years ago and confirm that the convict was truly guilty, Natalie is compelled to help her dive beneath the media coverage and the inconclusive evidence to unearth the hidden truth. She wants to give her patient peace, but as they dig deeper, it appears that the jury may have made a mistake. How can she give her patient solace if in fact, her actions help convict an innocent woman?

KRYSTAL:
Inner Conflict: After years of watching her mother and best friend fail at romances with wealthy vacationers, Krystal is convinced romance between the rich and the poor will never work out.

Secondary Conflict: Krystal and Richard are madly in love, but when his rich and glamorous ex-fiancé shows up pregnant, Krystal fears she’ll lose everything. Weeks later when Susanna turns up dead, all eyes turn to Krystal as a suspect.

7. Setting

This story takes place in present day and mid-nineties Charleston, South Carolina. With its horse drawn carriages, historic districts and breathtaking beaches, Charleston serves as the perfect backdrop for Krystal’s romantic storyline which becomes the crux of the murder trial. With an active tourist demographic, many wealthy families spend summers on the Charleston barrier islands, lending itself to an underlying current between the locals and the rich summer home owners. This dichotomy of the haves and the have-nots plays into deep seated feelings of Krystal’s inferiority which become a major factor in her trial.

Thank you so much. I look forward to this conference next week.
Jennifer Jabaley


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2017, 22:08 
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TUJUNGA
(In the shadow of the moon, an adventure begins)
by Carlos Alvarado
Romantic Adventure

1. Story Statement:

Robert determines his fiancee's (Xochi) death was not suicide but murder. He must find the reason for why she would be targeted and seek revenge.

2. Antagonists

Robert's antagonist is the rage that manifests in him when challenged. With the death of Xochi, he felt himself adrift from the solace that had previously eluded him. It was in sharing Xochi's vigor that he learned to manage the rage that had disrupted previous relationships.

When Graham, the laboratory director, was made aware of Xochi's research findings, he felt the data may publicly obstruct the president's intent to return manned flights to the moon, as well as his quest for a financial promotion. He informs homeland security.

Edralin, a HSA agent, is planted in Xochi's lab to scrutinize her research data. In the quest, he intercedes in Robert's relationship and becomes prime suspect to the cause of Xochi's death.

Courtney provides the momentum of the story by his elusive poetry in which he allegorically has hidden socially undesirable emotions.

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) created a covert operation, contrary to NASA's premise, which further confounds Courtney's emotional predicament.

3. Breakout Titles:

a. working title: TUJUNGA
b. Tujunga: in the shadow of the moon, an adventure begins
c. Unintended Consequences
d. As it should always be
e. Joy into the void
f. Deepest of the deep

4. Genre and Comparables

Genre:
Romantic-adventure literary novel

Comparables (target market):
a. Cutting for Stone: a novel by Abraham Verghese:
b. Exit West: a novel by Mohsin Hamid

5. Primary Conflict:

The woman he loved is murdered. To get the reasons and obtain revenge, Robert feels spiritually directed to solve the allegorical clues she left him in a book of poems.

6. Secondary Conflict

a. Jealousy: Drawing from previous experience, Robert feels threatened when Xochitl takes a phone call related to a work matter. His questioning pressures Xochitl to withdraw to her room. Fearing she would surrender the information that would endanger him, she keeps the door locked for the night. The conflict at work would be resolved in a meeting later in the morning.
b. Guilt: Driving off into the bend out of the Canyon and on to her laboratory was the last he saw of her. There would never be a moment he could take back his inquisition; nor the fragrance of her shampoo on the pillow he cuddled could ever retrieve the love he had been willing to die for.

Even without moonlight, her wet swimsuit seemed to shimmer.
“Robert?” she called out toward the spa.
The muscles of his jaw felt tight when he answered, “I am in here.”
She leaned against the inside frame of the door. “Why are you sitting in the dark?”
For secret guilt by silence is betrayed, he wanted to say. “Who was on the phone?”
“It was from work; just last-minute details about the meeting planned in the morning.”
“Was it Graham?”
“No,” she replied and sat on the ottoman across from his chair. “What’s with all the questions?”

c. Sublimation: After the football victory, the coach gave a bombastic sermon on their achieving manhood; a process marked with ridicule and scorn, which they overcame through perseverance and commitment. Curt understood the value of focus, as much as the need to dispel feelings and desires that would sway one from the team's goal.

“You were a cannon tonight.” He felt Brandon’s warm voice (his running back) close to his ear and a tight embrace from behind him. “What a game, heh?”
“It was only ‘cause you, the Rhino, was there to catch my balls.” Curt pushed off from the embrace, and felt on his hand the sweat dripping from Brandon’s bare chest. “Come on man, go take a shower,” Curt said.
“What’s wrong, buddy? Got you all sweaty and bothered?” Brandon walked on toward the showers while slapping the butts of team-mates he passed. At his locker, he let the towel wrapped around his waist fall to the floor, then called out to Curt, “Coming to the party later on?”
Curt quickly turned to the rusted door and shouted back to Brandon, “Just taking a breather now, but see you there.”
“Claudia,” he softly called after shutting the door behind him. Curt was relieved to be wearing the crotch protector, as he looked down to notice his growing erection was well confined within the cup.


7. The Setting

It was a creek at any other time of the year, but the winter rains made the water surge into a raging river. Waves swelled into whitecaps as the water coursed along the Big Tujunga Canyon. Atop a rocky outcropping that overlooked the dam, Robert watched the torrent cascade over the concrete wall and rush toward the basin of the San Fernando Valley, ten miles away.

From the edge where he stood, a pebble dropped into the canyon when he shifted his stance. The stone echoed its impact on the craggy ledges of the steep granite wall.

Robert turned away, not wanting to hear the sound of metal when the stone struck the crumpled car in which Xochitl had lost her life

Tujunga is a cross country adventure coursing through:
1. Big Tujunga Canyon of Los Angeles: It is not only the backdrop for their romance, but also of her death. From the solace he found driving into it, to the torment when it became lost.
2. Tehachappi Mountains inspirited their romance, but was where they also found Curt's allegorical clues leading Robert to the answers he sought.
3. Mojave Desert and Death Valley are as deceitfully barren as they were abundantly revealing of the emotions driving Robert on his adventure.
4. Fayetteville, West Virginia: from the hardship of coal mining his father had endured, Curt learned an unwavering commitment to duty, which his father had labeled the wealth of black coal. Duty is, after all, the illusory concept upon which he buried a passion that otherwise would disorder what is "as it should always be."
5. Far Side of the Moon: Finding a connection with the universe reveals what cannot otherwise be recognized: life is the sum of trivial acts
6. Hampton Roads, Virginia: An ultimatum among the ancient oak trees of Colonial Williamsburg leads to the culmination of a tragedy; in fact, life is the sum of trivial things.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 03:20 
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The Perfect Earth by Katsu Ninomiya
Two women, lead their family’s global bio-tech firm in a race to create a perfect cloned society but are forced to disregard their moral compass when a fast growing third competitor, lead by a man who plays to win at all cost, changes the global landscape of human life forever.

Antagonist Force

General Hsu Tsao, became a man towards the end of a 20th century communist China. Peter, as his foreign friends called him, now leads the modern day Chinese Military and is the founder and CEO of a Chinese owned business conglomerate, Wo Yao.
Peter is driven by money and power. As the architect of the new 21st century China, he benefits from a capitalist driven but communist lead society. He often abuses his power to build wealth so he can feed his obsession with women, rich man boy toys and his drive to be the perfect male specimen.

Peter believes he is destined to rule China forever, driving his passion for global Chinese dominance. With little regard to human life, Peter is personally vested in making the perfect human clone, often eliminating opposing views. Peter’s appreciation for women comes only in his need to please his highly driven and obscure sexual appetite.
Standing at a slim 5’6”, Peter is not an imposing figure. His sharp wit, badly timed and usually graphic sense of humor, and his ability to persuade hundreds of millions of people to obey his commands, have made him one of the most feared leaders of all time.

Titles
Paradise on Earth
The Original Sin
The Perfect Earth

Comparable
Outlander – Diana Galbadon
Atlantis Gene – A.G. Riddle

Genre:
Sci-fiction-adventure literary novel


Primary Conflict – Wo Jao wants to create the perfect clones society eliminating all other clones while creating a bond between the other two rival bio- tech companies, both lead by daughters of the founders.

Secondary Conflict – Susanna De Pappas must go against her personal agreements and inner moral code to prevent Wo Yao from taking over the world and eliminating her designed clones and family line.

Third Conflict – Susanna De Pappas suffers when her daughter rebels and find comfort in the old ways changing the world that has been carefully created.

The Perfect Earth opens here on the earth today and progresses forward several centuries. Countries, cities and towns are destroyed by horrific battles, disease and hardship as naturally born humans give way to a perfectly designed cloned society under strict control of powerful corporations. The leaders of three firms are driven by corporate greed and personal pain to create the perfect human clone allowing women to become more powerful and shifting control of mankind to their will.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 03:34 
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Elayne1454 – The Consent

1. The act of the Story
Twenty-year-old Marne Swanson and twenty-two-year-old Trent Dillard must do whatever it takes to win back custody of their newborn son after they impulsively signed the consents to give him up for adoption.

2. The antagonists
Forty-something Manhattan lawyers Amy and Mark Levine cannot believe that their dream of having a child is finally happening through the adoption of a newborn boy. But their happiness is shattered when the Surrogate’s Court notifies them that birth parents Marne and Trent are withdrawing their consent to the baby’s adoption. Amy and Mark are not giving up their baby without a court battle.

3. The title
The Consent
45 Days
Solomon’s Child

4. Genre and approaching comparable
The genre is new adult/women's contemporary fiction.

Avery Corman’s Kramer versus Kramer: A Novel meets Colleen Hoover’s Never Never. Like Never Never, The Consent’s main character has been in love with the father of her child for as long as she can remember, but unlike Never Never, The Consent is not primarily a romance. Rather, like Kramer versus Kramer: A Novel, The Consent pushes its characters into a legal battle over the baby they all want to call their son.

5. Primary conflict
After impulsively signing consents to give up their infant son for adoption, Marne Swanson and Trent Dillard realize that they have made the biggest mistake of their lives and must do whatever it takes to get their baby back. But Amy and Mark Levine are not about to give up the baby without a fight. Now a there will be a trial and a judge will decide the baby’s future.

6. Secondary conflicts
Marne has always been in love with Trent Dillard, her deceased brother’s best friend. Now that they have had baby Ben, who they have agreed to give away, Marne realizes that Trent will never love her the way she loves him. Whether or not they get Ben back, she needs to face the reality that it is time to move on.

Trent has dreamt of playing in the NFL ever since he was 10 years old. After learning that Marne is pregnant, the stress causes him to blow his chances at the NFL Combine. His dream of becoming a kicker seems destined for failure until he gets the offer of a try out on the same day as the custody trial. His lawyer has told him that if he misses any part of the trial, he can kiss his son good-bye.

Amy Levine has always done the right thing. She knows that if her mother was alive, she would tell Amy to give the baby back to the birth parents. For once, Amy is going to put herself first. But would keeping little Joshua be worse if they have to give him back months later, after a trial?

Mark Levine has always viewed himself as an ethical lawyer. But when he had a chance to persuade Trent to give up Joshua, he grabbed it. Now he is not so sure he’s done the right thing.

As the custody case is tried, Marne, Trent, Amy and Mark have one thing in common: their futures, and that of the baby, are all up to Surrogate Ferguson. Armed with attorneys, they are equally determined to win the prize that only one couple can take home.

Third level conflicts
Marne wins back Ben, but loses Trent in the process. She knows that someday Trent will introduce her to his fiancé, Ben’s future step-mother, and Marne will smile outwardly, though her heart might be breaking. Armed with that knowledge and accepting of the same, she is able to move on and return the interest another male friend has shown in her.

After the devastating loss of custody of Joshua, Amy re-evaluates her values and decides that having a child is more important to her than having the perfect, white child. The Levine’s adopt Pilipino twins. Finally, they have the family they have always dreamt of.

7. Setting
The novel takes place in Poughkeepsie, New York and in Manhattan. Once the matter goes to trial, the setting is the beautiful, ornate courtroom of the New York County Surrogate’s Court.

Poughkeepsie presents the suburban life style that Marne believes is best in which to raise a child. The baby will have a back yard, a nearby school, a house and her family and Trent’s family close by. Marne and Trent live with his grandfather in his large home while fighting to win back Ben. Marne is a dog walker and envisions herself pushing Ben’s stroller outside while she cares for her dogs, passing the large homes that make up the local neighborhood.

Manhattan provides the cultural background Amy believes is optimal in which to raise a child. She and Mark live in a two-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s family friendly Upper West Side. Nearby Riverside Park, with its smaller parks, like Hippo Park, provide plenty of outdoor activity and Amy has made a friend there and joined a Mommy and Me Group. Her apartment may not have a back yard, but the City is an oasis from the stagnant suburbs.

The New York County Surrogate’s Court is an ornate, mahogany courtroom where Surrogates long past grimly stare down at litigants from their framed portraits. The judge’s bench towers over everyone, God-like thinks Amy, and why not. The judge is deciding their future and that of their baby. To everyone's surprise, the courtroom has one long table where all of the parties and their army of lawyers sit, too close for comfort.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 05:02 
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THE SECOND WAR
By Andy Kutler

STORY STATEMENT:
A World War II veteran suffering from combat-related trauma struggles to readjust in post-war America.

ANTAGONIST:
The antagonistic force is the mental illness that plagues Will Jamison following his return from the war. Burdened with a crushing guilt and harrowing memories he cannot escape, Jamison's life is overtaken by an explosive temper, sleepless nights, and a gradual descent into alcoholism. He must also contend with a secondary antagonist – the public misconceptions about mental illness that prevailed in that era. Such stigmas often drove those afflicted by combat-related trauma to dark corners, silencing men like Jamison who were mired in shame and embarrassment, and thus unwilling to address or even acknowledge their own suffering.

BREAKOUT TITLES:
The Second War.
The Wounds Less Visible.
Forty Hours in Noville.

GENRE: Historical/General Fiction

COMPARABLES:
Jeff Shaara – The Rising Tide. Shaara’s wartime novels provide a riveting, realistic perspective through the eyes of those who fought, enabling readers to truly appreciate both the horrors of war and the extraordinary acts of courage, valor and leadership.

Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See. Doerr’s novel should not be considered war fiction per se. Rather than focus on battlefield scenes, Doerr uses World War II as a backdrop to tell a story of two unique, compelling characters as they navigate the horrors of war and occupation.

CONFLICT LINE
A professional baseball player volunteers after Pearl Harbor, and years later struggles to overcome his haunting wartime memories and guilt-laden secrets, jeopardizing his post-war playing career and the pursuit of the woman he loves.

PROTAGONIST INNER CONFLICT
Jamison is aware of his volatility on and off the baseball field, but continues to internalize his angst, fearing the implications to his career and reputation should his mental ailments become widely known. A turning point occurs with a deeply humiliating breakdown in full view of others, leaving Jamison at a crossroads. Either he continues on, alone with his anguish, and allows the darkness to steadily consume him, or he levels with those around him and seeks the psychiatric care he needs, even at the risk of exposing his secrets and shame.

SECONDARY CONFLICT
Before the war, Jamison was carrying on a secret affair with Kay Barlow, the wife of a rival player. By the end of the war, Kay has divorced her abusive husband and moved from New York to Washington, D.C. to reconnect with Jamison. Despite his physical and emotional attachment to Kay, Jamison pushes her away, averse to sharing his experiences with anyone, and certain that her discovery of his wartime actions and their consequences will drive her away forever.

SETTING
The story opens in 1942 following Jamison’s enlistment in the Army and his return to Washington for a final farewell. He finds a city awash in an unprecedented buildup for war, and still stinging from a series of early, demoralizing defeats. Amid the brewing anxiety in the capital, baseball continues to be a popular diversion, with the eyes of Jamison’s former team, the Washington Senators, and their loyal fans squarely on the American League pennant.

The story later shifts to the winter of 1944, with Jamison’s unit clashing with a massive German force of men and tanks in the Ardennes region of southern Belgium. The picturesque landscape, replete with dense forests and rolling pastures, is soon marred by the devastation of war and staggering numbers of dead and wounded. Numb from the freezing temperatures and exhausted after forty contentious hours of combat, Jamison’s platoon edges closer to a breaking point as their casualties mount in the face of overwhelming odds.

Concluding in 1946, readers find a post-war America that is triumphant, vibrant and on the brink of unprecedented prosperity. It is also a nation anxious to turn the page on the war, even as it is unprepared to deal with men like Jamison still suffering invisible wounds. Major League Baseball experiences a resurgence as star players like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Will Jamison have returned from their war service, revitalizing the game and public interest after several lackluster seasons of diminished play while the league’s best talent was away.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 06:47 
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Genre: Memoir

Break out title:
No Experience Necessary

Act of story statement:
A very young, very broke, single mother searches for clues that will lead her out of the stress and strain of working and living in survival mode to a passionate life with purpose and meaning.

She tries on professions like a supermodel tries on outfits; wearing each just long enough to see if it fits.

Antagonistic force:
While the forces of poverty, sexism and the underbelly of capitalism lurk around every corner and threaten to keep her down, Nancy attempts to push past them with creativity, an irreverent sense of humor and a blind faith that there has to be something better out there. With each new job she overcomes self doubt, meets over the top characters, has out of the box experiences, and gleans significant insights into the world and the people around her.

Setting:
Set just below the poverty line in suburban Maryland, and in all the places where a girl might go to catch a break; in restaurants, warehouses, clown suits, business suits, sedans for hire, vans for the homeless, and various other places of employment

The result is a funny and poignant treasure trove of stories about living and working and realizing your potential.
It’s Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (if the author of that book actually had skin and the game) meets What Color is Your Parachute, where self discovery happens through the process of elimination.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 09:30 
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First Assignment (Story Statement):

In order to discover the truth of his father's disappearance, Riley Widow must travel through new dimensions of time to face his deepest fears, come to terms with his past, and help save a Council of Prophets who are trapped inside the mind of a telepathic King.

Second Assignment (Antagonist):

Christian is from the future, from a dimension called Draconis, where powers of the mind are innate. As a telepath and a telekinetic, Christian works for the Legion. He is the head of a Special Task Force that travels through dimensions in time to apprehend people who are harmful to the future inter-dimensional empire, Emperion.
Christian was among the first groups of people mentally conditioned by the empire, and stripped of any emotions (i.e. love, empathy) that would inhibit their civil servitude under Emperion. The Legion decisively enhanced and tailored Christian's own mental disorders of paranoia and schizophrenia to use the traits for their own megalomaniac ideologies.
While under the impression that Riley escaped the Circuit (a compound where Emperion conditions the masses), Christian goes after Riley in attempts to return him to the Circuit.
After being trapped in Dawn, Christian defiles himself by drinking the blood of the Prophets, which enhances his powers of the mind, giving him access to the world of the Chasm. Christian uses fearful beings from the Chasm, called Phantoms, to gain more control over the Prophets and Riley. Being a telepath increases Christian's mentality that he can get what he wants by means of manipulation. He manipulates everyone around him to feed his own desires.


Third Assignment (Breakout Title/Three Options):

1. Riley Widow & The Guardians of Light
2. Riley Widow & The Prophets of Dawn
3. Guardians of Time

Fourth Assignment (Comparables):

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This work compares to mine because, like Grossman, I present the reader with the possibility of other worlds. These realities are accessed by in-between worlds. My work explores two in-between worlds. The first is the Bridge (a never-ending labyrinth hallway of doors leading to different realities in time; the past, present, future, and any given character's mind). The Bridge is accessed by a elevator-like machine called the SPIRIT (Space Passing In-between Reality In Time). The second in-between world is the Chasm (a world hidden behind mirrors, existing between reality and the mind).
Grossman uses an in-between world that is described as the "Neitherlands" where there exist countless pools leading to different worlds. Grossman's work also displays little nuances of time travel throughout, though mine are more overt. There is some magic in my story as well, but that is not the main driving force. Lastly, my protagonist, Riley Widow, is an extreme introvert, misunderstood, and very introspective, and shows similarities to that of Grossman's protagonist, Quentin Coldwater.


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Like Victoria Aveyard's world of the Red Queen is a world of super human powers and two races of people (those with silver blood, and those with red blood), my world is a world of many races of people and beings with strange powers. For example; Zephers (those who speak Zepherion, a language with the power to influence anyone and anything to do your will), Invaders (those with powers of the mind), Prophets (those who can look into the past/present/future with their burning-shining eyes), Ghosts (people who move so fast that they can manipulate time to move around and through it), Avians (people with wings like eagles that can control any given element), Pulses (those who can generate dangerous amounts of energy in the form of pulsing-destroying lights), and Travelers (those who can travel through time and other dimensions; i.e. the mind and other realities).

Fifth Assignment (Primary Conflict/Conflict Line):

Riley Widow & The Prophets of Dawn by Erick Vasquez
A young boy discovers that uncovering the truth of his dreams and his past comes at a fearful price, when he's held responsible for the fate of a world of Prophets who are trapped inside the mind of a telepathic king.

Sixth Assignment (Inner Conflict/Secondary Conflict):

Riley's inner turmoil comes from the haunting dreams he's been having, which bring the confusion of his past, and the fears of his present situation (i.e. who he is because of what life has presented him with), to the surface.
Riley is constantly conflicted between his fears and the truth of everything happening to him. He has to overcome his fears in order to discover the truth about his father, and that's hard for him to do, because his fears define how he sees the world, how he sees himself, and prevent him from being strong enough for himself. He must be strong enough, especially for himself, in order to navigate through this new world of multiple dimensions of time.
Riley lives in a constant state of anxiety, as every door he opens in this new world can lead to any reality in time; the past, the present, the future, and to anyone's mind. In each place he goes, he is presented with new challenges that cause him to face his fears.


Hypothetical Scene Displaying Riley's Inner Conflict:
Riley opens a door to the past, to a time when he was in a boy's home. He observes (from across the street) a playground at the boy's home he lived at. He sees his past self there at the age of ten. There are other boys bullying him, antagonizing him because he has nightmares and wakes up in the middle of the night calling for his dad. The boys tease him for this. And Riley (as he is observing this scene now) remembers how it felt to be that alone, and isolated. It only makes him realize how he feels like that, even now. Through the story, there is an obvious sense that Riley is isolated and isolates himself from people at his school (roommate, teacher) and isolates himself from his mom. But this hypothetical scenario would provide for the reader a real glimpse at that isolation, and how deep it has been embedded in who Riley is. This would add more pieces into Riley's repertoire of fears, the fears of being misunderstood and rejected.

Hypothetical Scene Displaying Secondary Conflict:
Riley confronts his father after having gone on this strenuous journey to find out what happened to him. Riley's father tells him that he let himself be taken into the future for Riley's sake, but this doesn't appease Riley at all. It only makes his past that much more burdensome. He explains to Riley that he saw what the world would become in the future, and he saw where Riley would end up in it, and he wanted to try and fix it, all so that Riley could have a better life. And, although this seemingly selfless act of heroism is just that, it only angers Riley that his father left him in the past to be neglected and abandoned by his mother, and for both himself and his mother to be left at the hands of an abusive stepfather. Riley's father only knew what could happen if he left his present time to help save the future, but what he never considered is what kind of life Riley would have without his father in it. This scene would show Riley still struggling to come to terms with his past. Furthermore, it would create a paradigm shift with Riley's feelings toward his father. Where he once thought his father was just a victim, now he knows his father made a choice, and Riley was left a victim to that choice.

Seventh Assignment (Set The Scene):

Main setting:
The Bridge
Also known as the tenth dimension. After discovering a curious elevator in his school's academics building, and after traveling through various dimensions of time, Riley Widow ends up on the Bridge. The Bridge is an eerie, never-ending hallway of doors upon doors that should not exist, but does. The Bridge is a world in–between all other worlds. There are doors that can lead to the past, present, future, other realities (dimensions), and anyone's mind. Any door opened on the Bridge can result in dire consequences, if and when anything on the other side of those doors is tampered with. This is where Riley Widow unfolds his own fate by the choices he makes (whether or not those choices are made purposefully, or on accident).

Sub-settings (scene by scene):
Bridgestone
A fictional boarding school in Vermont. The year is 1991.
This is where the story begins, and where Riley has a rough first week of classes at his new school, due to haunting nightmares of a mysterious glowing woman, and a voice calling him to "wake up", causing Riley's restlessness. Riley falls asleep during lectures, and is confronted by both his Literature instructor and his roommate. After realizing his dreams are leading him somewhere (and discovering he's been sleepwalking), Riley is led to a curious elevator in his school's academics building. This is where he is removed from his reality, and enters into a crazy world of multiple dimensions of time.

Christian's Mind.
Where Riley meets the Council of Prophets, who are from a dimension inhabited by people called Prophets, who have burning-shining eyes that they use to see the future. This is where Riley receives a prophecy, setting the main plot into motion.
Riley's mind
Riley literally and physically goes inside his own mind, into a memory of a night he was physically abused by his stepfather and fled to the subways. Later, he goes inside his own subconscious, where he faces his biggest fears.
The Tenth Dimension
Also known as the Bridge. It is a never-ending hallway leading to any reality in time (the past, present, future, and to doors of the mind).
The Field of Fire
Where Riley gains the ability of Zepherion (a language that has the power to influence anyone/anything).
The Circuit
A high security compound where Riley runs into Christian, who is part of the Legion, and a guard at the Circuit (all people and places Riley will discover are a part of his future).
The Pit
Where Riley discovers the race of the banished First Men who speak Zepherion.
The mind of the First Guardian
Where Riley meets the First Guardian, and unknowingly sets him free from being imprisoned in his own mind with a curious Key Riley was given. This is also where Riley learns of his ability of speaking Zepherion, and uses the language to escape the First Guardian's mind.
Dawn's past
Riley gets a glimpse of this wonderful world, after opening a door to it, while running away from Christian. It's where Riley traps Christian (resulting in the need of saving Dawn).
Old puritan town
Where Riley finds Lina, a girl who is running away from people who tortured her, and meets Fenn, a boy with wings. He is from another dimension called Vailis––a world of elemental beings.
Outer space/rain forest/hotel room
A means for Riley to experience other curiosities of the Bridge.
Eclair Divane's mind
Where Riley meets Eclair (a Neurological Architect who helps Riley put his time back in order). It's also where he Memory Travels (a form of time travel), and is able to go back into the past, and uncover the truth of his history and his dreams.
Dawn's future
Where Riley sees what would come of Dawn, due to him trapping Christian there. Christian is the cause of the extinction of the race of the Prophets, because he killed them all. By drinking their gold blood, Christian has been kept alive for generations by the blood's life-giving qualities.
Dawn's past
The beautiful world of three suns, eight moons, red water, and a shimmering palace. This is where Riley works alongside a Prophet named Gracian, learns all about Dawn's people and practices, and discovers more prophecies of the world he's entered. This is where Riley learns about the Guardian's of Light, and the Chasm (a world existing behind mirrors, and lying just between reality and the world of all minds). Here he learns how Christian trapped the Council inside his mind by using mirrors.
Dawn's present
Where Riley is sent to a dungeon, and breaks out, only to be imprisoned inside Christian's mind along with the Council.
Christian's mind
Riley arrives for the second time in Christian's mind, a few moments after his past self was just there. Lina then appears to help Riley and the Council out of Christian's mind.
The Chasm
A world that lives and thrives off of someone's fears/imagination. This is where Christian and Riley fight, and where Riley finally comes to terms with his fears of the past.
The Mansion
Where Riley is taken to the year 1923, and meets an Agent and a man named Ruslan Brazier, who tell Riley of all the terrible things happening in the future (somewhere around the year 2500). The future is what it is because Riley unlocked the mind of the First Guardian, who is now in control of an inter-dimensional empire (Emperion) in the future.
Argent
Another dimension, also known as Vector 3, is part of Emperion in the future, somewhere around the year 2500. Riley is taken from the mansion by the Watch (futuristic time police, who are also Prophets), who arrest time travelers and monitor any disturbances in time. Argent is a glimpse of a future that exists because of Riley's actions while journeying through the in-between world, called the Bridge.
Bridgestone
This book ends with Riley returning to Bridgestone, having been gone from his reality only one day, though his entire journey takes place within the span of a week.
The Field of Fire (Epilogue)
Where the First Guardian wakes up (after Riley sets him free from being trapped inside his own mind). The First Guardian reunites with the other Guardians of Light, and sets out to invade all realities in time and establish the future inter-dimensional empire of Emperion. This is a major sub-plot in the backdrop of the main plot, leading into the second book.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 15:49 
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“Inappropriate Behavior” by Rebecca A Corio
Pre-Event seven writing assignments:

1 – Simple Story Statement:
Reconnecting with her best friend from High School after 15 years of silence to find they are no longer anything alike.

2 – The Antagonist Plots the Point:
Connor is egotistical and brooding. He justifies his condescending attitude to those beneath him by the simple fact they deserve it. He despises anything to do with small towns and she now represents everything that he’s grown to hate. His dark secret is because of her. His needs, his end game, those are the only things that matter. He doesn’t hesitate to stun his prey by charm or venom, whichever entertains him the most. Stopping at nothing to collect what he feels he’s due.

3 – Breakout Title:
Inappropriate Behavior: Inappropriate Angel: Killing An Angel

4 – Deciding Your Genre and Approaching Comparables:
Laurell K Hamilton – Anita Black series. While no otherworld creatures in this manuscript characters are written as mature adults. People who have real thoughts, feelings; they laugh and cry. They make mistakes. Smart with the right amount of sarcasm and sass. Staples in today’s world.
Lora Leigh – Characters and stories where people do things they know better, that they know aren’t good for them, but that they are human and give in to the desire. Because they want to. Where the characters want love and happiness, to protect their loved ones. And deal with the difficulties of those things. Happy endings because real life seems to not have enough of those.
Romance and Erotic Romance stories that when a reader closes his or her eyes they imagine themselves in the story. Unable to resist picturing themselves having that experience. They want to be the characters they are reading about. No matter the confines of the reader’s real world life, for a moment the consideration what if they behaved like these characters, said what they said, did what they did brings the readers emotions to the surface.

5 – Considering the Primary Conflict – Coming of the “Agon”:
The realization their attraction to each other as adults is far more powerful a thing than their teenage friendship ever was. But everything he despises about those years is centered in her. So that attraction for him is nothing more than physical. Every thought, every reaction is fuel for his contempt directed squarely at the beautiful woman he finds himself unable to forget a second time. He will destroy any attempt to make things right between them. Sex doesn’t conquer all and love with her is out of the question. But does he hate her enough to let her live?

6 – Other Matters of Conflict: Two More Levels
Inner Conflict: She knows somewhere in his heart he still cares. If only his head weren’t such a Jackass constantly amusing himself by pointing out everything about her he now hates. She knows one can’t love enough for two. She’s smarter than making that mistake a second time. But her heart will accept nothing less than telling him the truth, no matter what it costs her.
Secondary conflict: When he forgets his belittling of her long enough the similarities in them now they are adults begin to show. She accepts her small town upbringing. He refuses to see that same upbringing is part of who he is. Blind to the fact he has become as prejudice as those he looks down on. By the time he needs her trust it may be too late to have earned it.

7 – The Incredible Important of Setting:
Compared to New York, everywhere is small town. And small means hicks, prejudices, and too many bad memories. But he’s made the mistake of coming to her. And everything about that decision grates on his nerves. Her insignificant job at the hospital admitting desk with the crazies she sees each night, uninteresting. Her concern for her little coworkers and patients, disgusting. A night out of bowling and beer, the epitome of mundane. He fights it at every turn, trying to maintain his grip on why everything, anything is better than the pressure that chokes him from the claustrophobic town.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 18:38 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 02:09
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1. Story Statement
Defy terminal illness, and the biases of modern medicine, to achieve a peaceful and dignified end of life.

2. Antagonistic Force
An aggressive cancer wreaks havoc on a roller coaster of botched tests, conflicting diagnoses and the need to make immediate life and death decisions with incomplete information. Treatments to fight the cancer sap energy and permanently damage critical organs. The elation of remission is soon replaced by the despair of relapse. Although the side effects of continuing treatment threaten to degrade quality of life to an unacceptable level, society considers it more courageous to continue the battle.

3. Breakout Title
Endings Matter: Dying Well
Facing Mortality: A Matter of Life and Death
Act III of a Play Called Life

4. Comparables
Genre: Inspirational Memoir

Paul Kalanithi, in When Breath Becomes Air, wrestles with an existential question - What makes life worth living in the face of death? In coming face to face with his own mortality, he has written a life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death. My inspirational memoir follows a man at a later stage in life, who is not a medical professional, wrestling with the same question and finding meaning while celebrating life to the end. As a widow, I add to Kalanithi’s experience by showing how my husband’s decisions and actions also eased the transition of those left behind.

In Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande uses research and storytelling to assert that in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. He contends that medicine can and should comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end. While he makes his case using snippets of multiple experiences, my story follows one man’s journey, from diagnosis to death, showing how Dr. Gawande’s proposition plays out for a single patient and his family.


My book and both comparables have the goal of helping the reader achieve what’s most important to them at the end of their lives. Our shared target audience is the 79 million baby boomers, who, as they age, will be looking for ways to make good end-of-life decisions, whether for their parents or themselves. Over 2.6 million Americans die every year, 1.2 million from cancer or heart disease. Many more are battling life-threatening conditions. There could not be a better time for an inspiring memoir that helps the reader come to terms with death and find ways to make this last stage of life as peaceful and dignified as possible. I plan to seek endorsements from Dr. Gawande, Jane Brody (Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life), and the 37.8 million-member AARP.

5. Primary Conflict Line
Facing an aggressive cancer, a vibrant and otherwise healthy husband and father must decide whether to keep battling to the end, at the risk of wasting precious time and energy, or switch to fighting for quality of life in the time he has left.


6. Secondary Conflict – A Scenario
My husband’s fight against cancer takes place in a medical system that can be complex, confusing, and frightening. Diagnosed with a late stage aggressive cancer, time is of the essence in deciding among treatment options. A search for clinical trials comes up empty except for MD Anderson, a premier national cancer hospital in Houston. They will not discuss trials or treatments over the phone. A backlog created by a hurricane that knocked out infrastructure in Houston means the earliest appointment requires a wait of more than two weeks. Should he wait, allowing the cancer to spread unabated, with no assurance treatment at MD Anderson will be better? Or should he immediately start treatment locally, knowing that if he does, MD Anderson won’t see him?

Inner Conflict – A Scenario
After months of chemo and a presumed remission of less than two months, my husband learns that the cancer is back with a vengeance. He must decide whether to undergo another round of chemo, suffering side effects that threaten to degrade his quality of life to an unacceptable level. Continuing treatment would be a long shot and would keep him tethered to home by drip lines of poison and the threat of infection - a battle to the end that may waste of precious time and energy. Declining treatment would mean certain death, most likely within 3 months. We’ve seen first-hand well-meaning physicians try in vain to extend the life of a terminally-ill patient, at a terrible cost, financial and emotional. He has a living will and healthcare directive to prevent that from happening. But now that a hypothetical scenario is lethally real, can he pull the plug?

7. Setting
In America of the early 21st century, we as a society have not come to terms with dying as a natural part of living. Although there was a time when death happened at home, with friends and family gathered around a loved one to ease their passing, now death is unfamiliar, something to be feared and avoided at all costs. The technological capabilities of medicine have outstripped the moral capacity to distinguish what can be done versus what should be done. Well-meaning physicians try in vain to extend the life of a terminally-ill patient, at a terrible cost, financial and emotional. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Legal healthcare directives are required to prevent doctors, committed to extending life, from carrying out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. For most people, death comes only after a long medical struggle with an incurable condition. Far too many die in hospitals, in pain, isolated from their friends and families. The terminally ill may be forced to battle the fears of society and the biases of medical professionals to take control of their end-of-life journey. Only a fraction of those who say they want end-of-life care at home achieve it.


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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 21:54 
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THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT

An eleven year old accidentally starts an apocalypse when she discovers she shares her soul with a dragon God.


THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT

Lieutenant Krutt, the corrupt leader of the Consulate, had made it his ambition to methodically murder the entire Royal race one by one. Once the Royals were eliminated, the highly enigmatic and protected Royal library where the most powerful spell books in existence were kept would finally be his.

Wiping out an entire race wasn’t easy, even with the tech and unlimited funds he had at his fingertips. There were rules that must be followed.

Fortunately for Krutt, the Prophecy machine had gone rogue, and the sighting of the Red Dragon proved that the Blue Blood Prophecy was finally coming to pass. That was all he needed to sentence the Royals to death in a hell dimension. Now, all that was left was to kill the Dragon God and the Wizard that summoned it.

Some called him a sloth, others called him an apeman. His ethnicity was unknown, even to him. What Krutt lacked in breeding, he made up for in tenacious corruption. Once the Royals were dead, and the most supreme magic in the world was in his grasp, he wouldn’t just have access to power.

He would become power itself.


CONJURING YOUR BREAKOUT TITLE

1. Echo Cherry and the Blue Blood Prophecy
2. The Red Dragon Chronicles
3. To Kill a Dragon God


DECIDING YOUR GENRE AND APPROACHING COMPARABLES

1.) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

A few similarities include:

-Whimsical magical rules and settings
-The land thrives with magic, madness and monsters
-Protagonist determined to discover her own destiny
-Protagonists desire to be average


2.) Frostblood by Elly Blake

A few similarities include:

-Protagonist with unpredictable abilities
-Protagonist comes out of hiding
-Protagonist is a lethal weapon/highly dangerous
-Story lead by prophecy


CONSIDERING THE PRIMARY CONFLICT - COMING OF THE “AGON”

An eleven year old member of magic Royalty accidentally starts an apocalypse and struggles to free the world from destruction, while Lieutenant Krutt dispatches an army to kill her before she can save the planet.


OTHER MATTERS OF CONFLICT: TWO MORE LEVELS

1.) One of the attributes of Echo’s race is that they all share their soul with one animal they can shape shift into. In Echo’s case, she shares her soul with all animals, including The Red Dragon, who just happens to be a God. When Echo spontaneously shape shifts into the dragon to save the lives of her companions, the God insists on her surrender to Him. Her refusal triggers the apocalypse. Echo’s inner turmoil in her duality with the dragon is a powerful driving force in the story. Because Echo shares her soul with an ancient God, she discovers that all of her thoughts and feelings have consequences in the real world, which manifests into physical reality. As an example, If she is feeling somewhat irritated, she may create a swarm of bees that attack people. Or, if she is feeling intense inner conflict, in the physical world she may create a war, or mass destruction (depending on the severity). The world around her bends to her thoughts and whims, and to evolving degrees as she merges with the Red Dragon. This alone makes her the most dangerous being her world has ever known.

Therefore, hypothetically, if Echo were to see someone hurt her beloved Hubert, a spiked emotional reaction would occur. Her fear, anguish and retaliation may cause hot lava to pour from the sky and destroy the landscape. Oops. She's not the one in control, so she can't help herself.

2.) After Echo was pulled out of the human world and brought back to her homeland, her companions explained the reason why the Royals were hiding in the human dimension. For the last eleven years, her race was hunted down and murdered for a bounty. Moving to the human dimension was the Royals way of surviving, while simultaneously freezing the war. The Blue Blood Prophecy was the root cause of the uprising, specifically noting that a member of the Royal clan would have the power to rule them all. On the other side of the fight, the Alliance believed that a sorcerer with ultimate power could finally create peace throughout the world, and bring together the races once and for all. There are two clear, delineating sides of the conflict.

Refusing to allow the Royals to come into ultimate power, Lieutenant Krutt and the Lizard King make an agreement that the Royals would be hunted down and killed for a bounty. Fear mongering and corruption lead to many races agreeing to hunt down the Royals, especially in communities where money and provisions were scarce. With all of the Royal children in a magical stronghold on Earth, and all of the adult Royals in jail, Echo became the only Royal out in the open. The moment that she teleported back to her world, she immediately became the most hunted being on the planet.

Hypothetically, anyone who spotted her could, and would potentially murder her for money/out of fear of the prophecy. If a satyr trotted out of the woods, minding his own beeswax and saw Echo, he may feel as though he had it easy if he decided to kill her. Being who she is, the Dragon God inside of her would likely interject to protect her via divine intervention, creating a miracle of war that can only happen with an ancient Gods cunning and wisdom. That is, if it served the dragon in that moment for her to survive the attack.


THE INCREDIBLE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING

The overall setting in this story is one of self-discovery, apocalypse, war and whimsy. This world is completely foreign to the protagonist. There is a mixture of old world magic and modern technology that colors the scenes. Nothing here is static, everything continues to change as it becomes clear that magic is a living, breathing organism that is the dominant force on the planet, and with an agenda all its own.


1.) The cul-de-sac

All of the adult Royals were ripped from the human dimension in an event called the Blast. After the Blast, the Royal children were sealed in a mystical stronghold in the human population, magically barricaded on a manifested residential street. No one could see inside of their street, and they could not leave. The children were abandoned for a year. As a result from the Blast, the trees, bushes and plants grew everything they needed to survive (i.e. toilet paper, spaghetti) and what wasn’t used simply disintegrated back into the earth. The troubled youth did not possess the ability to use magic on their own. Magic was intentionally frozen inside of them at birth, which only added to their helplessness and frustration. The setting of the street in an urban area offers familiarity, while encompassing unconventional elements i.e. the dangerous barricade, plants and trees growing unusual items, only children present creating Lord Of The Flies interactions, etc.


2.) The Forest

Once Echo had bypassed the barrier, a spell that took over one hundred adult Royals to create, she was teleported to a forest in her homeland. Because she was being hunted, it took all of her companions special talents to keep her hidden. Their efforts to hide her ultimately failed, and Echo faced off against an army of one hundred Troll Pygmies. The forest proved itself to be the ideal setting for this type of attack, as it was dark, isolated and unpredictable.


3.) Town

As Echo and her companions arrived in town to have a meeting with a member of the Alliance, the towns setting was designed to both delight and accost the senses. The Live Spell market boasted a cutting edge old school magical variety show mixed with new world technology, painting a unique and exciting spectacle. The various store fronts offered wares that the protagonist did not understand, but rationalized through relatable comparisons and personal experience. The pub and inn offered a detailed perspective of the different types of races that would flow through the town, and its setting lent itself easily for the unusual and unexpected.


4.) The Royal Castle

The castle is the living, breathing physical embodiment of the First magic. It’s inner workings are vast and mysterious, and quite literally go on forever within the physical plane. It has the ability to reconstruct itself as it wishes, and it’s consciousness expresses it’s feelings and messages in the most bizarre means imaginable.


5.) The Shamans teepee

A beautifully simplistic, yet spacious abode. Her home actualized in the physical the inner workings of an enlightened beings mind. Open, clean, and simple with bountiful sustenance.


6.) The Consulate

The building itself incarnated the characteristics of the corruption of the Consulate, showcasing menacing peaks and sharp corners. Inside, the walls are blindingly white and uncomfortably clinical. It is a clear demonstration of the analytical, calculating mind of Lieutenant Krutt.


7.) The Town of Chatterfox

A hub of activity, and the perfect location for the Prophecy Machine to make an unexpected, yet critical cameo. Rustic yet modern elements mixed with freshly imagined beings and races of all shapes and sizes color the scene. The apocalypse at this point in the novel creates the setting for the weather, effectively changing the normally happy local activity to one that quickly becomes sinister and sardonic.


8.) Alliance Headquarters

Their headquarters is invisible to the naked eye. Inside, it is quite spacious and homey, with unusual choices in construction. Their home mirrors the nature of the Alliance mentality. The hearts of Alliance members are generally welcoming and open to all that wish to join the fight, which is demonstrated in their open spaced architecture. The homey atmosphere projects their own comfort with themselves and with each other. The buildings somewhat unusual engineering mirrors their tendency to accept anyone who wishes to side with them, regardless of race, resulting in a hodge podge of loyal Alliance members.


9.) Lieutenant Krutts Flying Train

The train is arrogant and ostentatious, just like Krutt. It stocks the best of everything, has the best tech, and is over the top luxurious. It perfectly mirrors Krutts insecurities with himself and his inner struggles for the world to see him as the best. This is because he does not know how to love himself. His lack of self worth and starvation of self love has demonized him. This is perfectly mirrored in his spectacular flying train.


10.) The Forest Behind the Castle

This setting is exactly how a forest that resides behind a building that is the living embodiment of the First magic should be. Dark, dank and full of mystery in the shadows.


11.) The Prophecy Machines Hidden Room

The living, alien machine decides to take a trip and travel to deliver prophecies according to it’s own agenda. Not that anyone knew it was capable of doing so. The sealed off, dark room was only illuminated by the glowing, un-birthed tears that floated inside it’s spherical belly. It is ideal for Echos privately delivered prophecy, intending to aid her in saving the planet from an apocalypse that she created. While the machine births, it’s freezing cold environment creates confusion and severe nausea, affecting anyone within its halo. This setting is particularly beautiful and volatile.


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PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 03:26 
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PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 04:54 
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Something’s Happening Here: a Roller Coaster Ride through the Sixties by Mark L. Berger

Assignment 1/ Story Statement
“Something’s Happening Here: A Roller Coaster Ride through the Sixties” is a first-person, action-driven account of the author’s life in the tumultuous 1960’s that begins on the dark streets of Brooklyn and ends on the muddy fields of Woodstock.

Assignment 2/ Antagonists
“Something’s Happening Here” is focused on coming of age during the counterculture movement of the 1960’s. The Establishment is the central antagonist. Its agents of power, control and conformity are personalized by various characters. Among others, these include: Mr. O’Brien, the suspicious head of company security, who views Mark’s opposition to the Vietnam War as proof that he’s been brainwashed; the Faustian Army psychiatrist who Mark tries to convince to give him a draft deferment; the Dean of Admissions at a Tennessee university who warns Mark they don’t tolerate outside agitators and the police captain who leads the raid on Mark and Deena’s home and then lies to the press about what was found in order to undermine any chance they have of receiving a fair trial.
At the Woodstock Festival, the antagonistic forces are natural ones: the rainstorms, the mud, the shortages of everything, except good vibes, and the half- million high concert goers.

Assignment 3/ Create a Breakout Title
Something’s Happening Here: A Roller Coaster Ride through the 1960’s

Assignment 4/ Decoding Your Genre
Historians have written accounts of the Sixties. The leaders of the various movements have added their points of view. The Woodstock Music Festival has books by all four producer as well as commemorative volumes. But there are only two first-person accounts of what it was like to come of age during that decade that culminate at Woodstock.
One is “Finding Woodstock” by Elliot Tiber whose experience was made into a successful movie of the same name and is largely focused on Tiber coming to terms with his sexuality and coming out as gay.
The other is “Woodstock Revisited: 50 far out, groovy, peace-loving, flashback-inducing stories from those who were there” edited by Susan Reynolds, which provides brief, individual and unrelated recollections of what like to be a festival attendee. Only five of the tales are from people who helped set things up beforehand and worked during the weekend to keep them going.
Mark L. Berger’s “Something’s Happening Here” is the only first-person, front seat view of what it was like to live through that tumultuous time.

Assignment 5 – Write Your Own Conflict Line
The primary conflicts that relate to Mark’s odyssey to find his own place in the world, without surrendering his integrity. Mark’s identification with the values of the counterculture run deep and put him in direct conflict with the Establishment’s resistance to this movement. Each time the author thinks the changes have stopped, they start up again, upending everything.
Secondary conflict – Will Mark find love along the way? When he meets Deena and they relocate to Tennessee to start a new life, it seems like their life is finally on track. But getting arrested changes everything. The security and sanctity of their marriage is severely tested. Will they make it together? If not, will Mark be able to love again?

Assignment 6: Sketch out the conditions for the inner conflict your protagonist will have
Inner conflicts – Mark struggles to find a way to live a life based on values he has chosen. But doing so involves facing consequences. The author struggles to live in a way that leaves his integrity intact.

Assignment 7/ Settings
Like the ever-changing scenes of the 1960’s, the 69 vignettes of “Something’s Happening Here” take the reader on a trip from Brooklyn’s dark streets to Woodstock’s muddy fields, from inner-city playgrounds to hippie communes, and from Allen Ginsberg’s apartment to Wavy Gravy’s teepee. This is a Sixties’ roller coaster ride that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more.


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PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 10:35 
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Chasing Tomorrow by Kera Martin Race

STORY STATEMENT
Sigmunt Schwager, a seventeen year old Polish Jew, must avoid Nazi capture and survive WWII alone after he is separated from his family in 1939.

THE ANTAGONISTIC FORCE
The relentless approach of Nazi domination and the inhuman attitudes of its perpetrators force Sigmunt Schwager to run for his life. As the Nazis continue to advance, Sigmunt heads east, across Poland to Russia, Uzbekistan, and even Siberia with the sights and smells of goose-stepping boots and senseless death constantly at his heels. Fifty years after he arrives in New York, the unspoken horrors of the past continue to haunt him, making him unable to shake their iron grip on his life and causing inevitable but unexplained effects on the lives of those around him.

BREAKOUT TITLE
Chasing Tomorrow
If I See You In The Morning
My Father's Testimony

COMPARABLES AND GENRE
Chasing Tomorrow is historical fiction based on stories my father told me.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is a holocaust story told both in the present and in the past, similar to the way Chasing Tomorrow is structured. Compelled by love for her brother, Sarah hides him in a cupboard only to return and find him dead inside. Many years later, the connection between Sarah and the owners of the apartment where her brother died are revealed. This story of Nazi brutality, family ties, and memories brought to light are similar themes to those in Chasing Tomorrow.

Chasing Tomorrow could also be compared to Night by Elie Wiesel. In Night, Wiesel tells his anguished story as a Holocaust survivor, overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt and left to question the strength and meaning of his faith. Chasing Tomorrow is another survivor's account of the horrors of persecution, loss, and guilt. Since the testimony on which Chasing Tomorrow is based was incomplete, I created the missing pieces, thus pushing the book into the historical fiction category.

Other comps:
All the light we cannot see
The nightingale
The book thief

PRIMARY CONFLICT
Although he is alone and afraid, Sigmunt Schwager must continue on his perilous journey in search of freedom and safety. Though he is powerless to change his circumstances, he is nevertheless haunted by guilt; for those he left behind, by the countless deaths he sees, and by the secrets he carries.

SECONDARY CONFLICT
Having survived unspeakable hardship, Sigmunt has never spoken of his ordeal. His adult daughter Karinna continues to ask for details despite his many refusals. When he finally agrees to tell her, he questions his ability to relive the past, the value of telling the story, and how she will react to the truth.

SETTING
Beginning in Voynilov, a small town in western Poland, Sigmunt's journey takes him through much of war torn Eastern Europe. He heads east through Poland to Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and after the war as a displaced person, to Austria, Italy, the Dominican Republic and eventually the United States. The scenes of destruction and despair are often clearer than many of the landmarks he sees as he travels from one place to the next. His focus on survival envelops him in a bleak, gray shroud that accompanies him everywhere he goes. When he finally arrives in New York in 1948, he discovers that life in America is not as easy as he thought it would be. It is not until he finally tells his story that he realizes his hidden past has left him unable to enjoy, or even notice, the beauty and love that surround him.


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PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 16:20 
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Harley Dragon Fly by Babe O'Connor
First Assignment - The Act of Story Statement

My book is composed of 2 independent story lines that alternate and intermingle, finally converging at the end to tell one complete story.

Book-1 (Story Line 1) Risk everything to travel to and compete in the Martyr Call Games.

Book-1 (Story Line 1 - little more verbose) Risk everything to travel to the Martyr Call Games to fly his dragjack in the competition and win while unexpectedly falling in love with an enchanting bioengineered creature while saving humanity.

Book-2 (Story Line 2) Despite the enormous risk, create an inhuman intelligent life form to protect the USA from diabolical terrorists.


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