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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2015, 08:12 

Joined: 16 Mar 2015, 08:08
Posts: 1
There are two narratives in the book—Nadia, and King Titus. Nadia’s narrative takes place in two ages: around her 12th and 22nd birthday.

Assignment 1: Story Statements

12 year-old Nadia
Uncover my father’s secrets and discover his identity.

22 year-old Nadia
Find other’s that survived, overthrow our enemies, and restore order again to the land.

King Titus
Discover and defeat the traitors then establish a democracy.

Assignment 2: Antagonistic Force (written from the perspective of the Antagonist)

My uncle King Titus has built his prosperity on the back of my diligence and bravery. As master of the treacherous sea trade, I’ve made him the wealthiest King in Oasis’ history. Yet, he dared allow his whore daughter to publicly dishonor me by renouncing our engagement; and still, I was merciful and patient, deceived by his flattering words, believing I would soon inherit the throne. But I’ve discovered his true intent: he secretly plans to create a so-called democracy that would eradicate the elite noblemen’s undeniable superiority, allowing these commoners, ever growing in number like rats, to swarm in their filth and overrun the kingdom entirely.
Titus thinks he is wise and all-powerful, but he doesn’t know I am aware of the questionable events that surround my father’s death, his elder brother. Oh yes, the honest and beloved King Titus —a murderer and a fool. In his blindness, he doesn’t know that I’ve continued the dark work my father left unfinished. Now, the time has come for him to suffer—ever so slowly.

Assignment 3: Breakout Title
Predators of the Past
Keep Your Enemies Closer

Assignment 4: Comparable Novels

Undercurrent begins with the strong female lead narrative, twenty-two year old Nadia, when she is living in the forest with her people. It is has a similar tone and feel of the Hunger Games, although unrelated to a children’s reaping concept and is set around the 12th century. The first narrative takes place in Nadia’s early twenties and establishes a short countdown of the traumatic events that will occur in the king’s and her younger narrative exactly ten years earlier.

I used House of Cards as inspiration for the king’s narrative to create layers of intrigue and the antagonist’s scheming personality.

Hope’s younger narrative is a mix of friendship, adventure, and humor that takes an unexpected turn, similar to My Girl. Instead of losing her best friend, she discovers that her father, the person she looks up to the most, isn’t the man she thought he was.

Undercurrent is surrounded in the mystery of a secret council that seeks to protect the dark powers of ancient legends that most believe don’t exist. It is similar to The Davinci Code and the movie Prince of Persia, except the pay-off is not the power of the Holy Grail or sands of time but an underworld of predators that are unleashed on the land.

Assignment 5: Primary Conflict

After years in hiding, the survivors will journey across predator-infested territory in a likely suicidal mission to try and overthrow their enemies and restore peace once again to the land.

Assignment 6: Two Levels of Conflict

12 year-old Nadia
• Is my father still the same kind-hearted person I’ve always known? If he is, then why does he have so many secrets? He could never betray his king or hurt anyone—could he?

• When my mother became pregnant after the doctors told her she couldn’t have children, she decided to name me Nadia, meaning hope. But I didn’t bring her hope, I brought her death. I told father I wish she had given me a name that suited me better, like Hera, the warrior princess of old. But Father said Nadia is a perfect name for me because I was his hope that saved him from despair after her death. But sometimes I wonder if he just says that to make me feel better. How could I have been his hope when I was the one responsible for her death?

22 year-old Nadia
• I’m asking our people to leave the safety of the caves and attack our enemies. It’s the only way to restore peace again to the land, though it means many of us will die. Yet I find myself asking a similar question as I did when I was a child: Am I really instilling hope of a better future or only inciting death?

• One of my captors is someone once close to us, now a traitor. He doesn’t recognize me—not yet; and if I’m not careful, his non-threatening, flirtatious ways will catch me unaware and pull information from me. It’s vital that he doesn’t. They can’t know that I’m the one their leader is really looking for. Of course, if I don’t find a way to escape back to the caves or cross the creek before nightfall, none of that will matter anyway.

King Titus
• My wife, Annabelle, doesn’t realize the great restraint I exercise when it comes to our only son, Peter: often holding my tongue at his over-indulgent and idle behavior, and his constant disappearances without any word for weeks at a time. This time, I’ve had all his usual hiding places checked and yet no one has seen him for three months now.

• I suddenly realize how weak my fair wife has become. How long has she been like this? I’ve been extremely preoccupied as of late. A king’s duties are always taxing. Recently I made a decision of grave magnitude. It will be the greatest legacy I could leave my people as the last king of Crete. I am working diligently to prepare them for a new type of government that will enable the kingdom to continue its prosperity long after I am gone. I fear many are not yet ready for such plans and if my intentions were known it could cause a division among the noble and common people and start a civil war.

Assignment 7: Setting

Undercurrent is set in 12th century BC in the imaginary continent of Oasis near Crete, Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. Oasis has been depicted by ancient civilizations’ symbols—including Egyptian hieroglyphics—as the Eye because it is located at the eye of the storm that continuously surrounds Oasis on every side. About a days boat ride from Oasis, the calm waters turn dark and tumultuous; yet, the storm never reaches Oasis.

Oasis is rich in legend and history, and has abundant natural resources, including powerful plants with restorative as well as destructive qualities that aren’t known anywhere else. The people of Oasis originated from those that possessed the land anciently and survivors that braved the storm long ago from lands Crete, Egypt and Africa.

PostPosted: 16 Mar 2015, 23:53 

Joined: 09 Mar 2015, 23:36
Posts: 1
1) Growth and Change are Highly Overrated:
How little can a man do to get through life without compromising his lazy disposition?

2) There are two antagonists in the story, one in the foreground and one in the background. Victor the Dictator is the manager of “That Store.” He is an unpopular man due to how he bullies his employees, especially Ralph. He hires Lucas James because he thinks they’re very similar and hates Lucas James when he realizes they are not. Victor craves control, as manager of “That Store” he is important and commands respect.

Lucas James’ older brother Eddie is the man in the background. Eddie has been his defacto father figure since he was a kid and Lucas both loves and hates him for it. It’s only when his brother is brought up, or he talks with him that Lucas feels like he doesn’t measure up. We only know Eddie through Lucas. Eddie never had a chance to be a kid because his family, his mom and two younger brothers needed him to be the man of the house. When Lucas James gets arrested in high school, it’s Eddie who uses his savings to hire a lawyer to get him out of trouble.

3) Three possible titles:
a) Growth and Change are Highly Overrated
b) The Ballad of Lucas James
c) Indescribable Intangibles

4) Irreverent characters facing the challenges of life
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson
Bad Monkey – Carl Hiaasen
The Room – Jonas Karlsson

5) After his fiancée gives up on him and “them” can a selfish man with impossible goals navigate life long enough alone to become a better person?

6) Primary Conflict: Lucas James has always lived in a bubble of his own making. Now that his fiancée Jackie has left him he has to abandon his carefree lifestyle and pick up the grind of the 9-5. His bravado hides his inner awareness that he has failed at life, especially in comparison to his successful older brother/father figure Eddie. Lucas James’ attitude is its better to not try and meet people’s low expectations than try and definitively know you’re a failure.

Inner conflict: This climaxes at the end, when investigators from the Corporate level of “That Store” come in to address the shrinkage problem. Lucas James believes they have him dead to rights and he’s prepared to admit his crime and finally accept responsibility for his actions. Instead, due to some creative covering by his co-worker Ralph, who worships him, the blame is pinned on Victor, the store manager. Lucas James feels pressure from Lori, his pseudo girlfriend/fellow employee to tell the truth and he happily refuses, causing him to lose Lori but keep his freedom.

7) The story takes place in an unnamed town in the northeast. We know it’s the northeast for two reasons. The first is the story opens up during a snowstorm. The second is Lucas James remarks how New Mexico is geographically opposite of his current location.

The story bounces between Lucas James’ bare bones apartment, littered with the items he has been stealing as “compensation” for working a full time job at “That Store” – (A Bed Bath & Beyond knockoff) and the stockroom of “That Store.”

His apartment is the side unit of home owned by an elderly woman named Sarah. When Lucas James first arrives the place looks and smells like a man who smoked eight packs a day died inside. The wallpaper is peeling, yellow and the stench of tobacco is prevalent. As the story progresses, Lucas James steals various candles, towels, towel warmers, bed sheets, pillow cases, wall paintings and other assorted knickknacks to give the place a lived in feel.

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2015, 00:03 

Joined: 16 Mar 2015, 23:42
Posts: 1
Protect loved ones from the dangers loosed by the Union Army’s occupation and the resulting social chaos

The Walker siblings—Robert and Grace—manipulate and demolish in their quest to outmaneuver each other for home, status and revenge. The successful but insecure lawyer and his vengeance-filled sister take advantage of war’s suspension of social order in the Potomac port city of Alexandria, Virginia, to pursue their competing aims. The protagonists’ friend and nephew—Ben Stringfellow—becomes a pawn in the Walkers’ destructive plots.

Sergeant Doyle provides unwitting assistance to the Walkers with his vendetta against Ben and the resented upper class. He is driven by the instinctive rage of a beaten animal and at his most dangerous when lent justification by a cause.

Mirroring the fractured Walker family is the contentious struggle building between North and South. The ebb and flow of armies and loyalties across Alexandria add to the forces against which the protagonists must struggle to protect Ben.


Oath of Allegiance

Loyalty’s Divide

Spark Burns to Flame


Comparable One: Historical Fiction
Susan Vreeland’s novel Lisette’s List, published in August 2014, is comparable to Oath of Allegiance from the perspectives of protagonist, plot and setting. In Lisette’s List and Oath of Allegiance, a young woman and her allies struggle to protect that which they love in the midst of the chaos generated by war. Like Lisette’s List, Oath of Allegiance reveals the impact of a grand conflict at the local scale of a town rather than at the epicenter of the battles and killing. The ripples felt day-to-day at the level of an occupied town are similar in both novels—loyalties are uncertain and frequently ambiguous, bravery and deceit are common and the fabric of the social order strains under the pressure of mercurial authority. Given the attention generated by the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, I believe this historical fiction will appeal to the existing fans of the genre and those whose curiosity has been piqued by recent memorial events.

Comparable Two: Historical Fiction and Mystery
Although written from the perspective of two protagonists rather than the large cast enlisted by Eleanor Catton in The Luminaries, Oath of Allegiance’s main characters too follow a mysterious thread of events through the pressure-filled spring of 1861 as the nation prepares to go to war and Alexandria, Virginia awaits its fate—Confederate resistance or occupation by Union forces. Loyalties at the personal, local and national level are questioned and tested with the haunting sense of interconnectedness that flows through the Luminaries.


A young woman and lifelong newsman struggle to survive the Union occupation of Alexandria, Virginia, and to protect their loved ones from the armies and the dangerous societal fracture that follows in their wake.


Inner Conflict
Emma Green is an outsider to the Potomac port across from Washington, DC, and has been dismissive of Alexandria society, which she sees as ignorant and dull. Her coldness toward the locals is only deepened when her father is remarried to a woman from the South. Her aloof manner has made her unpopular with the other girls her age and so she spends her time with Ben Stringfellow, a local boy who admires her, and Edgar Snow, his uncle, with whom she has an intellectual connection. As war comes to Alexandria, despite Emma’s belief in the northern cause, she finds herself identifying with the townspeople, who, like herself, have chosen to stay behind and survive as best they can. The gritty reality of war forces Emma to take a more nuanced view of the worthiness of individuals on both sides of the conflict.

Secondary Conflict
Emma Green has grown up with Ben as a best friend and natural foil—he gets into trouble, she gets him out. Ben is in constant pursuit of Emma but she does not reciprocate. As war arrives though and she contemplates losing him she begins to reconsider her feelings. Her constant efforts to keep Ben out of trouble put her in partnership with his uncle, Edgar, again and again. She relies on Edgar and at times, after one of their lively exchanges, is attracted.


As 1860 turns to the momentous year of 1861, the port city of Alexandria, Virginia, sits across the Potomac from the nation’s capital. Its ties to DC are strong and impending war threatens to upset the social fabric of the town.

Residents flee, property changes hands hastily and boys drill on the cobblestoned streets that once hosted George Washington and other revolutionary luminaries.

Tensions mount as southern states secede from the Union culminating in the firing upon Fort Sumter, South Carolina in April 1861. The Virginia Legislature votes to secede, despite Alexandria’s objection and that of other northern counties. The town turns to waiting, watched by the blockade of ships on the river and made nervous by the uncertain loyalties of longtime and newly arrived citizens. Valuables are buried at night, more and more slaves make a run for Alexandria, assuming it will be the jumping off point for what they see as a liberation force and finally the fateful night is upon the town...and troops come marching in under a full moon.

The Green family, proprietors of Mansion House Hotel, and Edgar Snow at the Alexandria Gazette, crisscross the cobblestoned streets lined with brick row houses, the rancid waterfront and the road to Rosewood, the Fairfax plantation of the Walker Family, in their quest to protect each other.

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2015, 18:55 

Joined: 17 Mar 2015, 18:51
Posts: 1
1. Story Statement
Frank Norman wants to escape office drudgery by becoming a screenwriter and movie director.

2. Antagonist
A sexy woman named Roxanne offers Frank the opportunity to make some connections in the movie industry by working with her on an independent film. Unlike Frank’s wife, the extremely focused and hardworking Susan, the younger Roxanne is a free spirit, and lives a carefree life similar to one Frank was unable to adapt himself to when he was younger. More than he wants Roxanne, Frank wants to recapture his youth and become a success in a field in which he imagines he would have great freedom and happiness. But his conceptions of freedom and happiness are based on fantasies and misconceptions. Frank’s true enemy is himself. He is an escapist, and the steps he takes in pursuit of his fantasies put him on a collision course with the realities of his situation and his disposition.

3. Title
Being Frank

4. Comparables
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Rabbit Run by John Updike
Frank Norman is the updating of an archetype found in all three of these novels: A young man frustrated with his career path, risking his marriage and/or his integrity by pursuing an inappropriate love interest, and failing to see his own motives for doing so.

5. Primary Conflict
In the pursuit of a new career, a man develops a romantic relationship that threatens his marriage.

6. Other Matters of Conflict
Inner Conflict
Frank is trying to hide from his wife his ambivalence and anxiety about becoming a parent. He is also frustrated with his profession. He sees his commitments binding him permanently to a conventional existence and longs for an idealized life of luxury and independence.

Secondary Conflicts
Frank and Susan’s inability to conceive is putting tremendous stress on their marriage.
Frank’s poorly qualified supervisor is micromanaging him at the office. Another coworker seems to be trying to muscle him out of what appears to be an opportunity for Frank to obtain a promotion.
An important meeting with a funding prospect for the organization Frank works for goes poorly, and it is up to Frank to secure the large donation they hope to receive. The potential donor has proven to be mercurial and at times irascible.
The director of the independent film Frank works on could be a connection to the movie world, but Frank instinctively dislikes the director and, in a tense moment, deeply offends him.

One night, after a party with some film people, Frank and Roxanne sneak into the office building where they work during the day. Frank has been using alcohol and cocaine to help manage his guilt over his flirtation with Roxanne. His anxiety about infidelity is compounded by the anxiety about being discovered by a security guard doing his rounds. In this scene, as Frank makes the decision whether or not to cheat on his wife and secretly get revenge on his boss, he risks losing his job and his destroying his marriage in one night.

7. Setting
New York City in the summer of 2010. It is unbearably hot and news the ongoing Gulf oil spill seems to correspond to the ongoing disaster of Frank’s life. He works for a large environmental NGO that is becoming increasingly corporate. The office is abuzz with concern about the threat to New York City’s drinking water being posed by the possibility of hydrofracking upstate. Frank and his wife live in a small apartment in Queens that they can barely afford. The unspoken rules of office and matrimonial politics are the environmental forces with which we see Frank constantly contending. The novel vividly depicts the reality of life in New York City—from the hive-like office, to the cramped apartment, to the gritty streets and subways, to the opulent settings in which Frank sometimes finds himself.

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2015, 19:42 

Joined: 16 Mar 2015, 19:42
Posts: 1
1. Story Statement

After troubled and talented Puerto Rican artist Pablo Camino struggles with and kills an intruder damaging one of his paintings, he searches into his own past and that of the father he never knew to try to understand his own inner demons and actions. .

2. Antagonistic Forces The main antagonist is, ironically, the dead father, whose discovered actions in the past--such as his claim, then later retraction, that as an American doctor doing research for the Rockefeller Foundation in Puerto Rico he purposely killed off eight of his patients and was “transplanting cancer” into others--haunt the artist as he searches for the truth while obstacles and dangers mount in his path

3. Title
"Shadow of the Fathers"

4. Comparables
"Telex From Cuba" by Rachel Kushner
Relationships between American expatriates and locals in the U.S.-controlled Cuba of the 1940s and 1950s.

"Usmail" by Pedro Juan Soto
The son of an “Americano” father he never knew and a Puerto Rican mother grapples with life on a small Caribbean island run by the U.S. military.

"Los Gusanos" by John Sayles
Political exiles in Miami fervently plot ways to overthrow the Castro government.

5. Conflict Line
Puerto Rican artist Pablo Camino, who kills an intruder in his home, delves into a panful past that casts heavy personal and politically charged shadows on the present as he tries to discover the true nature of the father he never knew and, ultimately, of himself.

6. Inner Conflict Conditions and Secondary Conflict

After he kills the intruder, an overwrought Pablo panics at the thought that he had inherited from his father both the desire and the will to carry out murder. His paranoia grows as he leaves his home and tries to find out the truth of whether his father actually killed any of his patients as he claimed in a letter addressed to “Ferdie.” The unsent letter was discovered and in the ensuing scandal, Pablo’s father, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, was forced to leave the island, although he claimed the letter was a joke. He was exonerated in a subsequent investigation, but many aware of the U.S.-Puerto Rico colonial relationship had doubts about the findings.

During his search, Pablo finds a previously unknown half-sister, Iris, who brings him to her apartment, where he is allowed t/o go through old family documents. Pablo learns that after leaving Puerto Rico, his father had spent years in the Army Medical Corps, then the Public Health Service, working with experimental drugs and carrying out cancer research. He finds another letter to Ferdie, in which Rhoads, a fervid cold warrior, writes, “My pioneering work in Puerto Rico appears to be paying off,” and says that he plans through further experiments to “send ten more [alleged ‘Communists and homosexuals’] to their Maker.” Pablo’s anxiety and perceived paranoia is sparked again, this time toward his newly found half-sister, to whom he is strongly attracted, but now feels he might harm. He leaves her apartment, throws up in the street and feels “bereft of being.”

Still, his search continues, to Miami, where, through the last letter, he learned that Ferdie had lived and worked. In Miami, he gets caught up in situations with anti-Castro exiles and hyper-religious Jews before he becomes a suspect in still another killing and realizes that he has reached “the deadest of ends.”

7. Setting
Most of the novel is set in Puerto Rico, where Pablo lives and works and kills the stranger who invades his home to vandalize a painting. Crucial scenes are played out around San Juan and in an island mountain town. Within these Puerto Rico settings, important characters are introduced, including Pablo’s art gallery-owner mother, Julia Quinones; his estranged wife, Ana; and his closest friend, the writer Ralph Camacho, a fellow Vietnam War veteran, who launches a spiritual and physical journey of his own as he tries to track down Pablo.

During his journey, Pablo also visits New York, where the wintry streets stir unpleasant memories, but where he also finds half-sister Iris, with whom he bonds— almost too closely. His search continues to the pastel heat of Miami for a bit of darkly comic relief (for the reader) until he is confronted with another tragic killing. Finally, he escapes to Amsterdam, where he once lived mostly in harmony with his wife, Ana, and now tries to rekindle his desire for life and his art through a “conversation” with a Rembrandt portrait in the Rijksmuseum. The settings are an integral part of the novel’s plot, its characters and action.

PostPosted: 18 Mar 2015, 21:07 

Joined: 07 Mar 2015, 02:05
Posts: 1
Story Statement:

When Olivia gets a lead on her sister’s decade-old disappearance, she investigates and uncovers a secret about herself and her sister that takes her through a reality-altering journey that threatens to unravel everything she knew about herself, her sister, and her past.


The antagonist is the mystery person behind the glass figurines who has been haunting the girls since they were little.


Glass Animals
The Clock Tower Soldier

Comp Titles:
The Man From Primrose Lane by James Renner
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Primary Conflict:
Olivia must discover if the person who has been leaving mysterious glass figures is behind her sister’s disappearance.

Inner Conflict:
Olivia must confront her suppressed feelings of guilt towards abandoning her parents and losing her sister.

Secondary Conflict: Olivia must overcome the voices in her head and face the ghosts that have been haunting her and her sister. She is forced to confront a darker version of herself that she didn’t know existed.

The story follows Olivia and Portia from childhood to adulthood through nondescript cities and an alternate reality.

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2015, 00:01 

Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 16:02
Posts: 1

Richard must keep his factory in business and his family from destroying each other while misguided economic policies threaten to ruin his community.


Porter Rutledge is a political operative who works behind the scenes for the wealthiest corporate conglomerates in America. He uses his influence to get a man elected President of the United States who will dismantle the social and economic programs of the past in favor of an unrestricted pro-business, free-market agenda, which benefits the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

Sam March, the President who is elected under these circumstances, is well-meaning in his desire to promote economic growth in the United States, but naïve to the power and influence of corporate America in buying his election, and enforcing their own agenda.

Antagonistic force: unmitigated free-market capitalism allows the unscrupulous to take advantage of the less fortunate, for those owning capital to have the upper hand over those providing labor, and for America to quickly become divided into a world of makers and takers, with the rich getting richer on the undervalued labor of the poor.


Duty Free
Principle & Interest

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
-The classic standard when it comes to economic dystopia, Atlas Shrugged describes the process of economic decay in a world where the government is omnipresent, competition is despised and taxes are continually increased on those considered “producers.” My book is Atlas Shrugged – in reverse.

The Dispossessed, Ursula LeGuin
-An economic dystopia (fantasy) comparing a world of “profiteers” to a world of “anarchists,” with an ambiguous message as to which is preferable for the workers and regular people.

Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson
-An economic dystopia (fantasy) that probes the social and economic causes of urban decay in a not-too-distant-future Toronto, where the wealthy have fled the city and only the poor remain to suffer a miserable existence with high crime, poor public health and no social services.

Richard must keep his business running even though the invisible subsidies of the former social structure (transportation, public safety, schools) have been removed, monopolistic pricing causes his supply costs to skyrocket, and the impact of economic reforms on the middle class has made demand for his products plummet.

Richard’s brother John is an unapologetic capitalist, and also president of the local bank, who uses the new economic reforms to his ruthless advantage in making money off of the less fortunate in their community. Richard must face his brother’s unscrupulous behavior and try to convince him and other in the community to restore the social order that protects the vulnerable, or else they will all suffer the consequences.

John’s wife, Jessica, is disillusioned by her husband’s support of the new economic policies and the way he has taken advantage of a growing urban lower class, and desires Richard’s help in escaping her marriage and protecting her children from her husband’s belief in “self-interest above all.”


A mid-sized, prosperous Minnesota town with a thriving local economy and one of the premier manufacturing companies in the world. Set beside a beautiful lake and natural wonders, Pottersville is an ideal place to put down roots and raise a family, in the safe, close community that long Minnesota winters have fostered over many decades. The families in the community know each other well, and the church is a main hub of town, where the popular Reverend Tom gives sermons to a packed house each Sunday.

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2015, 11:56 

Joined: 10 Mar 2015, 03:01
Posts: 1
New York Pitch Conference Assignments - Shireal Renee

Story Statement:
Casey Reagan must overcome the spell binding love that has been cast on her so that she can follow her dreams of becoming an actress.

Antagonist or antagonistic force in your story:
August Marks comes from a broken home and turns to the hard streets of Harlem in attempt to build his legacy instead of investing his time into his wife and children. After being sent to prison twice for selling drugs he finds himself trying to play catch up in the real world where everyone around him has already flourished. When he meets young and impressionable Casey Reagan he is immediately taken by her and is determined to make her his even if he has to once again sacrifice the best interest of his family. However his plan to seduce Casey is disrupted when his wife finds out about their love affair and makes it clear that she is not giving up her family without a fight.

Breakout Title:
- Me & My Man’s Wife
- My Man’s Wife
- Guilt's Triangle

- The Coldest Winter Ever: Sista Soljah because of where the story is set and how it affects the characters.
- Addicted: Zane – because of the intense love scenes and urban appeal

Primary Conflict:
After discovering her sister is addicted to drugs she allows herself to find solace in a man she would typically avoid getting being sucked into a love triangle with him and his wife.

Finding out the man she has just fallen in love with is married.

Secondary Conflict:
Finding out her sister is on drugs.

Inner Conflict:
Dealing with the guilt of being in a relationship with a married man.

Hypothetical scenario:
Casey's world turns upside down the night she finds out about August wife not just because of the knowledge of her existence but also because of the compromising position that she found them in. It's one thing to have the rug pulled from under you but to have the cover torn off and you are completely naked puts her in the most vulnarable situation.

Hypothetical scenario for the "secondary conflict":
The relationship between Casey and her sister Candice has always been challenging but since Casey found out about Candice’s drug addiction it has completely turn her world upside down.

Harlem New York – 2002 Beeping horns, yelling cab drivers, millions of conversations, and the looks on some peoples faces so clearly allowed you to read their thoughts. The place was so culturally diverse everyone had a style, every corner a different culture, every block a different smell, any restaurant choice you could imagine from all around the world. Harlem had to be something like heaven.

PostPosted: 22 Feb 2016, 16:16 

Joined: 21 Feb 2016, 17:46
Posts: 1
The Retirement Plan – by Phyllis Davis
A Suspense Thriller

After losing millions, Charles and Katherine plan to retire in luxury even if it involves murder.

When they realize their money is gone, they sit at their kitchen table at midnight and make a new retirement plan to divorce for two years. During that two years, they plan to marry older wealthy people in poor health who are going to die of natural causes anyway. They plan to marry them and convince them to change their wills and put everything in their name. Then, after they die, Charles and Katherine plan to reunite, marry again, and retire in luxury.

But, what if their new spouses don’t die at the end of the two years?

Their new retirement plan creates a path of destruction for themselves and the lives of everyone around them.

The Retirement Plan echo’s Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith (1950) - a psychological suspense thriller novel made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock (1951), except the two people in The Retirement Plan were married to each other.


After losing millions, Charles and Katherine plan to retire in luxury even if it involves murder.


Katherine Lynch is obsessed with money and marries a man and murders him so she can reunite with her ex-husband and they can retire in luxury.

• She plans to meet a wealthy man, seduce him with her intelligence and sexuality and convince him to marry her and to include her as the primary beneficiary in his will in order to inherit his money and reunite with her ex-husband.

• Then she researches innovative ways for him to die that could appear to be from natural causes, and discovers a poisonous scorpion in Mexico. She has someone in Mexico send her two of these deadly scorpions. She puts one of the scorpions in her husband’s pillowslip and it kills him, and she inherits his money.

• She reunites with her ex-husband on a cruise ship a month after her husband’s death and tells him she murdered her husband to inherit his money and he becomes furious.

• She places the second scorpion in the pocket of her ex-husband’s sport coat to kill him too so he won’t tell police. He finds the scorpion, gets off the cruise ship, reports her to police, she is arrested and tried for murder.


• The Retirement Plan
• The Guesthouse
• Primary Beneficiary


Strangers on a Train – by Patricia Highsmith (1950) - a psychological suspense thriller novel made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951
• A dark psychological novel about people who suffer
• The story of an agreement to commit murder, but only one of them goes through with it
• A Faustian bargain between two people that creates a cat-and-mouse fast paced story filled with intrigue and suspense
• A taught thriller rich with conflict, fear, death and darkness.

Girl on a Train - by Paula Hawkings (2015)
Offers readers a chilling psychological suspense thriller with plots twists that reveal the darker nature of the characters.
• Keeps the readers guessing until the last page.


Initially driven by greed to inherit money and reunite with his ex-wife, the protagonist realizes the seventeen-million dollars he inherited from his deceased wife won’t buy him one minute of peace or happiness.


• After he marries the new rich wife, she makes the protagonist her primary beneficiary. He hopes she dies of natural causes, or he might be forced to murder her to inherit her money, but then he falls in love with her and decides not to reunite with his ex-wife.
• A few months after he is finally happy and settled in his new life with his new wife, she dies of natural causes and he inherits her seventeen-million dollars but he grieves her loss.


• Protagonist is lonely after his wife’s death, and reunites with his ex-wife who tells him she murdered her new husband a month ago with a poisonous scorpion in order to inherit his estate.
• He becomes very angry and she tries to kill him too, but he escapes. He helps the detectives prove she murdered her dead husband.
• His friends abandon him and he becomes a social outcast, hounded by the media.
• After he testifies in his ex-wife’s courtroom trial for capital murder, he decides to leave Beverly Hills to move to a quiet place in the pines of Northern Virginia in search of peace.


California is the main setting: Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and Mendocino. Secondary settings are a cruise ship to Hawaii and the Caribbean and a small grocery store in Durango, Mexico. The life of privilege and wealth are also key factors in this book revealing the characters through the choices they make.

• A $5.5 million home in the hills of Los Angeles, California, owned and sold by protagonist and antagonist characters, Charles and Katherine Lynch, to pay heavy debts and give them money to fund their retirement plan to find new spouses.
• Fine restaurants in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Francisco
• An upscale condo on Wilshire Blvd, new home for protagonist after divorce
• An attorney’s office, Ben Manalli, in Century City, a place that reoccurs
• A Craftsman home in Topanga Canyon, a dinner party the protagonist attends
• A cruise ship from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back, where protagonist meets rich wife
• A wedding in a fine hotel in San Diego, where protagonist marries new rich wife
• A $4.1 million home in Beverly Hills, California, the protagonists and his new rich wife’s house
• A bank in downtown San Diego, California, where protagonist’s new wife sells stocks and has protagonist sign onto her bank accounts
• A police station in Beverly Hills, California, where two detectives work, Detectives Price and McBride
• A guest cottage in San Francisco’s Knob Hill, where antagonist lives, behind her sister’s house
• A museum in San Francisco, where antagonist trains to become a docent
• San Francisco Public Library where antagonist goes to study contemporary art
• San Francisco Opera House where antagonist and her sister attend an opera
• Mendocino Public Library where antagonist goes to research ways to kill her husband
• Post office in Mendocino, California, where antagonist picks up box containing poisonous scorpions from Mexico
• A $7 million luxury lodge in a redwood forest in Mendocino, where new husband, Gustav Fielding, lives
• Cabins in the redwoods with twenty artists-in-residence live when working on art
• Rome, Italy, where antagonist and her new husband honeymoon.
• Rome Cavalieri Hotel where antagonist and her new husband stay on their honeymoon in Rome
• Hospital in Rome, Italy, where antagonist and her new husband are taken after he suffers a mild heart attack.
• Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco where antagonist has lunch with her new husband, her sister and brother-in-law
• Russian Gulch Trail, north of Mendocino, where antagonist and her new husband go hiking
• A small church and then a grave-site in Mendocino, California, for antagonist’s husband’s funeral
• PortMiami coffee shop in Terminal A where protagonist and antagonist meet for coffee prior to boarding cruise ship
• A cruise ship in the Caribbean, where protagonist and antagonist reunite with all their inheritance money
• Port of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, where protagonist leaves cruise ship and contacts Detective Price in Beverly Hills, California
• Memorial Auditorium at the Sacramento Convention Center where Detectives Price, McBride, Dundee and Bishop from San Francisco and Los Angeles meet by accident and compare notes of open cases
• Miami Police Department, interrogation room where detectives interview protagonist
• Lounge area at PortMiami where antagonist is arrested
• County Jail Number One on Seventh Street in San Francisco where antagonist awaits arraignment
• Courtroom where antagonist appears before a judge the first time
• A courtroom in San Francisco where the capital trial for antagonist is held and where protagonist testifies
• A Police Station in San Francisco, where two detectives work, Detectives Dundee and Bishop
• A forensic lab in the basement of the Police Station in San Francisco, where Dr. Shan, forensic scientist works
• A small grocery store in Durango, Mexico, where protagonist travels to retrieve Juan Herrera, who sent antagonist the scorpions to take him back to San Francisco to testify in the capital murder trial of the antagonist.

PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 00:44 

Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 21:06
Posts: 1
#1: Story Statement
BURN THE MOON, a near-world science fiction novel with sequel potential, follows DNA librarian Angela Channing as she fights alongside extremists to bring down the corrupt politicians of the New District government, who look to control the population through negative eugenics.

#2: Antagonist Sketch
Nicholas Reynolds, the senator who introduces the Government Reproduction Bill currently dividing the populace of New District, is only seen in news stories and painted by the word of mouth of others for a majority of the story. His manipulation of the DNA codes, Angela’s life work, as well as his overly publicized attempts to find Angela and her friends lead to the destruction of civil society while placing the blame on the actions of Angela and the extremists she works with. Behind a well groomed and comfortable façade, Angela realizes Nicholas has cultivated his own version of Secret Police, called Government Protectors, to hide is larger interests of political blackmail, planned bombings against his own city, and financial superiority for the top percent of the populace. He claims that all of this is done in the name of stability and greater public good but knows that if his less desirable actions were brought to the forefront, he and his work to protect the city from succumbing to the destruction of the rest of the world would be undone.

#3: Titles
- Burn the Moon
- Grounding Icarus

#4: Comparable Titles
First: Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Eye of the Heron”
-Narrative that uses a science fiction setting to examine the place of women as they relate to society.
-Violence versus pacifism at the center of the piece.
Second: Alexandra Olivia “The Last One”
-Short, quick writing style that seems more cinematic and plot based instead of overflowing rhetoric.

#5: Primary Conflict
To escape the methodical and sub-par path of her life, a DNA librarian allows herself to be recruited by extremists to take down a secretive and violent government that seeks to eliminate the poorest part of society through negative eugenics.

#6: Secondary Conflicts (Personal and Internal)
Inner Conflict: Angela’s passion for life is mostly non-existent until confronted with her boyfriend Greg’s proposal of marriage. The latent rage at the methodical and predictable nature of her life is tapped in a way that leads to the darkness of extremism, as well as the inundation of true joy in living. This constant battle of the true quality of life leaves Angela to debate whether or not less people in the population with a greater quality of life would be such a bad idea. Angela’s journey is to discover what it would mean to make a better world for the people around her and what that personal cost would be in order to make it a reality.

Scenario for Inner Conflict: When working at Ruby’s soup kitchen, Angela begins to track the faces of the impoverished people who never asked to be alive in the first place. After seeing all of the sick and hungry children, Angela struggles with the idea that maybe they would have been better off never having been born rather than to be born into such a horrible, unforgiving world that they don’t seem to have a place in.

Conflict in Relation to Other Characters: When Marius visits Angela in her isolation torture treatment and attempts to make good on his promise of sexually assaulting her each evening, Angela chooses her life over his. When she bites his neck and rips out his jugular, she decides that if the world would be a better place without human beings like Marius around or in charge, then she has to be the one to personally handle their existence. No one else is going to save her, but she can make the world better for others at the cost of her humanity.

#7: Setting
New District: Seemingly urban. However, with technology like Newsfeeds to track and inform people as well as the strict Moonlighter/Daylighter curfew and economic divide, it’s the world on a skew. The world as if it were two steps to the left and half a turn wrong. It’s seeing the world as is, but realizing it’s not. Everything is just slightly different, more regimented, more exhausted. In the midst of this exhaustion and post World War III isolation, the rebellion of the lower classes is almost seen as a luxury that people cannot afford in the name of scarce stability and comfort. The world during Daylighter curfew is seen as blissful, idyllic even. Moonlighters are noted to have much lower paying jobs and an obscene crime rate comparatively. It’s almost as if two cities exist on top of each other.

The Outpost: The country, dirty and rough. From the clean, minimalist ideals of the city, the Outpost is a re-purposed college campus filled with those that seek comfort without the interference of the Government. Those at the top of the food chain in New District rely on people in the Outpost for their ingenuity and additional resources, and in exchange turn a blind eye to the lively black market and illegal activities.

PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 07:16 

Joined: 08 Mar 2017, 21:20
Posts: 1
Story Statement

A 22-year-old girl tries to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend, but along the way, she goes from court appearances to handcuffs to a psychiatric institution.

Antagonistic Force

The ex-boyfriend is quiet, in nature, and comes from a family of lawyers. It’s black or white for him, and there’s never anything in between. He is fair until his patience is tested, and he has the greatest will power. If he sets his mind to something, it’s tunnel vision for him, and no amount of persuasion will make him budge. He’s logical to a fault.

Breakout Title

1. From Love to the Law
2. The Meaning of Insanity
3. Repeated Behavior


Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed” due to it being a love story with complications
Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” due to it being about two people in a relationship who both go a bit “crazy”

Primary Conflict

A heartbroken girl struggles with impulsive tendencies to try to reconnect with her ex and have ‘one final conversation.’ Thus, each form of resistance causes her to keep on pushing.

Inner Conflict and Secondary Conflict

Inner: She struggles between her logical and emotional sides of the brain. When she’s thinking clearly, she understands she cannot contact her ex. Though, when she’s thinking irrationally and emotionally, nothing can stop her from reaching out for that ‘final conversation.’ It’s as if there are two different people within herself.

Secondary: Family gets involved when the ex calls the girl’s mom to alert her as to what is going on. From there, the parents of both the boy and girl have a conversation, which leads to many more psychiatry appointments and court appearances.


The year is 2009 and the city is Chicago. The city is filled with tons of college students and young professionals. There is an endless number of bars and restaurants, in which the characters frequent. While most the book takes place in the city of Chicago, there are times the characters venture out to Connecticut to visit friends, Utah to go skiing, and beach towns for vacation. It’s a constant hustle in the city, and the main characters live approximately 7 minutes from each other by car.

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