Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

A forum for Algonkian Novel Workshop attendees to complete an array of pre-workshop assignments focusing on story premise, comparables, antagonist and protagonist characters, and more.
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Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#1 Post by WritersBlock » 28 Aug 2014, 04:26

Algonkian Writer Conferences - Pre-Event Writer Assignments

For the Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Writers 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
Algonkian Writer Conference Director
http://algonkianwriterconferences.com
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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 ... iterature/

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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BeatriceA5Fishback
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Mar 2019, 19:14

Re: Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#2 Post by BeatriceA5Fishback » 05 Mar 2019, 01:55

First assignment: Dotty Weathervane, an American who has retired in an English village, is the proverbial nosey neighbor. As a volunteer with the local police station, she’s made it her job to discover who’s committed the recent murder and disappearance of her husband, Jim.

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.

This is the biggest fault-line in my story. Although I have 60k words, I haven’t identified the antagonist. It will be a major part of my goal during the retreat.

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

Dying to Harvest a Corpse (I already have one book titled Dying to Eat at the Pub so this is a theme titled for the series with this character)
Dying to Reap the Dead
Dying to Dig for a Stiff

FOUR- 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?

Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce is a wonderful character and Mr. Bradley’s quirky descriptions and delightful personalities make his books an easy read with several twists along the way. Although Flavia is a young protagonist whereas Dotty Weathervane is a senior, the stories take place in a small English village and each deals with many of the same type of English characters and setting.

Agatha Christie is obviously another choice author of mysteries although some would argue they aren’t always ‘cozy.’ Miss Marple, although a spinster and tad older than my character, is a close comparison of what I am trying to portray.

There is a British TV sitcom character Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances that would most closely resemble Dotty Weathervane.

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. A murder has happened in a small English village and local Americans are involved with the plot. Are the Russian trying to hide what they know about the military air bases and the spy who lives among them?

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.

My protagonist is bored with life, with marriage and her husband’s seeming disinterest in anything other than his garden and tellie. She tries to confront her husband with her dissatisfaction but his response is lackluster at best. It’s only when her husband has disappeared that she comes face to face with her emotions about him.

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? The secondary conflict is between American military who live in this village (there is an American Air Force base that abuts the village) and the locals. There are times when cultural differences cause misunderstandings and outburst, but more often than not the two live together with acceptance.

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.

Small English village. Post office, beauty shop, three pubs and the village church. There’s a vegetable stand, a jam lady who sells jars of jams outside her home on a rolling cart. Across from the house where my protagonist lives is the bowls club, playground and village hall where monthly events are held to include Women’s Institute meetings. There is no police station so volunteers are encouraged to stay in touch with the constable in the next town. A beauty parlor and village shop sit next to each other across from the green. Down one lane is where banger racing is held (otherwise known as demolition derby) and the rumbling noise of racing vehicles is a constant annoyance to the entire village.

A5LoreneNash
Posts: 2
Joined: 03 Mar 2019, 21:45

Re: Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#3 Post by A5LoreneNash » 05 Mar 2019, 21:38

 




FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

A pair of ghost hunters is hired to discover the truth behind supernatural goings-on in an old Southern mansion inherited by an antagonistic brother and sister, each of whom have their own reasons for mistrusting the other.

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.

The evil force in the house is the spirit of a man named John Devereaux. In pre-Civil War times he was a rich and powerful land owner (thanks to his wife) in control of his domain. But the war took him out of his element and eventually drove him to act on his psychopathic tendencies. Now, he is determined to keep the souls of the people he harmed in life with him and to defeat the living who want to drive him out.

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

What’s Bred in the Bone
A Ghost in the Vein
Ghost Diagnostics, Ltd.

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT:

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?

Stephen King. King’s stories focus on a dark element interacting with someone in crisis and allowing them to find a way to triumph over not only the evil force, but their own failings and/or past history.


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.

An evil presence has taken hold of two siblings’ lives and when confronted by a pair of professional ghost hunters, refuses to be vanquished.


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?

The protagonist, Allie, is a failed psychologist who has embraced her spiritual experiences to become a ghost hunter. But she is unsure if what she has experienced were true contacts with the supernatural or her own shaky mental health. One scenario is when she has felt the presence of a spirit and her skeptical partner makes jokes about her gullibility, and she defends herself to him, while still acknowledging her doubts to herself.

Allie is romantically drawn to the man who hired her, Jack, but is not sure she believes his story. His sister believes he is trying to con her out of her share of their inheritance (the house.) Allie is pulled in different directions as to who is telling the truth and what is real. One scenario is when the sister shows scars from where she claims the ghost caused her to injure herself, but the brother privately tells Allie his sister used to cut herself when she was a teenager.


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

The setting is a dilapidated Southern mansion in a small North Carolina town. The grounds are neglected and overgrown, and there are things waiting to be discovered that will help reveal the story. The inside of the house has rooms that have been updated but still hold elements of the past, such as the kitchen, which is where the long-gone residents of the house spent a lot of time, and the sitting room, which also holds clues. Other rooms, especially the attic, have been untouched by the current residents. Each of the main rooms (including bedrooms) has a character and a sense of either exploiting the characters’ vulnerabilities, or offering a safe zone for one or more of them.

SophiaDemasA5
Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Mar 2019, 06:47

Re: Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#4 Post by SophiaDemasA5 » 10 Mar 2019, 05:59

Since the book chronicles my spiritual evolution through my 60th year of life, there are many characters and settings. The assignments are clearly geared toward novels; I've adapted the rules to my memoir:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT -- Write your story statement:

A true story of extraordinary events experienced by an ordinary woman told so that others will see that miracles are real, transformative, and accessible to everyone.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT -- In 200 words or less, sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story:

-- I took a big risk in structuring this book, a full-blown autobiography in which the protagonist, me, experiences miracles, therefore rendering it non-commercial. The antagonist here is the ego that stubbornly holds onto the belief that each of us is separate and special, and that our will prevails. It is the lack of faith that we are all interconnected and that each of us can have a personal relationship with God, a consciousness that knows what is best for us better than we do.

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

-- The Physics of Miracles – What transformed my life is accessible to everyone.

-- Sound Light and Vibration – A personal testimony to the power of miracles.

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT – 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?”

-- "Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life" by Eric Metaxas (Penguin Books, 2015)

In the first half of this book, Eric Metaxas explores the nature of miracles and addresses their place in science and the Universe. In the second half, the author relates amazing miracle stories of healing, conversion, angelic presence, and other types of miracles that happened to people he knows personally so he can vouch for their credibility. My book also attempts to define miracles, how they can happen, and how they are reconciled with quantum mechanics. The difference is that all the miracles I write about happened to me, each one lifting me higher up my spiritual ladder. My story sends a powerful message to the reader: if it can happen to me it can happen to you.

"Uncharted: The Journey Through Uncertainty to Infinite Possibility" by Colette Baron-Reid (Hay House, Inc., 2016)

This light-hearted, straight-shooting book is packed with practical wisdom. It is designed to help people cultivate their spiritual connection, manifest their potential, and find their true purpose by practicing gratitude, intention, and meditation. This is a self-help book that supports all of the tools, practices, and discoveries that have transformed my life and allowed me to achieve genuine happiness. My story confirms that what Colette Baron-Reid writes about really works.

-- "Crash" (a film directed by Paul Haggis, 2004)

I added this film because it portrays the essential message of my book better than either book. What appear to be five separate stories, each with different characters, later begin to interlock. The thread weaving them together is racism. The characters make judgments and assumptions based on fear or ignorance and act on them. By a series of coincidences, serendipities, and “luck” the characters begin to connect, as extenuating circumstances teach them lessons about life and about themselves. The film successfully conveys that whether black or white, rich or poor, we all share the same emotions. As fears are replaced by love and the characters become better people, the film manages to makes us, the viewers, better people too. This is what I hope my book will do.

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.

-- Finally, I have had it with Frank’s rages and leave him. God or no God, He doesn’t have to live with him. I know what’s best for me, for sure! I wake up feeling free as a bird – today is the day I’m calling the divorce attorney. I never have to see that jerk’s face again. Only a miracle can change my mind. Nestling back under the covers with A Course In Miracles, I randomly open the book to a chapter titled “The Healed Relationship.” Conflicted, I don’t want to read it but have to. It basically says that God is in everyone, and if your brother comes to connect with you with his hand outstretched and you say no to your brother, you’re saying no to God. Then the defining miracle occurs, Frank and I get back together, and faith is restored.

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?:

-- I was 19 and in my junior year in college. I was grappling with two existential issues – needing approval from everybody, and, having just met a man, the flutters I was feeling were at odds with my mother’s idea that I should remain a virgin until marriage. I had an elaborate dream that ended with me lying in a coffin. Terrified, the only meaning I could attribute to it was that it was foretelling my impending death. The man helped me understand that the dream signified the death of beliefs I was holding onto that no longer served, me rather than physical death. The dream and the impact this man had on my life during the short four months we were together, transformed me. The series of coincidences that had solved my crisis and lifted the angst was not lost on me. I knew that something bigger than me was going on and I started paying attention.

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:

--I didn’t know how to reconcile the many settings in my book for this assignment, so here is an excerpt from the chapter highlighting the benefits of gratitude:

It was still dark out when I woke up. Fifty years on the planet! I was lying in bed listening to the cicadas when an unaccustomed wave of claustrophobia hit me. For no apparent reason, I felt a strong urge to get out of there. I threw on whatever I was wearing the day before and started out on a walk. Dawn was breaking. Walking by the still lake I was entranced by the beauty surrounding me. I thought, be careful what you ask for! The words of wisdom I had already received had exceeded my expectations, and I thanked God for the pamphlet that had conveniently appeared when I needed it. I was thanking God for everything.

Feeling intensely grateful for my fifty years of life, I came upon a clearing. There, in an arc, were the most beautiful tall trees I had ever seen. The diffused dawn’s light painted each one a different matte color – magenta, gold, copper, bronze, purple, scarlet, bright yellow. It was a heavenly birthday present. I stood in awe for several minutes, then whispered, “Oh, God, it doesn’t get better than this.” At that very second something remarkable happened. It was God saying, “Oh yeah, watch this!” Light streamed down from the clouds at the exact instant a breeze hit the trees. The colors exploded spontaneously as if plugged into a celestial socket. The leaves twinkled and rustled in a melodious hum. Were they singing, Happy Birthday, to me?

StacyNeubergerA5
Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Mar 2019, 22:15

Re: Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#5 Post by StacyNeubergerA5 » 13 Mar 2019, 06:10

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Write your story statement –
In a world of cubes and living for social status, finding out you life is a lie is not the worst that can happen, finding out that you are not an original, literally, might be.

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-
The antagonist is a mad scientist, who believes that creating a world full of others like him will eventually bring out the best and brightest in his species. He captures a young girl and tells her the truth of her life, all the while psychologically and physically torturing her to see if she might be the answer to all of his problems. The problem is, he really has gone mad, and with each version he becomes more and more insane and destructive, eventually leading some of those under him to decide how and if they want to live or die.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed)-
1 – The Obsolete
2 – The Box
3 – The X Generation

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT- 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?
I’m not sure who comparable novel authors might be, but the screenwriters of BLACK MIRROR and ORPHAN BLACK are close to what I’d say this book is.

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-
After a friend disappears from the grid, Melissa finds that life isn’t what she thought. Everything is a lie and a mad doctor might have the only answers, but he might also be the end of everything.

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?

Melissa has never been outside of the cube world she has grown up in, at least not since she was a little girl. After the disappearance of one of her best friends, she must get over her crippling agoraphobia to see if her friend is out there. Once she realizes that her life, and the world she was raised in, is a lie, she must see if she can emotionally and psychologically handle the realization that she is the only one who can save herself, and all of humanity.
The secondary conflict revolves around betrayal by her family and people she thought were her best friends. At least one friend is out for revenge, because of some slight that Melissa didn’t have a lot to do with as she was only a child. Melissa finds out that not only was her birth a lie, but everything she has grown up believing has been one controlling lie after another, just to see if she is the one who can rebuild society, or if she will be an enemy of the world.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail. What makes it interesting enough, scene by scene, to allow for uniqueness and cinema in your narrative and story? Please don't simply repeat what you already have which may well be too quiet. You can change it. That's why you're here! Start now. Imagination is your best friend, and be aggressive with it –
The novel starts in a world of cubes. Everyone lives alone in a cube and each person has to have certain social media stats to gain extra amenities for their lives. Most of the members of the cube world are stuck in their cubes, which are their homes. Depending on their stats they may have different rooms in their cubes, and they have cameras that follow them everywhere. No one leaves their cubes. When we see the outside world, we are led to believe that there is nothing but death and toxic poisoning, no one can survive, this is, of course, a lie to keep people inside and living in their little cubes. They are being controlled by a large government agency, a worldwide agency, which has sterile facilities everywhere to create specific genetic members of humanity, in hopes that people will learn to survive.

StacyNeubergerA5
Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Mar 2019, 22:15

Re: Algonkian Park and Port Townsend Assignment Forum

#6 Post by StacyNeubergerA5 » 13 Mar 2019, 06:11

Sorry, working on 4 things and these two were the ones driving me insane

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Write your story statement –
Decide to live or die in a world consumed by zombies, find a safe haven for a zombie horde, kill one’s self or kill everyone who gets in their way.

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-
The antagonist and antagonist force are twofold. Maxine is a telepathic zombie who has raised a zombie family of several hundreds of members. Marcus is a serial killer who has gone a little insane after 14 years of living in a zombie infested world. Both Maxine and Marcus have goals that involve the restless zombies. Marcus still wants to build an army of the undead, but knows there might not be many living members of society to control. Maxine wants to protect her family from the survivors who are left. Both will face the anger of a young man and the girl he has raised from birth as they seek an end, or revenge, whichever comes first. The zombies are the antagonists, but the world might be better off if they let everyone and everything die.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed)-
The title of this book is ZOMBIMERICA. It is the fourth in a series. The first book ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO!, the second ZOMBIES BITE!, and the third title is ZOMBIE WASTELAND.

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT- 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?
Comparable authors are David Wellington, who has a zombie series called Monster Island, and Joe McKinney who has an ongoing zombie series.

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-
Annabelle, the only person in the world who is immune to the zombie virus, must decide whether she wants to live or die in a world consumed by Maxine’s zombies, and how to get revenge on both Marcus and Maxine for killing everyone she has ever loved.

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?

Annabelle is a fourteen year old girl who is the only one in the world who is immune to the zombie virus. Darius and Ansel are the two young men who have been raising her. Annabelle must decide if she can protect them, or if she should, as zombies take over the world. She is a young girl who doesn’t know if she understands the emotions humans go through, but she knows she needs to take revenge on the people who took everything from her, Maxine and Marcus. She is the only one who can save anyone, and she isn’t sure she should, because the zombies are winning, and she would rather die.

The secondary conflict is Marcus. He’s a crazy serial killer who, after being kicked out of the zombie horde for killing one of the high-ranking zombies, knows he doesn’t want to become a zombie. He knows Annabelle is out there, and he is going to find her, and use her to protect himself, kill Maxine, and take control of her family of zombies. Annabelle doesn’t know that he is out there, but Darius and Ansel do and they are doing everything they can to protect her from both Maxine and Marcus.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail. What makes it interesting enough, scene by scene, to allow for uniqueness and cinema in your narrative and story? Please don't simply repeat what you already have which may well be too quiet. You can change it. That's why you're here! Start now. Imagination is your best friend, and be aggressive with it –
The setting is Los Angeles, California, which is now a deserted wasteland that has been on fire for years. Las Vegas, Nevada, which is the current home to the zombie horde. They hide in abandoned casinos and hotels to survive. The desert air helps them not decompose very fast, but they are thinking of moving to somewhere like Montana, where the cold air will keep them from mummifying. And the south, overgrown by nature, as this is 10 years after the initial zombie outbreak. Each character will travel from their zone, to meet in the middle, likely Colorado, where there will be a battle for survival from both sides (zombie and living).

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