New York Pitch Conference - Assignments

A forum where New York Pitch Conference attendees post assignments related to their novel or nonfiction project. These assignments relate to conflict levels, antagonist and protagonist sketches, plot lines, as well as story premise.
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deirdreleeverne
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Joined: 08 Dec 2018, 01:42

Re: New York Pitch Conference - Assignments

#51 Post by deirdreleeverne » 08 Dec 2018, 21:43

Assignments, Deirdre Verne

1. Story Statement

An unremarkable Bronx beat cop gets drawn into a terrorist plot when he discovers his 5-year old son is being used as a human bargaining chip.

2. Antagonist

P.J. Hannigan doesn’t need a good cop sidekick to play the role of a bad cop. A no-necked, Irish officer from the Parkchester section of the Bronx, Hannigan is color blind – the world is either black or white. And that world, according to Hannigan, has gone soft since 9/11. If he had his way, Trump’s travel ban would be in effect and a steel enforced wall would stretch from sea to shining sea.

P.J. remembers. He was there when the towers fell and bodies dropped from the sky, and he did what hundreds of other did – he ran north as fast as his stocky legs could carry him. Like most witnesses, he doesn’t talk much about that day and why would he? The last thing he needs is a social justice warrior in his face. Instead, he keeps his views close to the vest. Even his buddies on the force are unaware of his true leanings.

Some people do know, however. People like him. Patriots who don’t trust the government to keep their country safe. And the best part, the part that keeps his dream alive, is that his new friends trust him. That’s why he’s running headfirst into the action. But this time, he’s going to be a hero, and he has no problem taking down anyone in his way, including his best friend.

3. Titles

The Devil’s Blind Spot
The Curtis Project

4. Comparable Books

The Cuban Affair, Nelson DeMille. This manuscript shares three things in common with the The Cuban Affair – smart, snappy dialogue, a high-risk scenario and a fleeting sense of sympathy for the antagonist.

Killer Choice, Tom Hunt. Like Killer Choice, this manuscript answers the question – how far would you go to save someone you loved?

5. Conflict Line

Officer Antonio Estevez has one month to solve his homeless cousin’s murder, save his son’s life and stop the largest terrorist plot since 9/11 from destabilizing the New York tri-state area.

6. Other Conflicts

Inner Conflict: Officer Antonio Estevez’s inner conflict arises when his professional life intersects with his personal life. By day, he serves the citizens of the Bronx maintaining peace on the poverty-stricken streets surrounding the 48th Precinct. By night, he cares for his homeless cousin, Romeo. Antonio’s life goal is simple. He wants to get by. He loves his mama, he loves his son and he tries his best to do right by his cousin.

But when his cousin, Romeo, is murdered, Antonio realizes that his family has become yet another inner-city statistic. One his own precinct is more than willing to write-off. Antonio must decide whether to fall in line or step out from behind his shield and confront the realities of his family, his neighborhood and the very social institutions that keep his world in order.

Secondary Conflict: As if a murder isn’t enough, Antonio is distracted by his impending divorce proceedings. He’d be the first to admit that the spark between he and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Gabrielle still simmers. The fact that she’s got a boyfriend is a problem, but the real issue is that she insists their son, Claude, spend the summer in her home country of France. Antonio has already failed at marriage. He can’t afford to lose his son and let his cousin’s murder go unsolved.

7. Setting

The poorest of New York City’s five boroughs, the Bronx is a vibrant and diverse community bordering Manhattan and the leafy suburbs of Westchester. The story takes place in and around Crotona Park, a 127-acre, 100-year old city park nestled just south of the Cross Bronx Expressway – the infamous 1950's highway that physically cut off and isolated Bronx neighborhoods dooming them to poverty. The park currently serves its residents in a delicate balance that affords struggling families a chance to escape city life while providing the homeless a place to sleep.

Crotona Park acts as point of contrast as characters move to better established sections of the Bronx and the surrounding areas: Arthur Avenue, uptown’s Little Italy; City Island, home to an upscale boating community; Bronxville, the wealthiest suburb in Westchester.

A key turning point in the story puts the characters in the newly built PSAC II, also known as the 911 Call Center. The center, visible from the Hutchinson Parkway, opened in 2016 and was built in response to the 9/11 attacks. Billed as impenetrable, the call center’s security holds the fate of millions of New Yorkers if compromised.

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