JYCleaver - advance work for February 2019

A forum for writers in the St. Augustine Author-Mentor Novel Workshops to engage in writing assignments and further studies in the art of fiction writing.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2019, 14:09

JYCleaver - advance work for February 2019

#1 Post by JOANNECLEAVERA5 » 05 Feb 2019, 06:18

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


The Best Places to Work for Men.


My favorite all-time must read titles:

Baby Teeth - cuddly & creepy in two words, and the book totally delivered. Terrifying.
Our Kind of Cruelty – the plot fizzled out and after a strong start I found it disappointing

Titles from my favorite authors

The Shakespeare Requirement – manages to pack in academic speak with veneer of pretension and the book totally delivered. Winner of the coveted Joanne Cleaver Christmas gift award, sent to my ten favorite people for Christmas 2018.

The Witch Elm – infuses a common tree with foreboding and evil.

The Suspect (anything by Fiona Barton)

Advice for Future Corpses

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 naïve, ambitious public relations staffer must choose between her own values and success as defined by her boss and her client.

The EXTERNAL conflict (plot driver) is the impossible challenge at work: somehow create a profitable event out of a wrongheaded, controversial attempt to create ‘best places to work for men” competition among local businesses. The drivers of the conflict are the PR agency boss (who demands profit); the client who has put his company’s reputation on the line as the sponsor of the project; and the opposition from the sorority of local women business owners whose stature is threatened by the project.

The INTERNAL conflict (character arc) is the main character (Jess)’s knowledge that that the project is a sham (values vs career success) and, on a deeper level, her drive to ascertain allies. Who is really on her side in this ludicrous, fraught process? What does professional loyalty really mean? Is it shaped by identity/affinity (women help women? Clients & professionals are on the same side for mutual success?) or is it deeper (the few people who really understand you and who want your success, regardless of what it does for them, are the ones who are really on your side).

Plot Brief Template// JYC COMMENTS

• Is this also “the epiphany?”
• Does it have to be forced on the character from outside circumstances?
• I assume it’s essential for the character to act, & react differently from that point on?

A. Confrontation between Kelly & Marilyn, representing the clash between the upstart woman biz owner/new feminist vs. the old school business owner/establishment in the community/ so it’s the power clash between the way things have been and the way that the younger generation think things should be, through a gender lens.

The scene where Jess & Kelly are having the ‘mentor walk’ and Jess realizes that Kelly is really not on her side.

B. 3 levels of conflict --?? Not sure where these points are
1. interpersonal – Kelly & Marilyn have been circling eachother foryears, competing for contracts and now, for “queen bee” of the woman-owned business community
2. Jess vs. her friends/esp Luciana/whose jobs/futures are enmeshed in the establishment business community
3. Theme of the book – who’s really on your side? What will Jess see at the showdown? How will her client Jack respond? At first, he sides with her but then when a huge error she has made on his account goes public at the showdown, he turns on her…(though in the end he comes through for her)

C. Setting – funeral home reception hall, meeting of the “boosters” i.e., Rotary

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