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35: 18 Pre-Class Assignment - Inner Product


35: 18 Pre-Class Assignment - Inner Product

The error message states that the variable x has no value. Since it is assigned (repeatedly) in your for loop, this means that your for loop is not executing even once. And the only way this can happen is if geometry.GetPointCount() returns 0 . Therefore, this is what must be happening. Add a print geometry.GetPointCount() to confirm.

Do you intend for the if statements to be inside the loop, so that they are executed for each point in the geometry, and will not be executed at all when the geometry has 0 points? If so, indent them properly.

I think you may mean to have those if statements indented under the for loop. As your code stands, it will always operate only on the last point, or (I imagine what is causing your current error) in the case where you have no points, will never set x, y, z as the for loop will have nothing to iterate over.

I had the same problem. I was defining functions (using def) and declare the variable before def and hade this problem, simply I just moved the declaration into the function and it's solved.

The problem is in the first two lines of your function - in fact, you have several problems there.

x, y and z are defined within the for loop. If geometry.GetPointCount() is 0, that loop will never be entered, so those variables will not be assigned. That's presumably what's happening here, hence the error message.

On the other hand, if that expression is more than 0, then x, y and z will be redefined every time through that loop, which seems more than a little pointless - they will end up having just the value from the last time through.


Abstract

Over the past half-century, manufacturers have strived to achieve “Zero Inventory (ZI)” manufacturing, which puts the burden on suppliers to build their warehouses nearby production lines to meet the strict time delivery requirements of ZI production. Considerable improvements in manufacturing processes have been made. However, this practice in the meanwhile brings excessive warehousing operations along the supply chain. Recently, massive up-front investment has been made by some larger manufacturers for industrial 4.0 and warehouse automation to facilitate warehousing operations, such as put away and picking. However, warehouse operation activities enhanced by automation are still non-value-adding and current practice of redundant handling process implies continuous cost increase with the demand expanding. Therefore, it is of significance to simplify the corresponding operations as much as possible. This paper makes a comprehensive introduction to a new manufacturing paradigm named Zero-Warehousing Smart Manufacturing (ZWSM) from the concept, practices, principles, and core technologies. ZWSM basically aims to avoid traditional non-value-adding warehousing operations such as put away and order picking, as well as to reduce the warehousing space for operations to the minimum. First, prototype layout and basic practices under ZWSM are proposed. Second, synchronization, unitization and uncertainty hedging, which are the key principles to achieve the ZWSM, are explicitly introduced. Third, A Zero-Warehousing Smart Manufacturing Platform (ZWSMP) is developed with the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled infrastructures. Corresponding logistics services are presented to provide information visibility and achieve operations improvement. A case study of the Hong Kong prefabrication construction project is used to demonstrate the materials delivery process among different supply chain partners to provide a basis for zero-warehousing achievement.


New York Pitch Conference Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, and Poetry Forums

Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#1 Post by WritersBlock » 23 Feb 2020, 03:03

Algonkian Writer Conferences - Pre-Event Writer Assignments

For the New York Pitch Conference Only

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

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

Quiet novels do not sell. Keep that in mind.

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!

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.


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).

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.


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).


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!

- 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?


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.


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?


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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Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#2 Post by JOHANNARODDAP6 » 26 Feb 2020, 00:18


1. The Act of Story Statement

Grace Sidwell must find a way to help the peace organization the League of Solomon defeat the Antichrist.


The Antichrist, called in the novel The Enemy, wants to dominate and enslave the world. He attempts to do this by befriending political leaders from around the world and drawing people to his side while secretly murdering members of the League of Solomon, who, as the deputies of Christ, are tasked with countering and defeating him. The Enemy attempts to gain ultimate political legitimacy in a final council in the Tower of Babel, at which he activates the connection he has formed with the protagonist, Grace Sidwell, to tip the scales of the council in his favor.


- The League of Solomon
- Eve of the Golden Palm


1. The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

Comparable in that it provides another take on the Apocalypse/the Antichrist in a serious vein


2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Also comparable in that it takes as its subject the Antichrist and Armageddon, but
this time in a humorous rather than a “serious” vein


Grace Sidwell must decide in the end whether to support the League of Solomon in their push against the Antichrist, or to help the Antichrist in gaining political legitimacy and the right to send forth his armies on the plain of Megiddo.


Grace feels she is being turned toward evil when she keeps hearing the voice of the Antichrist in her head.


When Grace is on the track to the Tower of Babel with her friend Saleem and her beloved Curran and hears the voice of the Antichrist in her mind, she wrestles with the idea of killing Curran by striking his head with a rock from the side of the path.


Poisoned by the Antichrist’s voice in her mind, Grace must decide whether to help her friends in the League of Solomon, or help the alter’s army to defeat theirs on the plain of Megiddo.


When Grace is on the top of the Tower of Babel watching the armies of Armageddon come together, she must decide whether she wants to help her beloved Curran in defeating the seven-headed dragon of Revelation, or to throw in her lot with the Antichrist and rule at his side while abandoning Curran and the League of Solomon to torment and destruction.


The fictional Bastion City lies in the biblical land of Shinar, where, in Genesis 11 in the Bible, the Tower of Babel once “stood.” The various parts of the city are given in Esperanto, one of the official languages of my Shinar, especially for the street corner criers who like to paint a vivid picture for people of when and how the Antichrist will come down to Earth. And he does so, at the same calling the Tower of Babel into being once again, in order to reap the benefits of knowledge and power that will be granted him on ascending the Tower. It is against this setting that Grace’s inner conflict takes place. Once the Antichrist descends to Earth, having called out to Grace as his “queen” and “princess of Shinar,” Grace is forced into hiding in the psychiatric ward of Mercy Hospital for safety. But this is not just for safety: here she meets Saleem and Mort, both members of the League of Solomon, whose goal is to beat the Antichrist. When her best friend and head of the League is killed, Grace knows it is time to journey to the Tower of Babel for the council to be held there with the Antichrist. The setting of The League of Solomon allows for a sweeping biblical epic set in a landscape culled from myth.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#3 Post by JenSaderaP6 » 26 Feb 2020, 03:16

Seven Assignments for NY Pitch Conference and Workshop Jennifer McGill-Sadera

A young man encounters dangerous family secrets, lies, and his own unreliable memory while searching for a vital truth--before it kills him.

Protagonist’s father: A twisted sociopath, as smart as he is evil. Like anyone with a psychopathic nature, he can charm all those around him and hide his true motives by sharing only the unfortunate details of his life, eliciting empathy. He deftly relays childhood traumas of a physically abusive father and defenseless mother to gain sympathy, yet he lacks the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. The only emotions he’s able to experience are anger and excitement. His rage against everyone and everything fuels his reaction to the world--his lies and manipulations intensifying as he barrels through life, hurting everyone he knows. To achieve his goals and satisfy his quest for excitement, he will stop at nothing—not even murder.

LEAVING THINGS BEHIND
DON’T LOOK BACK

4. Two comparables for my psychological thriller:

In the Woods by Tana French and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Like my novel, these two stories focus on young men coming to terms with childhood tragedy, while discovering past troubles ripple into the present.

A young man must uncover memories from his own shadowy child’s mind to confront the truth about his family—and survive it.

Sky must endure and triumph over his own thoughts, which often cast him into despair. He knows he can’t condone the evil his father allegedly committed, but he desperately wants to believe his dad’s protestations of innocence. And in the back of his mind is a persistent, terrifying thought: what if evil is in his DNA?

The relationship between Sky and his new, elderly neighbor. Why does the stranger next door appear to fear him when Sky is certain he’s never met the old man?

The bulk of this story takes place in a mysterious cabin in the woods. Though it looks like a modest cottage, there are things about it that make the protagonist uneasy, starting with its ownership. He wonders what circumstances led to his family being deeded the place. Once there, he notices an eerie silence about it. Though it has been maintained, it hasn’t been lived in. There are no personal effects--even past possessions from previous owners—save an ax buried in a tree stump. The neighbor greets him suspiciously in the backyard--and startles himself into a stroke when he gets a good look at Sky. The inside of the house is bare as a scoured bowl. The basement is empty too, but a melted key and telltale burn marks on the floor joists ominously suggest the structure has a violent past. Worst of all, the elderly neighbor’s daughter, who Sky would very much like to impress, is afraid to step inside the place.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#4 Post by P6JohnAddiego » 26 Feb 2020, 03:20

Seven Assignments for NY Pitch

1. STORY STATEMENT:
A retired police chief must solve the brutal murder of a New Age guru in a small timber town filled with cultural division and a host of suspects.

2. ANTAGONIST/ANTAGONISTIC FORCES:
Gary Peterson, owner of Peterson Logging, embodies the antagonistic forces central to this story. He “owns” the town and calls the shots in the battles between environmentalists and loggers. On the surface he’s respectable, church-going, an old friend to the city fathers however, he’s been known to hire “hitmen” to remove tree-sitters, and he has a history wife-and-child-abuse. In the course of police investigations, he considers himself above the law, and he obstructs their efforts with insolence. While Peterson, his angry and out of control son, and a damaged former “hitman”, are emblematic of the town’s hatred of New Agers and forest friends, a tapestry of other suspects—jealous spouses, a local minister, and victims of the guru’s sexual predation and intellectual property theft—are significant as well. The guru’s murderer appears among the least suspicious characters until the protagonist (Frank Alvarado) hears some false notes, digs into some past crimes, and realizes how calculating and cold-hearted this person is.

3. TITLES: The Trees of Eden Fallen Sisters.

4. COMP TITLES: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (whodunit in small town filled with suspects framing of story by lines from a children’s nonsense poem, in my case The Owl and the Pussycat). Also Eden by Andrea Kleine (resolution of an old crime within an atmosphere of New Age or alternative culture).

5. CONFLICT LINE: In a timber town long-divided over jobs and forest preservation, a retired outsider is called to solve the murder of a New Age guru affiliated with environmentalists.

6. INNER AND SECONDARY CONFLICTS: The protagonist (Frank Alvarado) feels inner conflicts about his role: is he too old, unfit, or out of touch to be of much help to young Detective Sergeant Stella Grover, who invited him? Moreover, he faces secondary conflicts in the environment as a racial minority, a Mexican-American in a redneck town, as well as where he might fit among countercultural contemporaries, the old hippies for whom he feels a mix of sympathy (for their causes) and skepticism (about their often silly and irresponsible behavior).

7. SETTING: This story is set in the woods of contemporary Southern Oregon, with occasional scenes in the nearby redwoods along the California border, as well as the coastal Oregon hometown of the protagonist. The place is one of beauty and devastation, of towering evergreen trees and enormous clear-cuts. The town (Grants Pass) is a mix of old timber-employed families, conservative homes flying American flags and Christian fishes, as well as more urbane retirees and tourists, and young people involved with the newly-legal marijuana businesses, and older hippies devoted to the forest, some of them part of the ashram community called The Tree of Life. That community was once a thriving gathering place filled with sexual freedom, psychoactive drugs, and alternative religious practices. It was also a supportive base for the Tree Friends, eco-warriors who occupied and guarded old growth giants. The town and its neighboring woods has been a political battleground and remains an epicenter for struggles over the fate of the forests.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#5 Post by BARBARAMAYP6 » 26 Feb 2020, 07:51

Story Statement:
Escape the Half-rez (debt collector for the underworld) and shut down the government conspiracy of killing youth for profit.

Antagonists Forces:
The main antagonistic force in Risen is the mysterious dark figure from Charlotte's dream, which is a "Half-rez," a debt-collector in the form of a resurrected person turned grim reaper. Since Charlotte was meant to die in an accident and didn't, "Death" needs repayment. Half-rezs' are controlled by the Arith Seeds Corporation, a long-standing hidden government conspiracy to kill youth for the underworld. Charlotte will have to band up with the original antagonist, Braider (the man who kidnaps her), and the "West 7" Decampers (people who have escaped Death's repayment) in order to find and kill her Half-rez.

Break Out Title
The title I choose is Risen
My original title options were: Decampment and My Bleeding Dreams. However, after making a list and narrowing it down, I decided upon Risen.

Comparables:
Risen is an edgy/older YA paranormal novel. Risen is similar to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin in terms off the heroin surviving an accident only to have odd things occur after surviving. Risen is in the vein of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare because the heroin has to team up with others to fight paranormal entities. Croak by Gina Damico is also comparable because of the atmosphere of debt-collection for death. Twilight by Stephanie Myers is another comparable title because of the intimate dialogue to establish a heartfelt love triangle (with a twist). Lastly, I’d compare Risen to The Maze Runner by James Dashner because of the underlying government conspiracy that drives the plot and creates mystery and suspense. The novel also has a narrative voice similar to that employed in Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles as well as Kami Garcia’s Legion series.

Conflict Timeline:
After being marked by a Half-rez, Charlotte must team up with the man who kidnaps her and a group of Decampers in order to avoid detection and kill her Half-rez if she wants any chance at a normal life.

Additional Conflicts:
Inner Conflict: Charlotte is dealing with the guilt of her step-brother Josh's (who is also the love of her life) death because she feels responsible for the accident that killed him. Charlotte feels like she is lost or does not have a "home" or purpose in a world without him. Then, when people around her begin dying Charlotte feels guilty because she doesn't listen to the cryptic warnings of Braider. Charlotte then realizes that her suspicions are true once she realizes she is a Decamper: she was meant to die, and someone else took her place (Josh), and people around her will continue to die until she does. Once Braider saves her, and joins the West 7 group, she starts to have confusing feelings for Braider. These feelings make Charlotte feel even guiltier. When Charlotte finally begins to feel "at home" with Braider and the West 7, she learns she has been lied to by Braider and discovers that Josh is the very Half-rez that's been chasing her. Once Charlotte makes this revelation, she has to decide if she is willing to kill Josh for the opportunity to have a normal life or sacrifice her chance at a normal life and let him go free. Ultimately, Charlotte will have the resolve that saving Josh is her purpose, regardless of her safety or her feelings for Braider.

Societal Conflicts: Risen discusses the morality of who should and who should not get to live and who should and should not get to make life and death decisions. It addresses people who do not have control over their own life (the Half-rezs) being used as pawns by governmental powers (Arith Seeds Corporation). Braider, whose job it is to hunt and kill these Half-rezs, lives with the guilt of killing innocent people (who did not choose to be resurrected as killing pawns) in order for the Decampers he saves to go free. Risen also dives into the morality of lying. It poses the question: Is it ok to lie to people you care about to protect them?

Setting
Risen starts in the urban area of Sacramento, where Charlotte lives and goes to high school. This location is essential because Charlotte's step-dad is a former Governor (who resigned after his son's death), Charlotte's step-dad had to be a high ranking political official in an urban area in order to connect him to the government conspiracy. There is numerous rainy imagery throughout the book that Charlotte comments on as unusual, and having the book set in sunny California lends to the mystery of why it is suddenly raining so much. In order to save Charlotte from her Half-rez, Braider kidnaps her and takes her to an abandoned warehouse (which serves as the headquarters for The West 7 group of Decampers). The location of the warehouse serves to grass-root the idea that the group Charlotte finds herself with are renegades.

The next important setting is a home in coastal California. Here, a death occurs, and the backdrop of the beautiful ocean scenery juxtaposes the horrible death. The setting of the ocean is important because the ocean tides parallels Charlotte's hot and cold relationship with Braider and the confusing feelings that come along with it. The next location is a rural area of California which houses the Arith Seeds Corporation. It is a remote, hidden lab in which the government creates and houses the Half-rezs for their area. This setting helps establish the horror and mystery of the government conspiracy to kill youth people for the underworld.

The last scene in the book takes place by a remote cabin against a peaceful, sunny backdrop. It is here where Charlotte makes the resolve that she is going to save Josh. It brings the book back full circle by showing Charlotte now has a purpose. Since the book is full of rainy imagery, the sunny setting also parallels Charlotte's self-growth. The constant change in locations perpetuates the vagrant aspect of the rebel, vigilante group of the "West 7". It also follows the motif of "being a ghost" or "not having a home" since they are continually moving, and Charlotte has never allowed herself to feel settled anywhere.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#6 Post by NANCYJOHNSTONEP6 » 27 Feb 2020, 22:54

BASIC TRAINING
by Nancy Johnstone

STORY STATEMENT
A young college-educated woman escapes a manipulative and dangerous boyfriend by impulsively enlisting in the Army, only to discover that the military has institutionalized the sexual abuse she is running from. She can’t escape the military, but fights back with alarming consequences and discoveries of her human potential, both good and evil.

THE ANTAGONIST OR THE ANTAGONISTIC FORCE
The antagonist of the story is Drill Sergeant Wetzl. Wetzl is tall, pale and pockmarked, his fingernails nicotine-yellow and unclipped. The drill sergeant round brown hat perches on his shiny frontal lobe while his neck veins pulse in and out as he screams at you. He is a misogynist, a racist and a sexual pervert. He embodies the antagonistic force that our protagonist, Gaby Ross, is running from and fighting against: the male power over women. Wetzl repeatedly rapes Gaby’s best friend at basic training, and Gaby feels powerless to help. Basic training is filled with acts against the female soldiers, both benign and terrifying. Gaby does not trust the system to protect her or her friend. Gaby and her friends have no choice but to endure it all, until both Gaby and Mixon snap, and murder Drill Sergeant Wetzl, which brings on consequences Gaby is not prepared to handle.

BREAKOUT TITLE
1. Basic Training
2. An Angry Sound
3. Swallowing Lies

GENRE AND COMPARABLES
Genre: Commercial Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Comparables:
1. Private Benjamin meets Full Metal Jacket: In spite of the dire consequences, this story and the protagonist can be very funny.
2. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
3. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

PRIMARY CONFLICT LINE
After escaping an abusive boyfriend by enlisting in the Army, a smart, educated and funny young woman struggles against the might of the military to keep herself and her friend safe from sexual harassment and rape at the hands of the drill sergeants, facing extraordinary moral choices to keep them protected from an enemy within.

INNER CONFLICT AND SECONDARY CONFLICT
Inner Conflict
Gaby struggles with layers of inner conflict. One is the notion of courage, and the lack of courage that leads to shame. Gaby’s bunkmate Mixon has been raped by Drill Sergeant Wetzl. Mixon does not want to report the crime, convinced no one will believe her and that she will face backlash. Gaby does not want to betray Mixon by reporting the rape, but is tortured that she is doing nothing to help Mixon. Gaby does not know who to trust, and does not know if she will be punished for coming forward. She begins to hate herself for being a coward. She is so ashamed of her spinelessness, that she agrees to help Mixon when asked, becoming an unwitting accomplice to the murder of Drill Sergeant Wetzl.
Gaby’s inner conflict morphs once she is involved with the murder. Now that she is an accomplice to murder, Gaby does not understand who she has become, and is conflicted and increasingly crazed. Ultimately, she has to decide if what she has done is worth it to keep her friend safe, or if she is now nothing but a murderer, as evil as the man she killed.
Another inner conflict Gaby struggles with is the notion of fairness fairness in our military and as a democracy. She arrives at basic training in the deep South from a middle-class loving family from New England. The friends she meets are not as lucky and have suffered through poverty and abuse in their short lifetimes that Gaby finds incomprehensible. She struggles with our military system of an “All Volunteer Force” where only the underprivileged end up serving, while the privileged, like herself, go to college and on to other opportunities that none of these girls have had.
Secondary Conflict
Gaby’s manipulative boyfriend Eric slaps her in a jealous rage, leaving Gaby with a black eye. Ashamed of her abusive relationship, she has enlisted in the army and ships off to spend ten weeks at basic training at Fort Jackson. Eric writes her most every day, alternately begging her to call him and threatening her with a visit to the base. Gaby was at one time in love with him, and is ashamed that she did not see their relationship for what it was him manipulating her mind and crushing her self esteem until she actually felt like she deserved it when he hit her. Gaby never thought she would allow herself to be in that kind of relationship, and desperately needs to convince herself that she will never let it happen again.
SETTING
The story takes place over ten weeks at Basic Combat Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. It is miserably hot and crawling with fire ants. More importantly, it is the first scene of your new life, the military life. Personal freedom has vanished and been replaced with frothing drill sergeants controlling when you can flinch, if you can blink and whether or not you will shit your pants while interminably standing in formation. The oppressive weather adds to the claustrophobia, with your uniform so soaked in sweat that you must wring it out at the end of the day. At basic training, you are being trained to be a killer, and the scenes of girls peering out of foxholes while firing their M16’s to stabbing straw dummies dressed as human beings with their bayonets shock the women who have never considered harming another human being. You are being trained to perform while sleep deprived, with scenes of all night guard duty and deliriously tired soldiers. This is a setting where each recruit has zero control over their personal choices, and the drill sergeants have absolute authority. It is an obscene setting of no recourse and no choices. You have signed on the dotted line and there is no exit. It is a place where “normal values have become skewed and distorted.” You are a prisoner and nobody escapes unscathed.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#7 Post by RebeccaP6Portela » 01 Mar 2020, 21:52

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

As a young woman suddenly faced with nightly flashbacks from my childhood, I use these episodes as clues to solve the mystery of my abuse as a child.

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.


My father comes from an Irish Catholic family where family pride is protected at all costs.
He is a compulsive liar who manipulates everyone in his path to get what he wants. His needs are simple: alcohol, gambling, and sex. These needs work in tandem, fueling the craving of the others. As he is faced with the needs of his wife, children, and colleagues, his self-serving behavior prevents him from being able to connect with them on any kind of level. He lives his self-fulfilling prophesy where he plays the victim and nothing that happens to him is his fault. His heinous actions of raping his wife and molesting his daughters are conveniently forgotten during his drunken blackouts.
Years later, he is confronted multiple times regarding the abuse I suffered as a child. His responses are chlling in their indifference. When shown a video of one of my numerous flashbacks, his response is “that’s all ya got on me?” It is a tale of trying to find a heart in the Tin Man.


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

Unearthed, The Mud Diaries, The Anatomy of Andrew

- 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?

The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch is a somatic memoir featuring sexual abuse at the hands of her father. The references are both subtle and haunting. While my sexual abuse is more graphic, it is told through flashbacks from the perspective of an eight-year-old. She seamlessly transitions between reality, memories, and intense emotions.

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher is a memoir about a young woman’s profound stuggle with an eating disorder starting at a very early age. While she is certainly failed by the system, she was only able to recover when she took her life into her own hands. There is a particular sass in her writing that I love and with all heavy memoirs, it is nice to have a reprieve.


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 coming to terms with my abuse as a child, I go on a mission to confront my family and my abuser.

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?

My primary conflict is attempting to navigate symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder while trying to solve the crimes of my childhood.

The secondary conflict is encountering an overwhelming number of obstacles regarding treatment and a broken healthcare system.

The questions I ultimately face if my father does not acknowledge my pain and if I cannot heal from his abuse, in determining my path. How do I accept the unacceptable? If I do not actively suffer the abuse, is my father not a criminal anymore? Is he absolved? And was I serving his sentence this whole time, punishing myself for what he did? Will the past forever dictate my future?


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.

Being that my book is nonfiction, the setting I describe is the actual setting for the events.

The story is set in sunny Miami, Fl where category 5 Hurricane Andrew was expected to hit landfall within a few days. We see the people of the town preparing for the hurricane with wooden boards, drills, and shutters. More specifically, we see my family preparing for the hurricane by anxiously watching the news and moving furniture to the middle of the room. We then flee the city only to come back to a swampy soup of possessions and drywall. Most people left their houses behind and moved away and so this dead city became my playground for years to come.
The second setting in my story is in New York City. I move back and forth from these two locations - past and present, younger and older. New York is a complex city that can either be thrilling, energetic, and full of opportunity or it can be a terrifying, dangerous, and lonely place.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#8 Post by JOHANNARODDAP6 » 02 Mar 2020, 02:30

1. The Act of Story Statement

Grace Sidwell must find a way to help the peace organization the League of Solomon defeat the Antichrist.


The Antichrist, called the Enemy wants to dominate and enslave the world. He attempts to do this by befriending political leaders from around the world and drawing people to his side while secretly murdering members of the League of Solomon, who, as the deputies of Christ, are tasked with countering and defeating him. The Enemy attempts to gain ultimate political legitimacy in a final council in the Tower of Babel, at which he activates the connection he has formed with the protagonist, Grace Sidwell, to tip the scales of the council and the right to rule in his favor.


- The League of Solomon
- Eve of the Golden Palm


1. The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

Comparable in that it provides another take on the Apocalypse/the Antichrist in a serious vein


2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Also comparable in that it takes as its subject the Antichrist and Armageddon, but
this time in a humorous rather than a “serious” vein


Grace Sidwell must decide in the end whether to support the League of Solomon in their push against the Antichrist, or to help the Antichrist in gaining political legitimacy and the right to send forth his armies.


Grace feels she is being turned toward evil when she keeps hearing the voice of the Antichrist in her head.


When Grace is on the track to the Tower of Babel with her friend Saleem and her beloved Curran and hears the voice of the Antichrist in her mind, she wrestles with the idea of killing Curran by striking his head with a rock from the side of the path.


Poisoned by the Antichrist’s voice in her mind, Grace must decide whether to help her friends in the League of Solomon, or help the alter’s army to defeat theirs on the plain of Megiddo.


When Grace is on the top of the Tower of Babel watching the armies of Armageddon come together, she must decide whether she wants to help her beloved Curran in defeating the seven-headed dragon of Revelation, or to throw in her lot with the Antichrist and rule at his side while abandoning Curran and the League of Solomon to torment and destruction.


The fictional Bastion City lies in the biblical land of Shinar, where, in Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel once “stood.” The various parts of the city are given in Esperanto, one of the official languages of Shinar, especially for the street corner criers who like to paint a vivid picture for people of when and how the Antichrist will come down to Earth. And he does come down to Earth, at the same calling the Tower of Babel into being once again in the biblical Shinar, in order to reap the benefits of knowledge and power that will be granted him on ascending the Tower and to turn the Tower into the headquarters of his one world government. It is against this setting that Grace’s inner conflict takes place. Once the Antichrist descends to Earth, having called out to Grace as his “queen” and “princess of Shinar,” Grace is forced into hiding in the psychiatric ward of Mercy Hospital for safety. But not just for safety: here she meets Saleem and Mort, both members of the League of Solomon, whose goal is to beat the Antichrist. When her best friend and head of the League is killed, Grace knows it is time to journey to the Tower of Babel for the council to be held there with the Antichrist. The setting of The League of Solomon allows for a sweeping biblical epic set in a landscape culled from myth.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#9 Post by AprilOconnellP6 » 02 Mar 2020, 14:40

Wild Hearts Elephant Sanctuary Book 1 They Called Me Jane
April O'Connell

1. Story Statement – Make sure the elephant poachers die before they kill you.

2. Antagonist – When a corrupt and wealthy businessman from Chicago, travels to Africa to add an elephant head to his trophy wall, he ensures his safety, by bringing his employed gunman, Bain. Bain’s WW1 wartime scars are both mental and physical. His military training leads him to follow orders, but his greed for a promised fortune and his desire to escape the jungle killings creates a war-like hunt for his enemy an eleven-year-old girl named Zura. Bain's deepening madness causes him to turn on one name from his own hunting party for what he thinks is desertion. He steps over dead bodies without emotion, leaving deceased men from his party for the jungle's animals to dispose of the evidence. Outsmarted by a captured eleven-year-old girl named Zura, who is forced to become the guide of the hunting party, Bain becomes obsessed with her treachery and loses his mind to the rage and obsession to hunt and to kill her. He becomes crazed in his manic revenge, no longer able to hear or see the dangers in his environment.

3. Book Title - THEY CALLED ME JANE, THE BROKEN WILD HEART, ZURA’S JUNGLE

4. Comparable - Readers craving the coming of age survival theme of Ann Napolitano’s novel, Dear Edward will be excited to follow Zura through the African jungle as the poachers’ captive, who outsmarts the men. When her mother is shot trying to save the elephants from the poachers, Zura has no time to process the shooting before she is thrown into a survival race of both mind and body.

It’s Where the Crawdads Sing, set in the 1920's African Jungle. The lessons that we are forever shaped by the children we were, rings true for Zura Jameson. The tragedies and murders Zura faces in the jungle she loves, at the hands of her kidnappers turn her jungle-world upside down. She would rather face the fiercest predators in all of Africa than the killers trying to poach an elephant. Animals are predictable, men are not in this story of courage and determination to kill or be killed.

5. Conflict - Rosie, Zura's mother is accidentally shot while trying to stop the poaching. The guides disappear and Zura falls from her hiding place in the trees. She is tied, beaten, and forced to lead the men to their safety. Zura overhears their plan to kill her after they escape. She has to find a way to get back to her mother, stay alive herself, and eliminate her enemy, or just let the jungle do it for her. Kill or be killed is the jungle law.

6. 2-level Conflict - Zura’s game of hide-and-seek turns deadly when she escapes the last man alive. She climbs the cliffs, but he beats her to the top. When her wild African dog, Cha-cha attacks Bain, the gun goes off. Zura falls over the side. Beaten, broken and defeated, Zura has to decide whether to succumb to her injuries and let death take her, or fight to save her herself and her mother if she's still alive.

7. Setting - Imagine the view from the cliff’s ledge overlooking Africa’s deadliest jungle. The clear sky gives way to an approaching storm cloud that seems close enough to touch. From the height of the cliff, Zura’s home at Wild Hearts Elephant Sanctuary looks like the tiniest dot on the landscape below.
Zura watches and learns from the monkeys, racing them through the jungle’s tangled vines and trees. The jungle is her wild playground. She is free to discover it's beauty and to avoid its dangers. Honing her climbing skills, She visits the cliffs she names, Thinking Rock, and finds a hidden cave behind the waterfall.
Zura’s playground turns into a graveyard when she leads the men to their demise. With one crazed poacher left, Zura hides in the jungle’s camouflage, climbs Thinking Rock to try to escape. The hunter becomes hunted in this story of survival.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#10 Post by P6JIMHILLEBRECHT » 02 Mar 2020, 21:32

A budding love affair in lonely house on a deserted beach of one of Virginia’s barrier islands is disrupted by the (possible) discovery of a wrecked Spanish treasure galleon and the arrival of a soon-to-be defrocked priest and a latter-day pirate who seek for far more than the gems and bullion it contains.

Black Jack Pershing took his name from a personal disposition, not the famed WW I general. He has a reputation to maintain, a reputation for ruthlessness and deadly effectiveness, a modern-day pirate sailing in a luxury yacht, and that name conveys just the right degree of menace. For Black Jack does not board with cutlass and pike. He does not bring his victims to heel with cannon fire. Rather he gets close with burning eyes and a dark, intense smile, bending their will with his voice, exerting a power of influence, of persuasion that borders on control, on sheer domination. Few can resist when Jack exerts his power, succumbing to his demands whether they will or no.
He seeks now for a treasure far richer than any he has pursued before. A dead crew held by a sacred oath to guard a priceless horde they can no longer see delivered. These ghosts are a huge store of psychic energy that calls to Jack from across the miles, across the centuries, the promise of a power he can dominate. And wield. A defrocked priest and an old woman are all that stand against him. But they shall not stand for long.

The Sinking Sands of Perigal Island

The Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz. Both works alternate between light, often humorous touches of a budding romance (Odd and Stormy) to a darker, behind-the-scenes struggle. In my case, between two men with an unsuspected power who are vying for an unseen treasure.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. The island setting with the contrast between native and newcomer is a common feature of both books, though there are far fewer people on my Perigal Island. But both use that island culture as building blocks for setting and mood alike.

Two young lovers on an isolated beach pursue the exciting prospect of buried gold, while looming around them, two men with similar powers but very different hearts contend for a far greater treasure.


Sketch out the Inner and Secondary Conflict of the Protagonist:

Father Homer is a Catholic Priest with an unusual power, a power he deems more curse than gift. He can slowly twist the will of a person simply by focusing his entire attention upon them, dispensing with any sense of freedom by forcing them to follow his own vision, conviction by domination, persuasion by sheer power. Coercing them, not through prayer or ethical argument but by sheer domination, to follow his own path to the Good.
Is he damaging them with this unprecedented intrusion? Is he damaging himself, drawn by the lure of a personal force that can prevent a person from doing harm, falling victim to the ancient adage that power corrupts? He has seen the impact of this same power exerted by his opponent, Black Jack, and he has no desire to follow that dark example, regardless of the good he might do. Yet it is a tool and a powerful tool. If he has any hope of countering the damage inflicted by Jack, he must employ every weapon, take every chance. And pray that this brutal intrusion does less harm than the damning course events would otherwise have taken.
Indeed, this struggle leads also to the secondary conflict that ever haunts Father Homer: the concern that he has taken his vocation as a refuge from this accursed ability, rather than an honest call from God. As a young man with a power he could neither control nor understand, the Church seemed the only source that offered him a refuge, a means of discipline and denial that could save him from the dark power that ever beckoned to him. The call to help that Homer feels is overwhelming, and he has no doubt that these are tasks only he can perform. But is he making a mockery of his vows by turning to his infernal ability rather than the teachings of the Church?


Sketch out the setting in Detail:

Perigal Island is a beautiful piece of useless sand just off the eastern coast of Virginia, the first of the forgotten barrier islands that could not sustain settlements or people and has now been left to a largely avian population by being formally designated as a bird sanctuary. It is renowned locally for its “sinking sands”, a mixture of extremely fine grit and pulverized sea shells that, under the right conditions, slide against itself to create sheer, a nearly frictionless flow that can cause even bird feathers to sink. An oasis of lovely white beach that can, in some places and sometimes without warning, turn into a dangerous pit of quicksand.
Some hearty plants survive here: short island birches, coastal pine, a low shrub that looks like a small tumbleweed, and a truly impressive number of grapevines that seem to tangle everywhere. The trees are perched on the ridge of the island where their roots can reach something other than sand, and the riot of grapevines, heaviest on the landward side, supply a vital food source for the endless species of birds, a welcome change from an endless diet of seafood.
Only a single human structure has been able to survive amid these hazards, an ancient log residence known as the House Amongst the Dunes. Perched on the only ridge of stone that has so far withstood the endless pounding of the Atlantic waves, it was built before the Revolution and has been home to seven generations, each one learning the ways of the land much as inner city children learn to play on crowded streets and move safely through traffic. It has a widow’s walk on the seaward side, a small balcony where the lonely can look out over the sea, watching, perhaps, for the return of a loved one. Or from which one might stand vigil for the approach of evil.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

Saving Annabelle by Alida Winternheimer


The Act of Story Statement

Confront her father, bringing destruction and liberation to the entire family.

Antagonist (137 words)

Terrible pride, the drive to build an empire, and stoicism suited to the harshest winters of the Minnesota frontier, culminate in a man torn in two by a deep faith in an omniscient but far-from-benevolent God and a passion for science, particularly the emerging field of animal husbandry. Having shaped the land, mastered livestock, and built a town from an idea, Haldórr Jacobsen is master of all he surveys…yet one thing eludes him.

Desire, impulses, and an anger he suppresses but cannot extinguish torment him until he succumbs to the demons inside. His every weakness is obscured only by the suffering he causes others.

Despot both at home and in his community, Haldórr is determined to hide his compulsions, bury his shame, and mold his daughter into an heir worthy of his legacy.

Saving Annabelle
My Sister’s Keeper
When Sparks Fly Upward

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent

These literary-historical tales of women's strength and mercy accomplish, beautifully, what I strive for in my own fiction, to transport the reader. The voice brings us into another place and time, completely foreign, with such mood, such evocative details we cannot help being immersed in the characters' lives and world. There is also an eye-opening quality to these novels. Both expand the readers' experience of the human condition, revealing and then exploring, questioning, the why and how of the people and events presented in the story. In The Poisonwood Bible, the wildly unfamiliar is brought home with incredible pathos through the perspective of each point of view character. In The Heretic's Daughter, a collection of curious and sad historical facts--the whole of what many of us know about the Salem Witch Trials--is remade as an intimately experienced thing connected to our own lives. My work would be well placed in the hands of their readers.


Main Conflict / Conflict Line

Torn between a vow to protect her sister and the promise of a life of her own, a young woman must confront their father, bringing destruction and liberation to them all.


Second Conflict / Subplots (Sketch)

As a young woman, Greta is forced to remain at home, her mother’s and sister’s care overwhelming her ability to go to school or socialize. She has taken to wearing trousers and simple calico shirtwaists for the ease of performing her labors. Haldórr despises her appearance, but cannot deny her practicality.

Clovis, her friend and romantic interest, and the Reverend Williamsen come calling with a flyer for a carnival pitching its tent in nearby Vasa. Clovis invites Greta to go with him. The Reverend is enthusiastic about the spectacle and declares he and Mrs. Williamsen will be attending. He makes a point of mentioning to Haldórr that Greta appears around town so infrequently that people are talking. It would be useful for them to see her out, looking like a young lady, enjoying herself.

Greta accepts Clovis’s invitation before her father can reject it, and with the Reverend and Clovis present, he does not deny her this victory.

Inner Conflict (Sketch)

Greta longs to be free of her pitiless father and senseless mother, while honoring her vow to protect her sister. At age three, Annabelle wandered out into the snow and nearly froze to death, leaving her crippled and retarded, but Greta knows her as innocent and happy—a miracle in their circumstances. Greta struggles with overwork, isolation, and oppression, eking out gains enough to maintain hope that she will one day live a life of her own making. But this innermost yearning is diametrically opposed to her need to protect her sister.

Freedom is as close as walking away, but she cannot leave Annabelle behind and she cannot take her with.

Eventually securing a scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota, Greta begins a desperate search for the the means to accept. She enlists the support of her least likely ally, Dr. Bjornen. The doctor, swayed by his own culpability in Haldórr’s sins and corresponding guilty conscience, finds a suitable caretaker for Maude and Annabelle. Greta is finally able to escape her father’s domain and build a life of her own, intending to reunite herself with Annabelle as soon as possible.

All too soon, the unspeakable occurs, and she must return home to set her family to rights once and for all.

A land of tremendous beauty, where rivers cut ravines through forested hills shaped by the push, then pull, of glaciers that she remembers. A borderlands where lush eastern forests meet vast western prairies. A fertile womb, prepared to birth life anew after each snow, after each purging fire. She makes her every offering in good faith.

A frontier where Europeans meet First People, and harmony turns to fear and rage. Blood flows over the land, seeping into the soil. Her stewards are expelled, driven west into unforgiving wilderness, which the newcomers have named for the exiles, the Dakota Territory.

A conquest in which settlers clear forest and cut furrows with oxen and plow. King Wheat grows and grows and grows until it will grow no more. The land, so giving, will eventually be depleted by that greedy grain and that greedy nation, eager for its Daily Bread. The land is not returned to herself, given succor. Cows and corn replace wheat.

A plague of locusts, coming out of the Rockies and sweeping eastward. They bring five years of starvation to those rugged men so righteously wielding ox and plow. The voracious insects, fat with bulging eyes and hooked legs, birthed from the very ground relied upon for sustenance, annihilate crops and hope. Stopped one day by the miracle of Divine Mercy and the faith of a people called Christian.

An order restored, according to the men who trampled this Eden, who eagerly return their every effort to expansion. But what of the women? What of their unrest?

This is the land into which Greta Jacobsen is born.


On this land sits the house that Hadórr Jacobsen built. It stands apart from the town he founded, the way the lord’s manor stands apart from the serfs’ hovels. Meant to shelter a contented wife and many laughing children, it instead holds a burden of grief and discontent that scorches each inhabitant according to his or her constitution: hunger, madness, impairment…but one. Greta perseveres with the help of those outside Haldórr’s monument.

Her beloved horse, Pandora, carries her away over the land. The half-breed shepherdess, Ursula, with her herb- and wool-hung soddy demonstrates self-reliance. The New England heiress, Lucy, takes Greta to the infant city of Red Wing, where wealth and kindness combine to create possibility. The German merchant, Clovis, and the schoolteacher, Miss Holstad, become friends whose mercantile and schoolhouse provide sanctuaries of both camaraderie and learning.

Historical References
• Broad setting: along the Cannon River in Goodhue County, Minnesota
• The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province is a geographic region where “east meets west”
• US-Dakota War, 1862
• All Dakota expelled from Minnesota by an act of Congress in the wake of the conflict
• Rocky Mountain Locust Plague, 1873-77
• Minnesota Governor John Pillsbury declared April 26, 1877 a day of prayer, and “the locusts left as quickly as they’d come.”
• The locusts made it to the border of Goodhue County, but did not touch it, making Goodhue County the biggest producer of wheat in the nation.
• Overproduction of wheat, known as King Wheat, led to soil depletion that forced farmers to change their crops and convert many farms to dairy or poultry.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#12 Post by TravisPoppletonP6 » 03 Mar 2020, 03:00

FIRST ASSIGNMENT:
A young boy must travel through this life and the next to prevent the world from resetting.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT:
Mikayla Louw is a teacher’s assistant in our protagonist’s first period English class. The South African high school student is cold, precise, and willing to cause any atrocity necessary to curtail what she sees as the darkest parts of humankind.
When Mikayla discovers her role as a law keeper, her drive to course correct what is happening around the world brings her to Professor Leonard Tinth – a broken but charismatic high school teacher. Mikayla needs the professor to achieve a total reboot of our planet but does not respect him. His inability to see a world beyond his own personal loss frustrates Mikayla but she looks past her contempt for the greater purpose.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT:
Journey’s Law

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT:
We are the Ants meets Alan Watts


FIFTH ASSIGNMENT:
When a teacher and student discover their power to reset what they consider to be a broken world, a young man who sees their point of view is all that stands between them and the deletion of the countless, beautiful stories of our little planet.


SIXTH ASSIGNMENT:
Each lead character is confronted with the loss of a loved one.
The protagonist, however, admits he is unable to communicate with people directly or share with others who he truly is. This makes dealing with his loss especially difficult. This also fuels recurring conflict as he tries to navigate social interactions by impersonating literary characters or repeating dialogue he’s heard from others. He feels deceptive and cowardly for his inability to communicate with people.
There is a thematic secondary conflict which occupies both our villains and protagonist. Our lead character is continually at odds with the convivence of birth. While he goes home to a trailer and tries to deal with his awkward appearance on a daily basis, his best and only friend seems oblivious to her fortuitous genetic makeup and social status. Both characters have lost people close to them, but the protagonist can’t help but notice how much lighter her burden seems than his.
Likewise, our lead villain’s drive to course correct Earth’s suffering comes from a war-torn backstory, leaving her with total contempt for people who see a lost loved one as life’s greatest pain.


SEVENTH ASSIGNMENT
Simi Valley, CA in the 1990’s is home to Royal High School, the Elephant Bar and the little trailer park our protagonist calls home. It is also one death away from a Heavenly crossroads, complete with Americana characters and Zen inspired landscapes.
Autumn invites the Santa Ana winds to the lazy Southern California town, creating a formidable force for any kid daring enough to ride their bike to school, and the cooling evenings are the perfect backdrop for late-night conversations and standoffs with well-meaning supervillains.
As for the crossroads, the traditional sweeping fields of corn or wheat have been swapped out for towering bamboo forests, but the deal-making is the same and which path you walk out on is just as important.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#13 Post by ANDYDAVISP6 » 03 Mar 2020, 06:30

Ivory Gale must uncover the secret behind his birth defect, the hole in his heart, to find a way to the Other World before the Dark Entromists unleash war on Earth.

Malus Nebbick loathes Ivory from day one, at first for a poorly timed smile. But after instigating a fight on the sixth floor of the Arbress and dropping Ivory to certain death, Malus shows himself to be more than a deranged bully. He continues to turn other students against Ivory, and threatens to expose the number of people that Ivory has allowed to die in his multiple escapes from the Dark Entromists.

The Dark Entromists are the evil group of entroky-users that have chased Ivory and his godmother up the eastern seaboard of the United States for the past ten years. Ivory now suspects that they are using the already-disturbed Malus as a spy at Nockfire. The group seeks to return to the Other World, and believes that Nockfire Academy is concealing the means to get there. Ivory must discern whether Malus is working alone, or if there are others at Nockfire who have already betrayed the academy.

Through the race to find the Other World before Malus, Ivory uncovers a long-defeated enemy, and learns that the Dark Entromists may only be the striking arm of a much larger body.

The Heart of the Threshold
Secrets Set in Stone
Ivillius Gale and the Way Between the Worlds

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Like Zélie and Amari flee from the monarchy with a scroll that will return magic to Orïsha, Ivory Gale must flee from the Dark Entromists in order to keep his heart hidden from them – the Heart of the Threshold, which can bridge the Way between the worlds. Ivory constantly thinks he isn’t good enough for the destiny before him, and – like Zélie – he must race against time with his friends in order to unlock the Other World before the Dark Entromists find him.

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
Like Rhea, Ivory sometimes sleeps in a way that he cannot describe, always waiting to either wake up or be killed as he searches for the hidden reason behind his dreams. He only learns too late that his nightmares are not dreams at all, but they are the way the hole in his heart allows him to drift between worlds in his sleep, so he can uncover the secrets beyond them.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Although a few years older than Percy, Ivory Gale takes his share of bullying both before and after arriving at Nockfire Academy. Through his mysterious professors he begins to learn about a world that he didn’t know existed, finds out whom he can trust, and begins to suspect he might be the key to bridging the gap to the Other World.

A young teenager with a heart condition flees from the ancient evil that has hunted him his entire life, and must confront his own weakness in order to unearth a centuries-closed path to another world.

Ivory wishes to be like other teenagers his age – to blend in at school and to look the same as everyone else – but by the blue streaks running through his hair and an atrial septal defect (hole in his heart) he is reminded daily of the impossibility of his wish.

He struggles with self-deprecation and feelings of inadequacy due to his weakened heart, and is led to wonder if many of the things happening in his life are only in his mind. So many people have been murdered in the wake of the Dark Entromists’ hunt for Ivory that he nearly falls prey to a suicidal moment. His invisible ally – Grent the Knight Onyx – convinces him to confess his remaining fears to the friends who love him: namely, the fact that he has the ability to see the mysterious force known as entroky when it is used and, that he may possess the heart that the Dark Entromists require for returning to the Other World.

Ivory is raised by his godmother, “Aunt” Korimae, who has tenderly cared for him since his parents disappeared from his life at the age of four. Ivory struggles to remember any detail about his parents: what they looked like or who they were. Their absence is a topic of which Aunt Korimae will seldom speak, leaving Ivory to mere guesswork and thoughts of doubt and responsibility to explain away their absence. When Ivory eventually learns that his heart condition is the reason behind his parents’ abandoning him, he struggles to reconcile the fact in order to use his heart in defiance of the Dark Entromists.

Northern Boston:
Chapter one opens to Ivory speeding through rush hour traffic on his bicycle, racing for home beneath the hot sun of August. A powerful force is speeding toward the city – one he has never been able to sense before – and he must find his godmother before time runs out. They’ve always managed to escape in the past, but this time his godmother wasn’t warned early enough by her strange necklace. Houses are bursting into flames, sinkholes begin to swallow buildings and fleeing vehicles, and sun flares melt everything else around the city. Ivory and his godmother flee for their lives as Ivory is forced to watch and horrifically listen to thousands of people perishing.

The Arbress of Nockfire Academy:
After barely escaping Boston, Aunt Korimae and Ivory’s invisible friend take him to be hidden somewhere he had never imagined. Nockfire Academy is hidden well, deep within the forests of the White Mountains in New England, and miles away from any city. Ivory arrives to see an ancient-looking iron palisade surrounding the vast grounds of the academy, while the stronghold itself stands in the distance as something between a massive tree house and an arboretum, complete with branch and leaf-strewn turrets and towers. This is called the Arbress, and within its grounds walk statues of stone – alive – that are ten feet tall and have eyes that glow different colors. Some wield medieval weapons and keep outward watch atop the iron palisade, while others roam about the Arbress or teach classes. Water from the deep lake on the north side of the grounds ascends to the top towers of the Arbress, only to spill out of the stone and flow through the halls and chambers of the entire stronghold, flooding the academy with the magical source of power known as entroky.

The “Foot-Feet”:
While on his first field trip to the “Foot-Feet” – the foothills beyond Nockfire – Ivory begins to believe that his teachers are from the Other World as they demonstrate their own powers of entroky. Ivory reaches the field trip’s destination at a clearing in the heart of the foothills, surrounded by a ring of cedar trees, and beside a dark spring that runs downward to feed the lake of Nockfire. Dozens of small and large boulders lie scattered around the clearing, covered in red, green, and purple mosses. After a looming thunderstorm comes to its breaking point and is unleashed, Professor Augnil demonstrates the power to move objects to her will, and – to the great fright of the students – arches and weaves the cedar trees together to form a protective dome over the clearing. A second professor then demonstrates their ability to bend light, and brings the mossy boulders to life in multi-colored flames until the storm passes. Through the heat and otherworldly light of the various flames, Ivory begins to suspect the professors are behind the ‘natural disasters’ that have hunted him for a decade.

Paunder Entromists Academy:
During the distance-learning lesson in Ancients class, Ivory is thrust into the battle of the “Purge of the Faceless,” which in the reckoning of the Other World took place nearly one thousand years ago. Unlike the other students, Ivory finds that he is somehow physically in the battle himself – rather than watching it as just a documentary – and he experiences firsthand the power of entroky to fight the armies of the Other World. After defeating one of the fabled, vicious creatures known as the Renken in a barren valley, Ivory and the White Arrow Elite cut a path through the evil armies of Atropern and winged Vængir to assist the king’s vanguard on the open battlefield. Ivory is at last defeated at twilight when he meets the Faceless’ puppet itself, a terror of which will grow in his mind for years to come.

The Other World:
When the ghostly orb of light at last manifests itself to Ivory when he is awake, he and two friends wildly chase it through Nockfire until the light unexpectedly reveals the path to the Other World. After following a downward-leading tunnel and being lured onto the middle of an underground lake, the light opens a blinding maelstrom toward which the boat is drawn and sucked into. Ivory wakes up in the forest of the Other World, seeing vibrant trees full of unknown fruits, mountains in the distance, and smelling the fragrant scents of the foreign air. Ivory realizes that something is different about his heart there: it is strong. Scarlet’s rashes have become hardened like diamond-sparkling armor, and her allergies no longer ail her in the woods. After later reuniting with Comet, they realize that he too has changed, and his previously light-sensitive skin helps him to blink (rapidly travel) in the darkness.

Just before being slain by three of the evil Endings, a dormant power within Ivory is awakened and he narrowly bests them. Fleeing the scene, the three friends are reunited at nightfall hours later, and begin to seek an escape from the Other World. Before they are able to return to Nockfire, however, under hot pursuit the orb of light leads them to the same setting of Ivory’s years-long dream, where he must at last face what the light shows him at the mouth of the cave. Other creatures within the trees of the forest then light the way for the friends to return to the lake and escape the clutches of the Endings and the true enemy within Ivory’s dream, the Shadow.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#14 Post by BrentEwigP6 » 03 Mar 2020, 13:15

THE LAST SMOKE-FILLED ROOM
by Brent Ewig

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

An aide to an elderly Senator becomes the target of an army of shadowy lobbyists and their dark money.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story.

When a well-meaning Senator proposes to ban nicotine from all cigarettes and vaping products, an array or special interests frantically mobilize to kill the bill. Tobacco companies lead the charge, represented by an arrogant and opportunistic lobbyist named Terry Cranston. He is the typical DC type who profits obscenely by exploiting the revolving door between government and K Street. A less visible coalition also forms including gas station owners who sell tobacco, tobacco farmers who grow it, and even state governors who benefit from tobacco taxes. They all could potentially lose billions, but don’t necessarily want to be seen in league with Big Tobacco. And then there is an even more shadowy group who call themselves The Syndicate and stand to lose more than anyone. They are willing to play hardball and do anything to protect their profits. They all begin to focus on Scott Akatelli, the key advisor to an elderly Senator who is the last undecided vote, placing him at the center of a battle where hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake – and more than a few lives.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title

The Last Smoke-Filled Room
How Some Men Quit Smoking
A Bundle of Burning Leaves

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: two comparables for your novel.

The Last Smoke-Filled Room is a political thriller. It will appeal to readers of books like The Zero Game by Brad Meltzer and Killing Faith by David Baldacci.

FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: write your own conflict line following the format above.

Everyone in Washington knows that Scott Akatelli’s boss, Senator Gerald Coppet, is showing signs of dementia. Scott will be making the decision on how his boss should vote on a legislative proposal that would save millions of lives, end the tobacco business in America, and eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits. Scott is being targeted by an army of lobbyists and their disinformation campaigns fueled by dark money. As the critical vote approaches, he is unsure if he can trust his friends, colleagues, and even his girlfriend. Will he give in to the pressure or can he retain the idealism that led him to a career on Capitol Hill?


SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: inner conflict your protagonist will have.

Scott loves working on Capitol Hill, but feels he’s approaching a career crossroads where he will have to decide: does he continue to endure the long hours and lower pay of the Hill or does he cash in in by taking his insiders experience to lobby for the private sector?

Inner conflict: Scott’s best friend has left a career in public service for a more lucrative position lobbying for a national hospital association, and is urging Scott to join him.

Secondary/Social conflict: Also, Scott and his girlfriend Ashley are beginning to talk seriously about getting married, but Scott is worried his Midwestern working class upbringing is no match for Ashley’s upscale East Coast expectations.

The Last Smoke-Filled Room takes place in and around the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. It begins in the cluttered offices where most of the standard Congressional work takes place. The story takes you through the corridors of power and behind the scenes, like into the Dome of the Capitol itself and behind the hidden doors of secret hideaway offices where deals used to be sealed over cocktails and cigars.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#15 Post by NEROLILACEYP6 » 04 Mar 2020, 19:20

The Perfumer's Secret by Neroli Lacey

STORY STATEMENT:
Zandy Bailey is hellbent on making a gritty documentary that reveals the truth about Climate Change.

KEY ANTAGONIST:
Stewart Stevens, Commissioning Editor at CNM Documentaries is Zandy Bailey’s boss. His promotion depends on his meeting viewer targets. He needs this promotion to support his autistic son. He’s supported and mentored Zandy all these years. Sending Zandy to France to make this perfume documentary is part of his plan for her - to develop her into a director/ producer. He has no one else he can tap. She’s available. If she lets him down, he’s backed the wrong horse all this time.
Stewart cares about what’s good for his pocket. His interests are aligned with the corporation, CNM Documentaries. Zandy’s personal goals (to make a documentary about climate change, to dig up the truth, validate her life and make meaning,) are in opposition to those of her company, CNM Documentaries.

TITLE:
The Perfumer’s Secret

GENRE:
upmarket women fiction

COMPARABLES:
Hunting Unicorns by Bella Pollen – because it’s a hunt for the truth via journalism. And because it’s a foray into a special world, the British aristocracy

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro – because it invites the reader to learn about the craft of making perfume and revels in the romance and artistry of scent.

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes – because of its funny, tongue-in-cheek, British sense of humor that traces back to the masterpiece, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding.

PRIMARY CONFLICT
Finding a corrosive secret behind the elegant façade of a 300 year old perfume house, young documentary maker, Zandy Bailey has to decide what matters most: her commitment to truth and justice,her career success and her boss’s instructions, or the livelihoods of thousands of innocent employees and small business owners caught in her crosshairs.

SECONDARY CONFLICT
Zandy is making a documentary about Severin Freres, a 300 year old perfume house. CEO and heir to the business, Dominique Severin, has goals in opposition to Zandy’s. She’s all about uncovering the truth. He’s the child of an alcoholic mother who disgraced the family. He’s all about keeping up appearances and hiding the skeletons. He’s reserved and strategic. She’s lively and impulsive. Worse still there’s sexual chemistry that develops into an affair. Worse still, discovering his secret she has to decide whether to betray his trust.

INNER CONFLICT
Zandy’s mother, a manic depressive, has spent her life promoting lies about consumer products in her advertising career. Zandy vows to be the opposite of her mother. She’s hellbent on exposing the truth.
Now she faces the human cost of telling the truth - how many peoples’ lives it damages. She has to weigh up whose story this is and what is the truth. Is it one person’s story or is the truth made up of many individual stories?


SETTINGS
The Alpes Maritimes / Grasse / South of France
‘Cobblestone streets and the terracotta roofs of Grasse . . . heaven in a perfect microclimate between the glistening Mediterranean and snow-capped Alps. . . fabled terroir of jasmine, rose and violets home to the world's greatest parfumeurs.’” . . . the South of France as the backdrop the super-yachts at anchor in the bay. Who couldn’t be seduced by all of this? They're American!”

New York: Queens boxing gym ‘the whir of jump ropes, and smell the tangy sweat of hard work’
Up high, lookouts patrol roofs, while dealers hang in doorways, calling out ‘smoke, charlie, junk,’ at me. . . . Fast food wrappers and half-eaten chicken legs carpet the pavements. Desolation hangs in the air, but I feel protected in my combat boots, ready to run if needed and I don’t stand out. So thanks for your change of wardrobe suggestion, Stewart, but I’ll pass. Out here, the Lilly Pulitzer sundress could get me shot.

New York messy midtown office of CNM documentaries
the white open-plan floor of CNM Films. Fig trees in raffia baskets stand against exposed brick walls. Stacks of scripts and vitamin water bottles nudge up against oversized Mac screens on expansive beech tables. The tone says convivial, hard-working, upbeat——and affords about as much privacy as a teenager gets at her Tiger Mom’s kitchen table.

Fabled St Tropez nightclub – Caves du Roy
Inside the Caves du Roy nightclub in Saint Tropez, the pink and purple light beams criss-cross with electric blue. Electric music is pulsing so loud it hijacks the command center of my brain. Every body is preened, primed, tamed, shaped. Everything is glossy, sparkly, colorful, loud. Dominique guides me to prime table right at the edge of the dance floor. I’m in sensory overload. Everything screams for my attention, in this theme-park for the uber rich which has the squeaky-clean smell of big money.

And many more locations including:
Saks Fifth Avenue
Manhattan High Line
Cap du Ferrat, Villa Ephrusssi Rothschild
St Paul de Vence – fabled and fabulous Le Colombe d’Or

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#16 Post by MelanieLamagaP6 » 04 Mar 2020, 20:48

The Twining, by Boyes & Lamaga

Social worker Legacy (Lacy) Keyes wants to prove she’s not crazy like her convict mother and protect the kids in her care.

When Lacy was twelve, her mother, Kat, tried to kill her sister’s husband, John, because she said he “wasn’t human.” Lacy grew up thinking Kat was schizophrenic, but she eventually learns there is a race of long-lived psychopaths who see humans as livestock. They are not supernatural, however their advanced knowledge of human psychology and accrued assets make them formidable. The female “parasites” attach themselves to institutions so they can exercise power over vulnerable populations, as Lacy’s boss Dr. Grey has done at Warrick Home for Teens. The males attach themselves to families. The challenge of cultivating and reproducing with each new generation is their greatest pleasure, even above the gaslighting and sadism that are their norm. Fifth- and sixth-generation hybrids may develop skills with which to resist, as Kat and Lacy do. However, living for hundreds of years, the parasites can bide their time, disappearing for decades, then reappearing under new guises. If a male succeeds in mating with six generations and produces a seventh, that child will be capable of great destruction. As a “sixth,” Lacy is a rarity, and John will stop at nothing to seduce her in order to produce the seventh generation.

The Twining
The Twining of Legacy Keyes

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, because it features a damaged, unreliable narrator who mistrusts her own perceptions due to past trauma, and for the multigenerational dysfunction and relationships between mothers and daughters

Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, because a man with uncanny abilities preys upon girls, and one of them becomes determined to learn the unbelievable truth and protect others.

When residents of a group home for teens begin dying and disappearing, an unstable social worker must heed the voices in her head in order to stop long-lived, charismatic psychopaths from claiming more children.

Twelve years old. Hidden in a closet. Lacy Keyes listened as her mother tried to stab her uncle John to death, because she claimed he wasn’t human. Now twenty-nine and a social worker, Lacy wants to reform the systems that fail kids—and prove she’s not crazy like her convict mother. But at every job, she fixates on her supervisors, convinced they’re secretly harming children. She gets migraines and hears cryptic voices. When her sick days are gone, so is she. Seven jobs in three years.

Anything that reminds Lacy of Kat, or that triggers the voices, ignites intense anxiety and shame. Lacy avoids social media because she has been stalked by true-crime aficionados, and glosses over the details of her mother’s crime, even with her boyfriend Branson. Lacy fears that she is prone to mental illness, like Kat, and trusts Uncle John’s advice to quell her paranoia. She parties too much because alcohol helps quiet the voices, but at work she is sober and therefore vulnerable. Still, Lacy is desperate to keep her social work career going: helping kids is the only thing that makes her feel useful, connected, and competent--the most unlike Kat.

Sample situations early in the book that trigger Lacy’s anxiety and shame: she has a conversation with her boyfriend Branson about her upcoming interview at Warrick. He doesn’t understand why she keeps quitting all of her jobs. Lacy's insistence that her supervisors are harming children looks like paranoia or neurosis. This causes Lacy to lash out at Branson, because she thinks he’s insinuating that she’s like Kat. Then, during Lacy’s interview, the director of Warrick, Dr. Grey, says she knows why Lacy is full of misguided rebellion. Lacy is mortified to realize that Dr. Grey must know all of the details of Kat’s crime, since she is a friend of John’s. Lacy believes this might be her last chance to save her career, so she subsumes her humiliation into gratitude when Dr. Grey offers to mentor her.

Lacy has conflicts with her family over Kat, who will be released from prison soon. Lacy’s father, Stephen, thinks Kat should live with Lacy. Although Lacy objects, she knows if Stephen insists she will be powerless, since she rents her house from him. At Warrick, Lacy also has conflicts with co-workers and supervisors. She finds the required physical restraints of residents too harsh, and distrusts the Intensive Therapy Sessions, which she is not allowed to attend. When Lacy attempts to soften the protocol, it causes more problems for the kids. Lacy tries to give her supervisors and co-workers the benefit of the doubt, but this becomes increasingly difficult after a resident, Daphne, accuses a senior counselor of rape, and then commits suicide. Later, Lacy finds a male resident naked and suffocating with a plastic bag over his head: the same way Daphne died. As a result, Lacy’s voices become more bizarre and intrusive, eventually leading her to believe that she is having a breakdown--a falsehood that is cultivated by John and Dr. Grey, who have long term plans for Lacy.

Warrick Home for Teens: Lacy’s place of employment as a counselor.

Warrick is an historical three-story, whitewashed brick plantation house with six columns. It’s located in Charles City County, twenty-some miles southeast of Richmond, VA. With its white stone driveway, expansive lawn, chandeliers, and sweeping staircase, Warrick looks more like a movie set than a home for emotionally-disturbed teens.

Peppered with quaint, white cottages that house the staff and residents, Warrick boasts all of the trappings of a boarding school: a regal dining hall that shows signs of its gilded past as a ballroom, modern classrooms, well-equipped recreation rooms, and a medical clinic. But on closer inspection, the cottages are little more than ramshackle wooden boxes. Slave quarters, the kids call them. The crammed cottages have all the charm of a factory breakroom, with industrial carpet and boxy pine furniture. Twelve residents occupy each cottage, crammed four to a bedroom, with only two bathrooms to share. Small wonder tensions often run high. The residents have sad files that highlight their pasts: substance-addicted or abusive parents, foster home placements, attempted suicides, and self harm.

Warrick’s old cookhouse holds a macabre fascination for the residents. A squat, whitewashed brick building veined with the spines of dead Virginia creeper, the cookhouse still smells of wood smoke, and the moment-of-death-fear of all the animals slaughtered there. Shelves line the walls—ladders, loppers, saws, mallets, shovels, axes, herbicides, weed-eaters, chisels, paint thinner, edgers, scythes, even welding equipment. The cookhouse. The last place these damaged teens often go before they die or disappear.

The Fan: A brick rowhouse, Lacy’s home

They call this Richmond neighborhood the Fan, because the roads splay out from Belvidere Street, like one of those old-fashioned, filigreed fans women used to flutter at their faces. Designed for walking, the Fan features shops and restaurants, mingled with turn-of-the-century apartments, rowhouses, and mansions. The Fan house is technically owned by Lacy’s father, but she considers it hers, as she has been paying enough rent to cover the mortgage since he bought it as an investment when Lacy started college.

The brick front of Lacy’s house is painted bright blue. Inside: scuffed oak floors, curling wrought iron bars on the lower windows, a hodge-podge collection of thrift-store furniture and local art, and a giant bathroom with black and white tile, and plush cotton rugs and a claw-footed tub.

UrgePool: An edgy new nightclub where Lacy’s boyfriend, Branson, works.

Outside, Urgepool looks exactly like what it used to be—a 1960’s YMCA. Every night, the line of prospective partiers stretch for blocks down the uneven brick sidewalk. A burly bouncer lurks behind the velvet rope, handing out small, plush gray towels with the UrgePool logo—a fish shedding drops of water, emerging from a silver pool—to the lucky ones who get to enter.

The interior of the club is done in watery shades of blue and silver, with iridescent tiles on the walls. The patrons are a mix of ages and styles: hip hop, punk, arty, hipster, and urbane types in expensive suits. An empty pool has been converted into a dance space, illuminated by wave-patterned blue lights. Chrome tables and velvet couches line risers on either side. Tropical plants break up the seating areas into secluded nooks.
In the VIP room, a.k.a. InnerPool, purple, yellow, and green liqueurs line the wall in ornate glass dispensers. The bar glitters like the inside of a geode, a thousand tiny lights reflecting crystalline surfaces. The dimly-lit room glows with silver tile floors and a steamy pool. People float languorously in the water, wearing bathing suits … or not. Others lounge in velvet chairs, sipping fluorescent liqueurs and watching. The voyeurs—beautiful and exotic to the point of appearing grotesque—might have stepped out of a Fellini film. Smoked glass dividers partially screen bubbling Jacuzzis. Inside one of the occupied coves, undulating, naked bodies.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#17 Post by ALISONP6HUBBARD » 05 Mar 2020, 23:39

TARRED by Alison Louise Hubbard

1) Story Statement: A small town woman goes on a quest to expose her brother’s killers and make them they pay for the crime.

2) Sketch the Antagonist: The Antagonist is a group of the most powerful men in a small nineteenth-century town who dress up in suits and masks to tar and feather a poet named George Casey. Something goes horribly wrong and he is murdered. The Protagonist—the man’s sister, Cathleen Casey— provides unexpected resistance, joining forces with the town constable to discover the truth and unmask the killers. The Antagonists use money, threats, bribes, propaganda, and violence to maintain their social position and evade prosecution.

3) Create a breakout title.

Current title: Tarred
Previous titles: The Casey Outrage, Julia’s Lantern.

Two books with similar themes, characters, and a history/mystery milieu involving murder in a small town, are Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale.
Snow Falling on Cedars, like my book, is set in a fictional, culturally distinct location where families have lived and worked together for generations. Memories of a brutal conflict run like a murky river through both books, although “Cedars” is set after World War II, my book after the Civil War. In both books, a fragile peace and civility is shattered when a murder divides a town: “Cedars” along ethnic lines, my book along lines of class. Both involve trials—“Cedars” of an innocent man, mine of a group of entitled, socially powerful, guilty men.
My novel resembles The Suspicions of Mr Whicher in its exploration of a detective’s dogged determination to solve a murder. In my novel there are two detectives: Cathleen Casey, the murdered man’s sister, and Ruggles, the tired, elderly constable. All, including Whicher, are amateurs in the craft of detective work.
“Whicher” is set in 1860, a similar era to my 1872 setting both books depict life in a time of carriages, wash boards and kerosene lamps.

5) Write your own conflict line, noting or inferring the antagonist (s).

When George Casey is tarred, feathered and murdered by the most prominent citizens in a small town, his sister Cathleen is determined to get justice, while the town constable, Ruggles, strives to restore peace.

6) Sketch out the conditions for the inner conflict of your protagonist: turmoil, confusion, anxiety. Sketch one hypothetical scenario that would act as a trigger to cause her to react with these emotions.

Cathleen Casey has watched over her brother George for his whole life. She succeeded in protecting him until he fell in love with a girl, and stalked her when the secret relationship fell apart. The consequences were tragic now he is missing and feared dead. Cathleen wonders what she could have done to prevent this. She feels tremendous anger at the ones who have set upon her brother anger at him for being so foolish, and mostly anger at herself for failing to protect him.

A hypothetical scenario to bring out these emotions and heighten Cathleen’s self-blame would be for Danny, their younger brother, to confront her and ask her why she didn’t do something to stop George—scold him, bar the door, prevent him from going out. To echo and amplify her own guilt.

Sketch a hypothetical scenario for the “secondary conflict” involving social environment: family, friends, associates:

As the incident becomes national news and is known as “The Crime of the Century,” the town divides in a bitter war. The Antagonists, who are responsible for tarring, feathering and murdering George Casey, are called the “Tar Party.” The Protagonists—Cathleen and her supporters—are called the “Anti-Tars.” Cathleen is scorned, laughed at, and isolated. Her oldest brother, Hank, joins the ranks of the “Tar Party.”

A hypothetical scenario to heighten conflict would be for some members of the “Tar Party” to call on Cathleen at home wearing the suits and masks they wore to the tarring, and demand that she stop snooping around.

My setting is a small, nineteenth-century, Long Island town. Swinging signs, dirt streets, merchants in aprons, dry goods stores. Seagulls— the water, with its fishing boats, nets, fishermen, is not far off (and yes, this is where George was murdered.) Outside the town proper, there are farmlands: haystacks, horse drawn combines, men in homespun shirts and overalls. Inside the kitchens: open fireplaces, a claw-foot bathtub. Women’s hands are busy with butter-churning, knitting, embroidery or spinning. There are reminders of the Civil War: a black slouch hat on a mantel, a remembered trip to Antietam to visit the grave of a dead son. There are many settings in my book, from smithy to seaside, and I believe my readers will enter a convincing nineteenth century world.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#18 Post by AllexusColeT5 » 06 Mar 2020, 18:48

Algonkian Writer Conferences - Pre-Event Writer Assignments

Land of The Love Child: Penny & Jenna
By A. Michaels

Penny Flowers-Beauchamp returns home because her grandmother has suddenly become ill, and as she uncovers the mysteries of her grandmother’s illness Penny learns there are many dark secrets lurking in her family’s past.

Land of The Love Child is a nonlinear story about the dynamics, dysfunction, and complicated origins of the Flowers-Beauchamp family concealed by allure, wealth and prestige.

The story begins in 2006 when Penny Flowers-Beauchamp (protagonist) returns home to care for her grandmother, Jenna, who has suddenly become bedridden and ill. Penny’s return home is the leading action that begins the tale of this family.

There are two family members that are the driving antagonistic force of this novel – Jenna Flowers-Beauchamp and her grandfather Samuel Flowers-Beauchamp.

Samuel Flowers-Beauchamp’s story begins during the summer of 1924. Samuel is grieving the death of his wife Elise, from just the summer before. Samuel is a domineering and controlling husband and father. Though Samuel parents with emotional distance, he still demands that his sons live according to his life plans for them, while never bringing shame upon the family through defiance. His sons have now begun early adulthood and Samuel is beginning to lose his tight influential grasp on their lives.
Samuel is an abusive husband, (his physical abuse of his wife has always been kept hidden from their sons), who murders his wife when he discovers she is having an affair. No one knows he is the cause of his wife’s death.
Samuel has an obsession with the perception of his public image. Samuel is ambitious, powerful, and the wealthiest man in his town. It is of great importance to present himself as an adoring husband and gentle father because of his prominent stature in his community.

Jenna Flowers-Beauchamp has suddenly become ill as the novel begins in the year 2006. Jenna is now a senior citizen, but still living independently and alone. Her illness has brought her granddaughter Penny home after three years. While Penny cares for her, Jenna is forced to confess that she attempted to take the life of her infant daughter Delaney (Penny’s mother).
Jenna is the matriarch and patriarch of the Flowers-Beauchamp family for the entirety of Penny’s childhood. Jenna is proper, pretentious, and feisty. She takes great pride in her role as the head of the family, and is very particular about the image that she, her daughter, and granddaughter portray within their community and to others that do not know them.
Jenna and Delaney constantly compete for the #1 rank in Penny’s heart. Each mother would prefer Penny to not emulate the traits of the other, as Jenna and Delaney are very different people in personality and ideals.
Jenna has a fear of living alone and especially without her granddaughter Penny. The differences between and tension in the relationship between Jenna and Delaney, have caused Jenna to cleave to Penny. When Delaney decides to begin making plans to leave home with Penny (Penny is a young teenager), Jenna begins to poison Delaney. This poisoning leads to a prolonged illness and then Delaney’s death.

- 1) Land of The Love Child
OR
- 2) Penny & Jenna

- 1) The House Girl by Tara Conklin
- 2) Cane River by Lalita Tademy (Nonfiction – but my fictional characters have similar family history)
- 3) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Penny must process the stunning revelation of learning that the deity like grandmother she revered growing up is capable of the sinister dark act of murder.

Penny is conflicted about the feelings she must reconcile with after she learns Jenna is responsible for Delaney’s death. Penny is perplexed at how well Jenna has been able to hide such a horrific dark act for so many years. How could this happen? Can Penny forgive her grandmother and keep Jenna’s secret? Is she supposed to still love her grandmother? Or is she supposed to now hate her grandmother after learning about the darkness within?
Penny wants to desperately understand her grandmother. Penny listens to Jenna tell the story about the summer of 1948, when Jenna fell in love and tragically lost love. This event changed the person Jenna was to be forever.


Part 2 – Secondary Conflict:

The secondary conflict of this story involves exposing more dark secrets in Penny’s family through exploring the life of Samuel Flowers-Beauchamp (Jenna’s grandfather and Penny’s great-great father). Samuel is the first in the Flowers-Beauchamp bloodline to commit murder. He murders his wife when he discovers she is having an affair. The story of Samuel also includes the backstory of his sons Raymond (Jenna’s father) and Jon which further explores the complicated dynamics of the Flowers-Beauchamp family.


Does Penny possess the same darkness rampantly rooted in her family tree?

Land of The Love Child is primarily set in Creed Pointe, an all-black summer resort beach town founded in the late 1890’s, located along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The Flowers-Beauchamp family are descendants of a slave owner and slave woman who settle in Creed Pointe for protection and isolation from judgement. At first the family is ostracized by the black residents, but overtime they become respected community and social leaders. The prominence and affluence of the Flowers-Beauchamp family is a perfect disguise for dark family secrets of the past. The generational isolation of this family, living in a small exclusive community, is the reason why the secrets of Penny’s family are allowed to remain dormant and undiscovered.

There are several locations of action within the Creed Pointe: The Flowers-Beauchamp estate, the beach, The North Pier, The Pavilion, the tennis courts, Beauchamp’s On The Bay, and Silver Creek.

(**The creation of Creed Pointe, though a fictitious town that I imagined, is inspired by popular historically black beach communities such as, Highland Beach in Highland Beach, Maryland and Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts .**)

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#19 Post by CraigP6Brownlie » 06 Mar 2020, 21:36

First Assignment (The Act of Story Statement):
Define justice in a society recovering from an apocalyptic plague.

Second Assignment (The Antagonist Plots the Point):
Like everyone else in Rochester, Frida Kahlo aka Ida Wells, etc., is beaten down by the horrors of recent times, but she is driven by a desire to find someone to blame. Knowing about the efforts of international scientists to find a cure, she manipulates Police Detective Alonzo Crash to gain access to a local scientist who is part of that work. She wants to know who is supporting the scientist with food, electricity and other supplies. Once the scientist’s life comes under threat from the local authorities, she convinces Crash to assist her in a plan to free the professor and save his life. Just as Frida appears to be cooperating with Crash to further his burgeoning investigation into the underlying mysteries of the reborn world outside Rochester’s fences, she leaves for Buffalo, knowing full well that Crash has not been able to overcome his fear of the terrors beyond those protective barriers.

Third Assignment (Conjuring Your Breakout Title):
Murder Among Zombies
The Crimes We Live In
Scent of a Zombie

Fourth Assignment (Deciding Your Genre and Approaching Comparables):
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
• Appealing to book clubs of a genre they might not consider possibly because the subject matter is treated with deeper thematic elements and fewer genre tropes
• First person POV in an official role
• Struggle to understand the world as now constituted and without reasonable explanation for the changes
• Widespread psychological damage to major and minor characters
• Distinction between here (facility/Rochester) and not here (Area X/outside the fences)
• Central characters not necessarily the power brokers, but trying to understand the power brokers

The Last Policeman by Ben. H. Winters
• World building revealed through the main character’s experience- taking the genre and making it tangible
• Murder mystery at a time when solving it seems pointless
• Similar in tone and style- occasional humor with noir touches

Fifth Assignment (Considering the Primary Conflict - Coming of the "Agon"):
A newly minted detective in post-zombie apocalypse Rochester must navigate the conflict between the murder case that he is trying to solve and the bigger demands of preserving the rebuilt city and supporting the search for a cure to the pandemic.

Sixth Assignment (Other Matters of Conflict: Two More Levels):
Alonzo struggles to come to terms with the return of society. He is justifiably afraid to set foot outside the fences that protect the city, but the barriers prevent him from seeing his family. He longs for reasons to look beyond the fences and thus he latches onto the hope offered by the professor’s search for a cure. Alonzo’s job investigating a murder within the city elucidates his turmoil as he must weigh a future with social justice not ruled by paranoia against current realities shaped by survivors of the apocalypse.

The Mayor has not made a judicial system a priority. The re-instituted police department arrests criminals and the Mayor determines an appropriate punishment. Faced with the culpability of the Partridges in the murder that he investigates, Alonzo’s choice to arrest any or all of them places him in the position of judge and jury.

Final Assignment (The Incredible Importance of Setting):
Rochester has become a city of survivors. The buildings are damaged, and the landscape is changed, just as the remaining residents bear scars of their years hiding and fighting. Miraculously, they have reclaimed their lives, constructing fences to keep the zombies out. Loved ones who have turned have been herded into a giant pen constructed over the interstate highway that runs through the center of downtown. Pets have been collected at the city zoo where they can be watched for any signs of the plague. The fences have recently been extended to incorporate the southern wedge of the city, including the university campus. As people have arrived from outside the city, the need became apparent that more space was needed. Most people are not comfortable in cramped quarters if it can be avoided.

During the rebuilding, the Mayor rose to power as a benevolent dictator, tolerated by the populace for his organizational vision. He encouraged the residents to form makeshift family units, as much to keep an eye on one another as to encourage mutual support. He facilitated the rebirth of mass communication by setting up a group of IT workers in the main library. They brought the city online with other areas around the country. Something like a federal government exists out there, too. Shipments come by convoy from the coast as goods have started being produced. The Mayor runs the city out of his new city hall, taking over the High Falls complex where his primary staff work and live. The police headquarters suffered during the worst years, but they now operate out of the same building as before with less defined and more wide-ranging powers.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#20 Post by LEIGHHECKINGP6 » 06 Mar 2020, 23:53

FIRST ASSIGNMENT:

Story Statement:

A young Nephilim must find his Craft and stop a rogue Fallen Angel from destroying the world. His twin sister, along with the Fallen Angel, is bent on destruction, but begins on a path to family and redemption.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT:

Antagonistic or The Antagonistic Force:

Semi (Semyaza) is a Fallen Angel. He fell from grace thousands of years ago when the Angels (Watchers) made an oath on Mount Hermon to take human wives (and husbands) and share their heavenly knowledge with them. As a result of this coupling, the Nephilim (a super-race of human/angels) were born.

As punishment for this transgression, the Angels/Watchers were stripped of their heavenly powers (the Host) and their wings and confined to mortal bodies for an eternity on Earth.

Semi has spent the last decade being forcibly bred by a government facility to create Nephilim offspring. When he escapes, he is sick of the mortal realm, his mortal body and the humiliations it has endured. He despises humans and Nephilim and thinks death is the only release for him from his shadowy half-life.

He recruits lost or abandoned Nephilim teenagers and children and exploits their powers to help him accomplish his ends. By killing Nephilim/Craftworker’s on sacred leylines (ancient energy paths), he can release the bonds that hold the Earth together. The unbound energy would lead to natural cataclysms and eventually, ruin on a mass scale.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT

Breakout Title:

1. Weave the Stars
2. The Book of Hymns
3. The Full Moon Market

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT:

Comparables:

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows meets Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind. My book combines Six of Crows diverse cast and multiple points-of-view with Shadow of the Wind’s lush atmosphere and eloquent prose.

FIFTH ASSIGNMENT:

Primary Conflict:

Eli: A young Nephilim must find his gift and stop a rogue Fallen Angel intent on destroying the world before it’s too late.

Nur: A young Nephilim must choose between the Fallen Angel who raised her and the brother she’s never known, decide between saving the world or destroying it for good.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT:

Inner / Secondary Conflicts:

Eli is a Nephilim and Craftworker in the Craftworker’s Guild who has not yet received “The Host” (angelic gift) and as a result, has no Craft. He struggles with his identity, confidence and sense of belonging. He wrestles with authority and the rules imposed by both the Craftworker’s Guild and the government. He feels that they are ‘one size fits all’ and he does not fit.

Eli is gay and has not yet come to terms with his sexuality. This internal block keeps him from realizing his Craft and receiving The Host. Because it has taken him so long to find his Craft, he feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. These feelings of alienation and otherness are only strengthened by the restrictions their government places on Nephilim and by his burgeoning sexual attraction to someone of the same sex. Eli will channel his feelings into making or crafting garments that help their wearer achieve certain ends.

Nur is a Nephilim who was stolen by Fallen Angel, Semi, when she was just a baby. She has a sort of Stockholm Syndrome attachment to him. She’s devoted to helping him reach his goals, despite how it might affect her. But she starts to develop a conscience about the things she has done and realizes she may have been led down the wrong path. Her strong desire for familial connection kept Nur loyal to Semi, but when she discovers she has biological family, she begins to question everything she has been taught.

Nur is essentially a case of nature versus nurture. She grew up with a villain so she becomes a sort of villain herself. But inside, she is conflicted. She has a lot of anger and feels abandoned and isolated and channels these feelings into destruction.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT:

The book is essentially set in our world – with one giant exception – humans know that both Angels and their descendants, the Nephilim, exist. The book takes place in Erde-40, one of the Seven Angelic Earths – multiverses where the Angels/Watchers fell from grace and produced Nephilim offspring. There were once portals between these Earths, that existed on ley lines (ancient energy paths). These portals took the shape of famous pagan/religious/historical landmarks in our world – Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Pyramids, etc. But the portals were sealed a long time ago and the book mostly takes place on Erde-40 (our Earth).

Eli and his guardian, Fox Alvarez, live near the ocean in Mendocino, California in a house that once served as a refuge for abandoned or orphaned Nephilim children. Nur and her guardian, the Fallen Angel Semi, live in a rural French village, Caunes-Minervois, in the Occitan region of Southern France.

In the first book, the protagonists travel to the Glastonbury Tor, Stonehenge, Avebury Henge and Men-An-Tol in England.

Eli will also travel to Llyr’s Earth, Terra-28, and his country, Astrium.

The prologue takes place in the Golan Heights in Israel.

The Archives, The Guild and the Full Moon Markets – essential to the Craftworker’s trade and education – will take place out of time – in the space between the Earths.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#21 Post by JenniferP6Singleton » 07 Mar 2020, 09:12

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Write your story statement.

Melanie is fascinated by a small town she believes is or was inhabited by “gifted people” with special powers and wants to tell their stories — if they let her.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: Sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story.

Curton is a close-knit town whose residents take pride in their quiet way of life. Melanie arrives to learn more about the town’s connection to the spiritual world, but meets a woman named Marie who insists there is nothing there to see and that Melanie is wasting her time trying to find people with special powers. People may have believed in that stuff a long time ago, but not anymore, she tells Melanie. The antagonistic force is Marie’s disbelief, and ultimately, her interference in Melanie’s quest to share her thesis research that gifted people did live in Curton and influenced the town’s way of life.

A third character, Ms. Carlette, emerges in opposition of Marie and is forthcoming with Melanie about Curton’s special people. But as the story develops, her sinister motivations emerge, and she becomes a second antagonist.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: Create a breakout title

My chosen title:
“All the Gifted People are Gone”

Other titles:
“The Gifted People are Gone”
“Off Highway 15”
“Gifted Folks”

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: Develop two smart comparables.

My story highlights life in a rural, predominately black town and the spiritual beliefs that have shaped their views. Themes in my book include spirituality, Christianity, and the belief that the physical and supernatural world co-exist. A theme of my book is respect and reverence for spiritual practices, and the importance of keeping these things out of reach of outsiders.

Another theme in my book is the spiritual connection between humans and cats.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: “The Water Dancer” (2019). The protagonist in this story is a slave who is born with special powers, which he uses to try to save his family.
    The protagonist in my story is on a mission to learn if the town of Curton is indeed a place inhabited by people with special powers. N.K. Jemisin: “How Long ‘Till Black Future Month?” (2018). A collection of science fiction and fantasy stories with a spiritual theme, several of which are set in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    My story, which also has a spiritual theme, takes places about two hours away from New Orleans in north Louisiana. Toni Morrison: “Beloved” (1986). This book tells the story of a former slave who is haunted by the ghost of her daughter, whom she killed to prevent her from living a life of bondage.
    My book also deals with the presence of ghosts and one woman’s ability to see them when no one else can.

Melanie, a graduate student gathering research on African-American folklore, travels to Curton, Louisiana after learning that residents there believe in “gifted people,” and finds that an eccentric older cat lady, who seems to know everything Melanie is looking for, is becoming possessive of her.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Sketch out the conditions for the inner conflict your protagonist will have.

Melanie is torn between wanting to uncover the truth of Curton and share this special place with the world through her thesis and possible book, and wanting to preserve the culture of the town. As a sociology student she understands the importance of preserving a culture and the dangers that come with attention. She imagines that once word gets out about a barely on the map town with supernatural occurrences, it would be overrun with people seeking to capitalize off of the residents.

In one scenario, Melanie learns of a woman who has hands that can heal the sick. The source is a “crazy old cat lady” so whether the woman exists is debatable, but because the possibility exists that this woman can do such supernatural things, Melanie isn’t sure what the ramifications would be.

SECONDARY CONFLICT:
Melanie was raised in a single parent household from a young age after her parents’ divorce. Her mother is bitter toward romantic relationships and marriage and instilled in her daughter the importance of education and career over everything else. Melanie loves the idea of being married and settling down with a family, though she’s been met with disappointment for expressing her value of love and comfort to her mother. She is drawn to southern culture because in her mind it represents what she wants her life to be: Peaceful living. Not the work, work, work, climb to the top environment of her hometown Washington, DC.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail.

Washington, DC
Melanie thinks back on her life in DC throughout the story. She thinks about riding the crowded Metro to school the brownstone her parents live in near Capitol Hill and seeing her neighborhood begin to gentrify.

Baton Rouge, LA
Melanie is introduced on the campus of Louisiana State University, a sprawling campus with lush greenery, oak trees with long stretched branches and lakes. She enjoys the peace she finds there. She lives in an on-campus graduate apartment, alone, and focused on her studies.

Curton, LA (a fictional place)
Curton is where most of the story takes place. The rural community is off Highway 15, a throughway that bisects the town. Curton’s largest employer is a meat packing plant on the outskirts of town that employs workers from surrounding areas in the northern part of the state. Curton is a mixed community of older, wood shotgun homes that sit on blocks to avoid flooding newer manufactured homes and trailers and multi-generational homes with porches and porch swings for the occupants to sit out and stare at passersby for entertainment.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#22 Post by RHEASAINIP6 » 07 Mar 2020, 22:02

PROJECT OSCAR! BY RHEA SAINI

Lo needs to escape from captivity and rescue her son from the terrorists while challenging her own blind loyalty and patriotism to her nation.

In a complex world of high finance, ritzy law firms, arms dealers, revolutionary groups, rogue spies and political deceit, Sinjen Atwall emerges as Lo’s (protagonist) nemesis. He initially portrays himself as a sophisticated banker delving in Islamic finance and adhering to a world of respect where antediluvian religious principles dictate the norms of behavior only to be discovered that he is akin to a modern day mobster and terrorist. He fiercely employs psychological terror, antiquated tactics and interrogation schemes to extract crucial information from Lo. Sinjen and Lo engage in psychological games where loyalty to countries, belief systems and deep seated values are at stake. Sinjen is an arrogant, scornful and formidable opponent. As Lo cleverly peels back the layers in Sinjen’s history, she discovers his vulnerabilities and the root causes of his rage and motivations. The decisions and actions that Sinjen takes in the story impel the plot and elevate the stakes for the protagonist on two critical fronts. In Project Oscar, Sinjen Atwall arrests and holds Lo captive, interrogating her about an Islamic Finance deal during her days at an Elite Magic Circle law firm in London and then steals her son.

3. TITLES:
1. Project Oscar!
2. The English Firm!
3. The Network!

Project Oscar falls within the legal/political thriller genre. The novel is a hybrid of a classic John Grisham novel such as the “The Firm” and a John Le Carre spy novel replete with characters similar to Jason Bourne, SALT and a Girl with a Dragon tattoo.

Love “Lo” is an American lawyer caught in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. She is the protagonist in this modern day political – legal thriller. Lo is an international lawyer in her mid-thirties. She interviews and joins a premier Magic Circle firm in London specializing in Islamic Finance. The world of Islamic Finance exposes her to a new culture where antediluvian religious principles meld into the sophistication of modern day finance. Where corporate boardrooms selectively cherry pick the applicability of old world rules but are fiercely loyal to the divinity of the dollar. The job takes her on a new adventure in her career and a suspenseful ride with a law firm that has deep secrets of its own. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Lo soon finds out that she is caught in a web of deceit, lies and political games. Her own identity is a mystery and her loyalty questioned by her enemies. It is a story of unlikely friendship, a stranger in a strange land and the pursuit of one’s own truth. This novel oversees the journey of Lo’s character as she discovers allies on foreign soil, grapples with lovers from the past and questions her blind loyalty and patriotism to nations she placed on a pedestal.
The structure of the novel is split into two distinct parts. Section I of the story is narrated through interrogation scenes and flashbacks to the truth. Section II of the novel propels the overarching plot forward and exposes the protagonist’s primary struggle, challenge and journey. The novel is narrated in third person close point of view. At the core, this story is simply about sacrifice.

After taking a dream job with an international law firm, a young lawyer is captured and brutally interrogated that results in her making the ultimate sacrifice.

6. SECONDARY CONFLICTS: Internal conflict and Societal Conflict

There are several subplots and conflicts enveloped in this novel. This is a story of unlikely friendships, a stranger in a strange land and the pursuit of one’s own truth.

This novel oversees the journey of Lo’s character as she discovers allies on foreign soil, grapples with lovers from the past and questions her blind loyalty and patriotism to nations she placed on a pedestal.

Project Oscar takes place in three dramatically different settings. Section I of the book is set largely in an undisclosed location in the Middle East where it follows a series of interrogation scenes and the story is told through flashbacks where the setting takes place in a large prestigious London law firm in Canary Wharf, the heart of the financial district. The second half of the novel takes place in Washington DC where the plots unfolds and propels the story forward on how the protagonist wishes to save her child from the terrorists. All three locations are rich in diversity, color and assist the characters in telling the story with excitement, mystery and intrigue.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#23 Post by IvoKisicP6 » 07 Mar 2020, 23:08

1. Story Statement.
Jack Zeleznjak must find the ultimate truth before he turns completely insane.

2. Antagonist/Antagonistic Force.
Mother Asherah. The time-traveling demiurge who controls all of reality. A creature bent on seeing her will obeyed and followed, notably the wayward species called humans. All-powerful and untouchable, her only desire is to make the universe into her image, forcing the natural process of existence in accordance to her mandates. Obsessed with control and power, she will stop at nothing to see her kingdom become a reality.

3. Title
A) Lost Icarus.
B) The Aftermatter.
C) Chronicles of Jack Zeleznjak.


4. Genre & Comparables.
Thriller, Weird Fiction.
A mix of Blake Crouch's "Recursion" and Phillip K. Dick's "Valis."

5. Conflict Line.
After he loses his wife, a psychologically disturbed man attempts to restart his quest for ultimate truth and the afterlife, pitting him against the powers of transcendental beings and his madness.

6. Inner Conflict.
Inner conflict: Jack Zeleznjak is torn apart by the choices in front of him. A deep flickering hope is the only thing he cares for -an answer for his existence and life itself- This forces him to push forward in his seemingly delusional and increasingly dubious quest. Filled with anxiety and crippling self-doubt, the unstable man tries to discern each step of the way if what he is doing is right or wrong, honorable or cowardly, enlightened, or insane.

Secondary conflict: Everyone surrounding Jack tries to make him go back on his quest and take charge of his life, not to mention his dead wife who's body awaits for him in the town's coroner office. All the people in Hollowville seem to attempt to reach Jack's better judgment, but the man has an endless stream of convoluted explanations as to why he must keep going with his unreasonable path. But even when the man himself doubts his own words, a shrouded voice in his head gains the upper hand of every argument and uncertainty he carries inside and forces him to carry on with this somber adventure.

7. Location.
The story takes place in three key locations.

The first one is Hollowville, NY. A small town not yet wholly transformed by the passing of time and the influence of the modern world, Hollowville serves as a symbol for the last remnants of the American imaginary of what a small town is. Surrounded by forests and lakes, Hollowville is haunted by eerie stories of missing people, strange deaths, and paranormal events that linger in the urban legends of the town. Unbeknownst to the main character, his choice of lodging is the center of it all, a wood cabin with a dark past. As the plot unfolds, he learns that the United States at odds with the spirits of its previous inhabitants and the entities that now control them. An invisible gateway, Hollowville sits at the core of a colossal cosmic drama that almost nobody seems to perceive.

The second location is South America. As the main character thinks back on the path that has inadvertently led him to Hollowville, he reminisces on his journey through the mountains of Peru, Bolivia, the valleys of Argentina, and the corrupt streets of Paraguay. Following a traveling shaman, Jack learns about the world outside the hectic metallic rhythm of New York City, and the secrets of the third world which still retains what he can only explain as ancient magic, and the difference between a citizen and a human being. As he follows the mysterious character called Porfirio, Jack begins to understand how much more exists outside the scope of normalcy. By the time that he arrives in San Marcos Sierra, a small rural town in the middle of northern Argentina, an alleged gateway for "the other side," the man is confronted by an impossible scenario.

The third location is called The Aftermatter. As the main character explains throughout the book, an entire hidden realm lies at the other side of the frail veil of our everyday reality. A world were dreams, the imagination, the afterlife, higher dimensions, and other universes lie meshed together by an incomprehensible logic. The aftermatter is a place where the mind serves a vault for all its characteristics. Using the imagery and information that all creatures have experienced, the aftermatter manifests according to the idiosyncratic contents of each person, and yet, it is a real place that not only different people can arrive at, but that other creatures, sinister and divine, live in. It is a world filled with questions and answers for the human soul, and where Jack is convinced the ultimate explanation for life, existence, and the meaning of reality exists.

Re: Seven Assignments for New York Pitch Writers

#24 Post by MOLLYMCCLOYP6 » 07 Mar 2020, 23:41

1.
As she prepares for her memoir performance, a woman grapples with her father’s nine apologies and the corresponding memories in order to forgive him, her family, and herself.


2. “Bury this thing,” said Mike McCloy’s father, releasing the dead dog from his grip and letting it fall to the farmhouse porch. This was Mike’s dog that had killed some chickens the night before and, in turn, Mike’s father had used a hammer to brutally execute the dog early that morning. This was the kind of childhood violence that the antagonist Mike McCloy does not want to carry into his own career as a father. In fact, he doesn’t want to be a father at all. “You raise them then, and I want nothing to do with it,” he tells his wife Candy when she insists they have three children. Mike will spend fatherhood constantly fighting his own children for his wife’s attention, ignoring and humiliating and hitting and kicking and choking his three kids, turning the kids against each other, and eventually getting kicked out of the family. He won’t see any of his behavior as wrong because the incidents were milder than his own childhood abuse, and because he did, occasionally, do the right thing. Then years later, his twenty-two-year-old daughter, the protagonist, asks him to apologize for nine incidents, and his two sons develop heroin addictions, so he has to rethink everything. What he has wanted all along is to avoid pain and responsibility, and his own fear of happiness turned into abusive behavior that has damaged his own children.

3. Maddog Grudges
Nine Grudges
The Mad Dog That Was My Dad

The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu (HarperOne, 2015)
Referencing his experience with the public confessions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission following Apartheid, Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho use stories from Commission hearings as well as personal experience to outline a forgiveness process readers can use both for forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness. The popularity of this book shows that readers are looking for a forgiveness process with clear instructions that they can follow. Instead of just using dramatic stories from the Commision’s hearings, Tutu uses the example of his own abusive father in several places in the book, as well as examples of microaggressions that can become grudges. Desmond and Mpho Tutu also recommend storytelling methods to begin recovery from trauma, and include research on the value of knowing one’s family story. Nine Grudges will also focus on an abusive father and some microaggressions, and will relay storytelling tips and family history. Nine Grudges will offer a sense of relief and healing similar to the Tutus’ book, but in a memoir format, with a more specific focus on family dysfunction and the role of live-performance storytelling and apologies in forgiveness.

The Apology by Eve Ensler (Bloomsbury, 2019)
Ensler writes the apology she always wanted but never received from her father who sexually, verbally, mentally, and physically abused her. This book exemplifies the deeply held human need to receive an apology, especially for abuse that was kept secret. Nine Grudges will answer this same human need for an apology with excerpts from my father’s apology. However, the abuse detailed in Nine Grudges will be verbal, physical, and humiliation-based, and includes no sexual abuse. Nine Grudges will use the text from the apology my father wrote in 1992, instead of an imagined apology like Ensler’s, and the book will deal with the healing benefits as well as the limitations of a apology that is not fictional.

Educated by Tara Westover (Random House, 2018)
In her memoir about growing up in an isolated devout Mormon family in Idaho, Westover writes each of her chapters with simple narrative arcs reminiscent of traditional fictional short stories. Nine Grudges will also take on Westover’s thematic question of how far to distance oneself from a hurtful family environment and how to still love that family. Like Educated, Nine Grudges will also use brief narratives to illustrate each of the nine grudges, which will be arranged chronologically. Nine Grudges will stake out different emotional territory than Educated, since in Westover’s book the parents are unapologetic and unwilling to engage, while the parents in my family memoir are willing to apologize and be honest.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (Harper, 2016)
Vance details his hillbilly family’s rise into the middle class, his single mother’s inability to maintain that status, and his own struggle to make it through college. In a similar fashion, Nine Grudges follows my parents’ struggle to rise out of poverty and take our family into the middle class and shows in a similar way that upward mobility takes its toll on people and isn’t as pretty as it is supposed to be. Nine Grudges will be less political and while Vance’s style is to summarize much of his timeline, my book will tell more vivid, specific stories.

The Moth Presents: All These Wonders, True Stories about Facing the Unknown. Edited by Catherine Burns (Crown Archetype, 2017)
This best-selling book is a collection of the printed versions of stories told aloud by celebrities, experts, and average people on the Moth stage in various U.S. cities. The success of this book shows the popularity of the Moth storytelling events and the interest of a broad audience in self-contained true stories, similar to the ones that will fill Nine Grudges.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin’s, 2002)
What always impressed me most about Running with Scissors is Burrough’s ability to make childhood neglect and abuse humorous. Burrough’s secret is that his narrator is never quite a victim, always acts with intention and motivation, and is unflinchingly honest about his own petty or poorly-thought-out motives. The stories in Nine Grudges are constructed similarly, with child protagonists who refuse to be passive victims and possess a wicked sense of humor as an essential survival skill.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon (Scribner, 2018)
In this memoir, Kiese Laymon uses unflinching honesty to directly address his mother. Laymon’s book is an intentional subversion of the triumphant weight-loss narrative. Laymon details a history of trauma and sexual abuse, and addresses his struggles with racism, body image, an eating disorder, and a gambling addiction. Overall, the book is Laymon’s admission that he and his mother have failed to make amends and are currently still struggling. Nine Grudges will also honestly address a neglectful and abusive parent, but it will examine humor as a coping strategy, Eastern spiritual concepts, and a more positive outlook. The narrator of Nine Grudges is also still struggling with her family, but since her brothers are currently not using drugs and she is not an addict herself, the story’s ending will be more upbeat. Instead of racism, classism will be a persistent source of stress in Nine Grudges.

Loving What Is by Byron Katie (Crown Archetype and Three Rivers, 2002)
In this self-help book, Katie outlines a process, “The Work,” based on Zen Buddhist principles of non-attachment and acceptance. Readers can use “The Work” to change thinking patterns that cause their own unnecessary suffering. I used “The Work” when confronting the nine grudges in my one-woman show, and it’s an excellent tool for forgiveness that I will reference in the book. Similarly to Katie’s work, Nine Grudges will explore models for forgiveness not based on Christian principles but Buddhist and secular humanist principles.

Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, 2005) Liar’s Club by Mary Karr (Viking, 1995) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, (Putnam, 2012).
All three of these female-authored family memoirs possess an excellent dark sense of humor. Nine Grudges will update this tradition, combining humor and drama to highlight familial dysfunction. Since the most recent publication of these titles was 2012, it’s time for a new family-dysfunction memoir by a female author with a sense of humor.


5. All her life Molly McCloy has tried to cope with her family’s dysfunction and her father's violence through drugs, alcohol, punk rock, and eventually, academic achievement, meditation and live performance. Now, on the cusp of a solo storytelling performance that will reveal her nine grudges against her father, Molly tries to forgive her father, her family, and herself.

6. Molly McCloy has struggled with her ability to make friends, have long-term love relationships, and hold a job, because she struggles with low self-esteem, attachment issues, and a fear of happiness.

Molly McCloy has always struggled to fit in socially, especially when it came to her family's upward mobility as her mother and father worked their way into the middle class. A grade-school bully turned middle-school scapegoat and then high school and college punk rock kid, Molly McCloy has always been an outsider. Although she is certain that Lesbianism and LSD saved her life, mainstream society is anti-drug and anti-gay.


7. The beginning of the memoir is set in a working class neighborhood in Central Phoenix in the late seventies, the urban desert, dry, dusty, with an endless sky. The middle part of the memoir is set in suburban Phoenix in the 1980s, socially competitive, full of children of Midwestern divorces, breeding ground for skinheads, with the population of the city doubling from Molly's birth there in the early 70s to when she leaves home at age 18. The ending of the memoir takes place in 1990-93 Seattle and Olympia, a time of great music and the Riot Grrl social movement.

Longview. 12th St. and Indian School. If you’re not from the Southwest, please discard any mystical notion of vortexes. Forget the Kokopelli bent over his flute or the howling coyote with a bandana around its neck. Forget Arizona Highways. Instead imagine a homeless guy snoozing on a dusty canal bank, an upside-down grocery cart stuck in that muddy canal at low tide. Imagine the cars on Indian School Road whooshing by the closed-down and fenced-off Indian School itself, then the pawn shop, the tattoo joint, the fabric remnant store, and the Royal Fork Buffet.


When Python parses the body of a function definition and encounters an assignment such as

Python interprets feed as a local variable by default. If you do not wish for it to be a local variable, you must put

in the function definition. The global statement does not have to be at the beginning of the function definition, but that is where it is usually placed. Wherever it is placed, the global declaration makes feed a global variable everywhere in the function.

Without the global statement, since feed is taken to be a local variable, when Python executes

Python evaluates the right-hand side first and tries to look up the value of feed. The first time through it finds feed is undefined. Hence the error.

The shortest way to patch up the code is to add global feed to the beginning of onLoadFinished . The nicer way is to use a class:

The problem with having functions which mutate global variables is that it makes it harder to grok your code. Functions are no longer isolated units. Their interaction extends to everything that affects or is affected by the global variable. Thus it makes larger programs harder to understand.

By avoiding mutating globals, in the long run your code will be easier to understand, test and maintain.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

CSS for TextBox

How to make css for TextBox :

To link a document to a CSS text file (say, styles.css), place a link tag in the document’s header:

The href attribute tells the web browser where the style sheet file (style1.css) can be found, in the same way that the href attribute is used in an anchor to point to the destination file (e.g. Home).

The rel="stylesheet" and type="text/css" parts of the link tag tell the browser what kind of file is being linked to, and how the browser should handle the content. You should always include these important attributes when linking to a .css file.

asp:textbox CssClass="textbox"
Runat="server"> Posted by Dev at 10:13 PM No comments:


New York Pitch Conference Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, and Poetry Forums

Jefferson Smith’s drive to avenge the death of his parents leads him to acts of espionage in a hot blooded revolution between two competing factions.

STATEMENT 2: The Antagonist Plots the Point

Hollan Whitmore is the tyrannical leader of the Firm, and the governing power driving the country into harsh control. Following in the footsteps of his father, Hollan has taken the ideology of Farrowism to a new extreme by closing all educational circuits outside of government control. His attack against Jefferson Smith’s family, and their resulting deaths is just one mistreatment common place throughout the country. For Jefferson, Hollan is the sole miscreant motivating his intensity towards change. Hollan’s iron fist not only catalyzed Jeff’s motivation to join the rebellion, but has been the fuel feeding the flame of Jefferson’s hatred. With a stern brow and a skin tingling smile, the words that escape Hollan Whitmore’s mouth are law. Everyone knows it, no one challenges it. Everyone, except for Jefferson Smith, whose mission to change the government is constantly challenged by the scheming genius dictator, Hollan Whitmore.

STATEMENT 3: Conjuring your Break Out Title

1. Revolution
2. Union Rises
3. Strike

STATEMENT 4: Deciding your Genre and Approaching Comparables

1. The Hunger Games, by: Suzanne Collins. My novel is YA and dystopic in nature, chronicling the events of a government at the cusp of revolution. However, my novel, while taking place in a fictional world, is not fantastical in nature. The main plot twist that makes my book unique in comparison to other dystopic novels is that it is more bare bones dystopic (think 1984 or The Giver). This is why I relate my novel to Suzanne Collins. She passionately writes dystopic novels based around the ideas of real war torn countries and governments while creating a completely fictional world. My novel follows the same premise with a sort of prince and the pauper twist.
2. Steelheart, by: Brandon Sanderson. While I don’t feel my novel relates to all of Brandon Sanderson’s works, I feel this one in particular is comparable. My novel is not fantastical in nature, however, it chronicles a revolution led by a small rebellious group and one pivotal character.

STATEMENT 5: Considering the Primary Conflict

After being placed as a pivotal spy in the inner most circle of his enemies, Jefferson Smith must persevere through his adversaries and find a way for the Revolution to succeed.

STATEMENT 6: Other Matters of Conflict

1. Internal Conflict: All of Jefferson Smith’s life he has been led to believe he has one enemy, Hollan Whitmore. Whitmore, the leader of the Firm, a tyrannical government responsible for the death of Jefferson’s parents, is the primary force of destruction for the country. Jefferson’s hatred for Whitmore is palpably real. He learns to feed that hatred as he is educated by a rebellious group, the Union, in their hidden compound base. When Jefferson finds out his real identity is that of the lost twin son of Hollan Whitmore, his inner conflict arises. How could he be the son of someone like Hollan Whitmore? Suddenly Jefferson finds himself questioning who he is, how he’s been raised, and what his intentions really are. Most of all, Jeff realizes his efforts to bring a better world to his country are infinitely more complicated.
2. Secondary Conflict: Jefferson Smith knows his mission. He must impersonate his twin brother, and act as a primary spy within the palace of his enemies. There, he will be in place to enact orders to advance revolutionary tactics of The Union. In Jeff’s mind, any member of the hierarchy subscribing to the ideals of farrowism are enemies. Imagine his surprise when Helen walks into his life. Helen, a daughter of a member of the Firm, is not only beautiful, but has a quick wit as well. She has a real desire to help those around her, and she surprises Jeff with her sincere compassion to the downtrodden. Jefferson never believed someone like her could exist in this environment. When Jeff finds himself falling for her, he has to find a way to accomplish his mission while navigating the confusing world of love.

STATEMENT 7: The Incredible Importance of Setting

The novel takes place in the downtrodden country of the Firm. The country, now on the brink of destitution is grey in nature, having lost a certain lushness of life. Prosperity is only apparent in areas where government officials live. Most people, are making their way through life as best they can in homes that need fixing, eating food that is never enough, and begging off the scraps of the politically important. In the novel, two main settings are the focus of our story.

Firstly, the Compound. The Compound is the main base of the rebellious group called, the Union. The Compound functions underground in a series of tunnels. These tunnels do not go up and down in levels, but rather are renovated versions of old subways and drainage. With what little resources the Union has, they have converted the tunnels into a hidden and serviceable base station for their needs. This includes offices for the leaders, living barracks, training facilities, common areas, and places of education. Though not fancy in nature, and also quite grey, those living within the Compound are powered by an ambition to make the world a better place.

Secondly, the Palace. This is where Hollan Whitmore and his family live. The Palace is also the main government building where business takes place. When Jefferson Smith acts as a spy, he is placed within the Palace. This setting is starkly different from both the Compound, and the country around it. The Palace is tall, full of light, and sprawling. It’s fixtures are neoclassical on the side of rococo in nature. Jefferson is stunned daily by the wealth displayed. Beyond the walls of the Palace are the gardens. Hundreds of acres of beautifully trimmed gardens and woods surround the Palace. Within these manicured greens, Jefferson finds opportunities to discuss revolutionary tactics with other spies in his situation. Everywhere within the palace is closely watched and monitored with the exception of a few spots in the gardens.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments


The story where infidelity would be hard to judge, and for the contrary, it would seem to be the only escape. It will be impossible to judge one who will need to steal in order to survive.

Steve, a smart businessman gets captivated by Adriana. Her beauty, intelligence make her the favorite bank teller of the branch where she is being working for a few years. She is compassionate and caring not only about her family and colleagues, but also for her customers. She came to the big city searching for better opportunities and of course dream of love.

At some point Adriana believes that she loves Steve and after marrying him she discovers his most obscure sides. She would never imagine that the mountains from New York , which she usually enjoyed during the summer camps were about to become, among the Berkshire mountains in the state of Connecticut, the theatre to perform the drama of her life.

She must run away and take a different identity in order to save her life and the life of those who she cares the most. When discovered and forced to return, she must confront her worst nightmare just to understand that despite so much danger she was also protected at all time by someone who will teach her the true love.

#2 The Antagonist Plots points

Steve, charming and passionate and powerful, has always achieved his goals and being one of the most wanted bachelors among his circle, avoids commitment. He is sometimes cruel to some extent and always is trying to get his way until he meets Adriana.

He owns different enterprises and has a privileged life’s style, for what he expects to be pleased by those who either surrounding him or just work for him.

Once he loses control over Adriana, he does the utmost unimaginable attempts to regain her trust.

Steve spares resources without unreservedly in order to convince his wife that he loves her. He needs to demonstrate that he is repented and wants to start a new life with her. From indulging her with fancy trips and sumptuous treats, to the most brutal actions of revenge against her, her beloved brother Marcelo and all of those who she cares about when he realizes that Adriana has discovered his true being, all of his secrets and crimes and for no reason will get back with him.

While desperate on trying to force Adriana back to him, Steve hires a group of four spies to follow his wife at all time and to report to him every single move of this woman that has defied his will and power. He instructs them to be alert because if ordered, they would kill her.

Among these spies is Phillips [Sebastian], whom later, after getting to know the motives for which Adriana has escaped, will be more than a spy, the man who will protect her, will cover her up and will defend her confronting Steve’s rage.
Assigment #3

The Spy Who Loved Me
Undercover Love
Loving You on the Run

Assigment #4
- 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?

Perception by Kendra Leigh
When love is blind, you only have your instinct to rely on. Can Phillips trust Adriana, has not him gone too far to the extent to risk his real mission?

Love, Lies and Murder, by Leslie Wolfe
All the emotions we feel every day, when taken to their extremes, offer a roller coaster of passion, conflict, and chills.
Sometimes the only way to do the right thing is to break the rules.
Adriana will have to overcome prejudice, criticism in order to survive, disregarding the most pernicious remarks of those who constantly condemn her.

The story where infidelity would be hard to censor, and for the contrary, it would seem to be the only escape. It will be impossible to judge one who will need to steal in order to survive.

: 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.

Adriana, after discovering the criminal background of her husband and being a victim of his violent personality, needs to escape to later be encountered by Phillips, one of the spies that Steve had assigned to her surveillance and capture. While in the run, she meets Andrew. In a desperate attempt to find a level of appreciation and romance, she accepts Andrew’s proposal to start a life together, but later she realizes that she does not love Andrew, that is only her own urgency to feel being loved that pushes her to Andrew’s arms.

Meanwhile, Phillips at the beginning disguises the couple pretending to be a taxi driver. At the beginning Phillips dislikes Adriana, thinking the worst about her to later, not only discover that she is far from being that despicable women, but to get madly in love with her.

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?

Adriana, while learning to trust Phillips, [he is the only choice to protect her family and herself from her terrible spouse. Only Phillips [or Sebastian, as he states his real name is] has the element to bring Steve face to face with the law] will confront her feelings and fear to love again to finally surrender to this gentle and courageous man.


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.


Many days had passed by without having the opportunity for a decent meal. Eating chips and having can drinks, from town to town between New York and Massachusetts, today this small inn in the town of Unadilla offers to this young woman a peaceful, familiar a relaxing place. After making sure that no one will recognize her, Adriana removes her glasses and cap and directs herself to the restaurant, requests the menu to the waitress and seats on the farthest table of the salon.

The waitress, on her late fifties, kindly approaches the new guests and, without giving her a chance to select and to order, implies:

“have the customized breakfast, you will not regret it…”

And, the hungry and exhausted foreigner accepts without curiosity as of what is included. She just needs a hot meal, a fresh shower and a warm bed to rest her mind.

Time is moving slowly. In the skirts of the mountains, life takes a different pace. How big difference with the hectic style of the City. People are friendly they seem free and harmless. She feels secure, but still cannot have plenty confidence, she needs to be alert. Suddendly, the anxiety traps this unfortunate woman again. She wonders how her brother would be doing, Laura? She will need to find a way to communicate with them.

Andrew has been observing her during these days. He is not intrigued or disturbed by her retraction, for the contrary, he feels that she needs him and he is willing to help her, to protect her.

As the calendar runs without notice, Andrew and Adriana begin a torrential but secret romance. The Delaware river and its surroundings have been forced to witness this torrid experience. Laughter, fear, betrayals all have been components of once again a failed search for her happiness

This morning as one of many mornings, Adriana contacted Phillips, the taxi driver that she has being using for a long as she got to this town. The idea of his real identity and duty has not even crossed her imagination. It will take many more trips for he to know the suffering of this woman and to understand that he also loves her to then plan the strategy to keep her safe while continuing with this mission of capturing Steve. It is here, in this remote corner of New York where he will have to confront his destiny, trapped now in the heart of this persecuted woman that he needs to thrive.

In search for a more secure refuge, Phillips will transfer Adriana to Massachusetts and later to the city of Miami while having the chance to gain her trust.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments: London Frost

#28 Post by LondonFrostC7 » 17 Jun 2019, 18:25

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

Jayne’s goal is to stop a dystopian future from coming to pass. However, as the story progresses into future books, she discovers that she is not responsible for stopping it directly – but rather has to find the Reincarnated King while accepting her role and power. Until she realizing and fulfills this need, the future continues down the rabbit hole of destruction.
Liam’s goal is to be free from The Book Club’s grasp. To do this, he fight for his life in the Gladiatrix. But the more he wins, the more he becomes a target until his real identity is discovered. Rather than fighting to save his own life, he learns that he needs to fight to save the future by rebuilding a sword that was destroyed in the final battle over a thousand years ago. Only once the sword has been rebuilt, can he claim his place and save the world.


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 Book Club was established by Timothy Guenther and Maria Guenther, as a way to cultivate like-minded people with the financial needs to overthrow the current Inbetween government. With the twelve leaders at the head of the club, each with their own agenda and reasons, The Book Club has injected itself into law enforcement, governments, and even syndicates. However, it is Timothy and Maria, beings older than most, who hold the key to the end of the world. Timothy, the reincarnation of Mordred, wants to take control of the Inbetween – which was denied to him when Arthur struck.
Timothy has been waiting for The Key to rise, with the hope of turning The Key against the world and using The Key for his own end. Or killing The Key before The King accepts his role. Over the years, Timothy has been looking for the lost pieces of the sword so the great weapon can be restored and usable only by him.


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

Title One: (Currently in Use but willing to change): The Inbetween: Book One of the Foster Files
Title Two: Welcome to the Inbetween: Book One of the Foster Files

- 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?

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Urban Sci-Fi
Comparable One: Mortal Instruments (By Cassandra Clare)

Mortal Instruments is about a race of half angles trying to save the world with daily battles with demons from other worlds. Much like my story, they have demons, angels, fairy, werewolves and all other fantasy like creatures. Both stories take place in the world as it is today but with hidden claves and secret treasures seeable only be those willing to bear witness.
Similarities: Both of the main female characters are new to the world. They both know they are a little different but in general they are forced into the world due to situations beyond their control. However, they thrive. They learn to survive and much more than survive – they thrive. They are strong female leaders. Despite their lack of understanding – they dive in head first to save the people they love and save the world from someone willing harm. Both stories take place in the modern world with a fantasy twist. They both contain government structures and political motivations that help dictate and motivate characters and plot. They also touch upon prejudice between the races which is a huge sub-plot of my story.
Differences: While my story can be read by young adults it has more ‘grown-up’ arcs and concepts that don’t usually appear in young adult novels. My story also revolves around multiple characters not just one. The stories all divert and change to tell the story from multiple angles and through multiple eyes.

My story also explains how all the different beings came to be. While The Mortal Instruments leaves a lot to the imagination, I use sound scientific theory to explain how and why the beings exist. I also add science fiction and technology to my stories, which many urban fantasy stories do not.

Comparable Two: Sookie Stackhouse Series (True Blood T.V Series) (By Charlaine Harris)

The Sookie Stackhouse series has many of the same qualities as The Mortal Instruments. The largest difference being the age demographic. The Sookie Stackhouse series is extremely adult and very much caters to the adult reader. The Mortal Instruments is meant for the young adult reader. My series falls in the middle of the two stories. There are adult concepts that fall just outside the young adult reader but my story can also be read by a young adult without censorship.
Similarities: They both contain beings of all types. They are both fantasy based in the modern world.
Differences: My story also includes a lot of science fiction and science theory. This is something I have found does not appear a lot in today’s urban fantasy setting.

The Love Story: One big difference between both stories and mine is the love story. The Mortal Instruments and The Sookie Stackhouse series are both driven by the love of the main characters. In fact, the love story becomes almost more important than the plot and the actual purpose of the story got lost from time to time.
Love stories add amazing story dynamic and inter-character building. While my story most certainly does contain several love stories, and life-altering decisions are made because of – the main focus is to stop a dystopian prophecy from coming to fruition. The love stories between my character help build and define the plot – not divert the reader.


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.

Conflict Line: In a world where magic is real, technology is alive, and Gods exist – Jayne, Liam and Sean must destroy the lies of the past to save the world before it crumbles under the weight of a dystopian prophecy they are always destined to fail.


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?

Primary Conflict – Throughout the Series: The main focus of the story is for the characters to work together to stop a prophecy from coming to pass. Each character is directed toward this goal through the first story.
- Jayne Foster - Jayne’s father was murdered. Eric Miller, an agent for SPOOK reaches out to her to help solve the crime. The trail leads them to a train from the future, which captured the catastrophic destruction of the end of the world. Jayne joins SPOOK in hopes of stopping it.
- Liam Reed - Learns everything he’s done in the name of human preservation has actually been to end humanity. Desperate to make up for all everything he’s done – he joins Jayne Foster to help her stop the very future he was helped build.
- Timothy Guenther - He was murdered many years ago at the hand of King Arthur. Upon his rebirth, he has been waiting for the day when the King and the Key would be born and kill them. Once dead, he can claim The Inbetween and all the worlds connected to it as his own and become ruler of the Multiverse.

Secondary Conflict:
- Politics – There are so many races living on Earth and coming to Earth, that politics play a substantial role in the outcome of the story.
- Prejudice - Again, because there are so many difference races on Earth, many of which dislike each other. Breaking passed the years of hatred and dislike is a key requirement to saving the world.
- Drugs – Nirvana will play a huge role in the story. Given that Nirvana is made by killing Carrier’s and harnessing their powers – people willingly turn Carriers in to make more Nirvana. This will leader to the extinction of an entire sub-race of humanity.
- Social Class / Government – Each sub-Earthian race has their own social class and/or government system. These governments each play roles in how the story will conclude. With they join Timothy Guenther and end the world or will they join the Resistance or – third option – never get involved in the first place.
- Jayne / Liam Love story - Due to the pressures of Jayne and Liam – their love story will be put to the test later in the series. Specifically when Jayne joins Timothy Guenther. To everyone watching she has betrayed everything. But Liam stands by her, believing in her and her choice.
- Eric / Aden Love Story - Because Aden is the only pure-human (non-magic) being in the resistance this love story is put to the test when Aden is forced to take Nirvana during the Gladiatrix to survive. Eric learns of his drug addiction, which causes turmoil between them – Eric being a Carrier.

Inner Conflicts:
- Jayne Foster
o Get over her father’s double life and lies
o Accept her power completely
o Accept that Liam is the one meant to stop the prophecy
o Accept her fate as the new the new Doorman
- Liam Reed
o Accept that he is a Nephilim
o Accept his destiny
o Accept his power
o Move beyond his life as a murderer so he can help stop the prophecy
o Rebuild Excalibur
- Sean McPhail
o Accept his death
o Understand what his true purpose is
o Learn to love since becoming a God


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.

Over Arching Setting: The InBetween

In the beginning there was the Protomass, a large crystalline mass of no one knows what, but it is believed to have been a bound up as a very unstable Bose Einstein Condensate lattice. How it came into existence is anyone‘s guess, and it didn’t last long blowing up in the Big Bang to create the Multiverse. Ninety-nine point nine to the ninety-ninth power of all the matter in the multiverse is normal, but that infinitely small amount, is not. They are Chards of the original Protomass. There are untold billions of them strewn throughout the Multiverse. Most of them are tiny, around a Planck’s length, but they are all quantum connected to every other Chard by singularity strings and twister nodes, forming a holographic topology.

Chards, like gravity, are contained in some other mass and tiny. The tiny ones are connected, but don’t have enough size or mass to generate twistor nodes. Larger ones can, and do, which create doorways to other places connected by Chards. Most of these places are stars, heavy worlds, frigid worlds or airless waterless worlds. But even then there are a lot of connections to living worlds.
The Chard within Earth is exceptionally large. Most Chards over Planck size can generate one, maybe two twistor nodes. Earth’s Chard seems to be a Multiverse Nexus Node, large and powerful enough to connect to almost any Chard in the Multiverse - anywhere, and anywhen.

Currently there are hundreds upon hundreds of doorways open on Earth, linking to both worlds in this dimension, and worlds throughout the Multiverse. Because of the power of Earth’s twistor node, a great number of those small Chard worlds can only muster one or two doorways linking here and only here. Beings who wish to travel throughout the Multiverse have to start here. Many travel to Earth merely to travel to somewhere else, which is why Earth is known as ‘The InBetween’.

The allure Earth has for Extra-terrestrial beings is well documented. A number of beings came to Earth and began to set themselves up as ‘Gods’ ruling Earth. The first were Ra and his crew, but they were followed in quick succession by Baal and Tiamat then came Yahweh and Lucifer. The Olympians came through the Mount Olympus doorway almost on their heels. It is fortunate that most of the smaller doorways can only accommodate small transports, of all the main beings imports, the Olympians had the biggest doorway, and the tales of their tech imports are legend.

Earth could have been worse, would have been worse if a young fellow, famously born in a little town in Judea hadn’t come along. He was a human born with both with great charisma and a talent. He could, and did have to power to open, but more importantly, to close doorways, both temporarily and permanently. He was a Carrier. During his famously undocumented travels, he slammed the Stonehenge and the New-grange doorways shut on the Fey Lords, negotiated a strict interaction limitation agreement with the Olympians, trashed the Baal, Tiamat and Amon-Ra doorways, and most importantly put paid to the nasty planned war between the Luciferians and the Yahwehnese. Those two were using magical genetic manipulations to create altered humans to be their armies. Today they are famously known as ‘Angels’ on the Yahwehnese side and ‘Demons’ on the other. Vampires, Werewolves and Naga are also part of the Luciferian smorgasbord.

The first thousand years after the big shut down were tough, humans were still technologically inferior to most of the remaining and newly incoming beings. Humans were also trying to contend with all the half-bloods, the genetically altered, and the remnants of the banished ‘Gods’. Constantinople was the Capital of the world at that time and that’s where the great Treaty of the InBetween was hammered out and Earth became a travelers’ tourist trap with whole cities blossoming into existence. A large number of Carriers banded together to govern these cities and to make sure nothing spilled over into the Sade world. Some of the more forward thinking half-breeds began to join the ranks to create the InBetween governing body known as S.P.O.O.K.

As of today, all the Multiverse doors open in DoorsWay in the InBetween. Sade Earth is virtually safe from extra-terrestrial invasions using doorways. The only way in and out of the hidden enclaves and the InBetween cities is through a special system of local doors or magically generated portals – all governed by S.P.O.O.K.

The Beings of the InBetween:

Ilahi are the other beings who’s origin is of Earth, like Mages, the Fey, the Angels, and Carriers. Ilahi are typically part human and part something else or like the Fairies and Tiamat’s Pagans – all born and thriving here on Earth.
Mages: Half human half demon
Pagans: Half human half Tiamat
Fey: Beings left behind when the doors closed
Angels: Beings left behind when the doors closed
Carriers: Human gifted with powers. Origins unknown – believed to be related to the Chard’s existence on Earth.

Oni are humans turned by a demonic virus unlike most other Ilahi who are born. Werewolves and vampires are more or less created after being attacked by an infected being.

Tarni are beings who come to Earth through the doorways created by the Chard.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments

#29 Post by lbuttino4620 » 17 Jun 2019, 20:38

1. Story Statement:
Being a father can change a man—and if he’s a leader, change the nation. Assassination effects his children forever more.

2. Antagonist and Antagonistic Forces
The antagonists in the book are real John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray live on in infamy. Yet the assassins also represent darker forces within us. Hate kills. Racism kills. Ideology and irrationality kill. All kill in the name of some higher purpose—yet all are evil because they deprive others of life and liberty.

Booth killed Abraham Lincoln because the President freed the slaves. The assassin, his co-conspirators, and other Southerners wanted to reignite the Civil War. Northerners, too, including the army, thought they were fighting to preserve the Union. Emancipation was another matter altogether.

The emerging right wing in America believed JFK was soft on communism and weak in foreign policy. Their evidence? Cuba, Khrushchev, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Their concern? JFK’s vacillation regarding Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement. Oswald may have pulled the trigger, but government investigations and the majority of Americans believe he did not act alone.

Dr. King sought the emancipation of both black and white from America’s racial stranglehold. Threatened with assassination since Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, near the end he knew a bullet had already been fired. When it arrived, as he stood on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the bullet blasted out the vocal cords of one of the greatest orators in history. That’s hate.

3. Breakout Title (one being the highest)
First. Assassinated Fathers: Lincoln, JFK, and Dr. King
Second. Assassinated Fathers and their Children: Lincoln, JFK, and King
Third. Assassinated Fathers and the Children They Left Behind: Lincoln, JFK, and King

4. Comparables
Thousands of books have given us insight into the family life of Lincoln, JFK, and King. These include best-selling biographies, histories, and works of narrative nonfiction. The writings by their wives and adult children expand upon these understandings. Despite this, only one nonfiction book focuses on Lincoln as a father none exists for JFK and Dr. King. There also is no book where the three appear together.

The one nonfiction book about Lincoln is Alan Manning’s, Father Lincoln: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Boys (2016). While the author is correct in saying that previous biographies of Lincoln ignore the importance of him as a father, Manning’s thesis expresses how the President tried to balance being a father with a career. Among other differences with my book, Manning does not connect Lincoln as a father with being a leader, and his is significant. Neither does Manning demonstrate the transforming experience Willie’s death had on the President—which is enormous.

Assassinated Fathers is about Lincoln, JFK and King as fathers--and the effect their murders had on their children. Two comparables are listed below for Lincoln, JFK, and King and two for each their children.

Lincoln, JFK, and King

Lincoln:
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel, (2017). Lincoln visits Willie in the Georgetown crypt and cradles his son’s body. Willie’s spirit doesn’t want to move on but stay, to be close to his father. This compels the graveyard ghosts to rally for him to leave for his own good. The novel does not exhaust the father-son relationship between Lincoln and Willie but excites interest in it—played out more fully in my book.

Gore Vidal’s, Lincoln: A Novel, (2nd printing, 2000). Excellently researched, it is creatively similar to Saunders in that it is told by others—not ghosts for Vidal, but real people who knew and worked with Lincoln. The author gets it right, that by the end of the Civil War Lincoln was a different man—stripped of ambition. But Vidal does not include Willie’s death as a major contributing factor.

JFK:
Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, (2003). Dallek, given unrestricted access to a new round of key Kennedy family papers, also interviewed the late President’s colleagues, friends, and doctors. There is more to the JFK story than previously thought. This nonfiction best seller reads like a novel, which is my aim as well.

John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage, (1957). This Pulitzer Prize-winner is described as nonfiction but, like An Unfinished Life, reads as if it were fiction. Motivation and plot predominate actual historical quotations read conversationally. I was struck by the book’s similarity to the writing style I hope to achieve. To have Kennedy’s own voice about politics is a research bonus.

King:
Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait, (1964). Of the half-dozen books written by King, this may be the most important. The 1963 Birmingham campaign was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. King’s account is detailed, thoughtful and moving. “Modern Library,” the renowned publisher of classics and essential writings, ranked the book number 78 on its list of the 100 best nonfiction books.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., (Clayborn Carson, editor), (1998). This is not a traditionally written autobiography, but rather includes previously unpublished writings, interviews, recordings, and the correspondence of Dr. King. Important here, the book offers new information about King’s family life.

The Children of Lincoln, JFK, and King

Lincoln’s Children:
Ruth Painter, Lincoln’s Sons, (1955). The first book to put Lincoln’s four sons, Robert, Edward, Willie, and Thomas (better known as Tad) at the forefront of the Lincoln story. Lincoln as a father, his parenting style, and his interaction with his sons is its theme. Lincoln’s Sons offers a wealth of anecdotal material.

Jason Emerson, Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln, (2012). As the first-born and Lincoln’s only surviving son, the book is a definitive account of Robert Lincoln’s successful, though star crossed life. He became a millionaire railroad attorney he accepted and was successful at high level governmental administrative posts. Robert also had his mother committed to a mental institution, a son die, and though he didn’t like being the President’s son, became his father’s staunchest, most visible defender.

Caroline and John Kennedy:
Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy, The Right to Privacy, (1995). One of several books by Caroline, this one is co-authored--probably because of her penchant for privacy. It is well-written and highly praised. There can be no doubting her concern about privacy in the new age of television.

John F. Kennedy Jr., and George Magazine, (1995-1999). This is the foremost place to learn about John Kennedy, Jr., or John Kennedy, as he preferred to be called. He wrote editorials, conducted interviews, and argued with his father’s critics, political enemies and even the head of the NRA. His friends and acquaintance are also interviewed by him, and sometimes asked John questions others dared not ask--such as if he had seen Oliver Stone’s JFK. His work here is an enormously useful resource.

The King Children:
Coretta Scott King, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr., (1969). The book depicts her life with her husband and their four children—along with the relationship of them all to the Civil Rights Movement. She was a formidable woman of simple dignity, as revealed in the pages of her autobiography.

Bernice King, Hard Questions, Heart Answers, (1997). King’s daughter Bernice and son Dexter have authored books, and siblings Yolanda and Martin, III, have spoken candidly about what it is like to be the children of a martyred father. Bernice’s book is a collection of Bernice’s sermons and speeches. It offers powerful insights into her personal life and the larger societal concerns. She talks about the “monstrous” expectation placed on her and her siblings growing up a King. She talks about being driven to thoughts of suicide.

5. Primary Conflict Lines:

The Fathers:
The war was awash in blood, and seemed unwinnable, and then came the death of Lincoln’s beloved son Willie. The President had to claw his way out of the most profound episode of depression he had ever known. He did, and he changed America, only to find a bullet waiting for him.

Being a father influenced JFK’s policies during the Cuban Missile Crisis and led to his achievement of the first Nuclear Disarmament Treaty. Then his infant son Patrick died, deepening a transformative experience in him in regard to being a father, husband and man. But this part of the JFK story was cut short—and has been overshadowed far too long, by the assassination.

Dr. King was threatened with murder since he first stepped onto the national stage in Montgomery, Alabama (1955). King did not mention his children for fear they might be killed. But after the brutal Birmingham protest (1963), King, as both father and leader, publicly disclosed—in his extraordinary “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” what racism was doing to his children. Toward the end, when he knew he was going to be killed, he began to take his two sons with him to rallies and protests. Did he miss his children in an anticipatory way?

The Children:
Robert Lincoln didn’t like to draw attention to himself as the President’s son. Ironically, he became his father’s staunchest, most visible defender of his father’s life and legacy. He didn’t like the role.

Caroline Kennedy wrote about the need for privacy and gun violence her brother John took on his father’s critics, political enemies, and what he described as America’s obsession with the life and death of his family. They didn’t have a choice.

The King children supported their father’s legacy in the establishment of a national holiday, the King Center, and a statue of him in the nation’s capital. Yet they also had very public disputes, declared their father’s alleged assassin not guilty, and movingly articulated the difficulty of growing up in the shadow of their martyred father.

6. Inner and Secondary Conflicts

Inner Conflicts:

The Fathers:
Lincoln was a devoted father who knew he might be killed and yet went ahead with his ambitions anyway. His strategy of fighting a war of attrition turned it into a bloodbath, though disease was the greatest killer in the war. Lincoln, and countless others, considered death by disease a casualty of the war. After Willie died of typhus, Lincoln struggled to understand God’s purpose for the war and the death of his son.

JFK was given Last Rites twice, before the third time at Parkland Hospital. He also imitated his father’s playboy attitude. His nearness to death and the frivolity with which he lived his life collided when his infant son Patrick died. He started to change. People noticed. But he was soon cut down by an assassin by an assassin’s bullets.

King left his children out of his rhetoric and out of sight until the brutal, unconscionable Birmingham protest. But that “Children’s March” opened him up to a father’s motivation to rid the nation of racism. He told the world the hope he had for his children.

The Children of Assassination:
The adult children had similar inner conflicts: Like it or not they had to deal with the conspiracies, their father’s critics and enemies, and the enormous legacies each father left behind. They were compelled to live under the public’s watchful eye and could never quite measure up with fathers who in death became larger than life. How were they to individuate? Become their own person? Avoid the constant public scrutiny of them always and everywhere?

Secondary or Complications

The Fathers:
Lincoln, JFK, and King were leaders during three great crises: The Civil War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Civil Rights Movement. Decision-making was often done on the fly—with enormous implications for the nation and world. They were fathers, too, and this factored into what they chose to do in the public arena.

Children:
The main theme for the children of assassination was how to handle love for a father whose life was brutally ended, and the demands and expectations placed upon them as a result. There was a glaring unfairness between this and who they were as individuals--able to freely pursue their own passions and agendas. It never could happen.

7. Settings
Lincoln:
During the Civil War, Washington, DC was a southern town hostile to Lincoln and the Union cause. The Civil War raged on, with its whole-sale slaughter, and death by disease. Death was the number one killer in the war, and Washington was an open sewer. That’s how Willie Lincoln died, of Typhoid. His father, the Commander-in-Chief, deeply grieved the loss of his son. His despair and emergent hope are given voice at that haunting place called Gettysburg.

JFK:
The nation’s capital is again the primary setting for President John F. Kenned-- but shifts to Boston where his infant son Patrick dies, and then to Dallas where he is killed. Other places, too, are part of the President’s portfolio of settings.

King:
The setting kept changing for Dr. King. It begins in Atlanta, then shifts to Montgomery, Birmingham, and to other places made prominent by the Civil Rights Movement. King took his two sons with him to different cities, and is murdered, without family present, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments

#30 Post by SophiaJanjuaC7 » 17 Jun 2019, 20:54

1. Story statement
Jozef Stinebrenner must overcome his peculiar tendencies/autistic tendencies to guide a jury to peers to deliver justice

2. The antagonist
Brian Hardison is your next door neighbor. He talks a little too loudly at the Christmas party, laughs too exuberantly at his own jokes, but he always asks how things are going with you, and genuinely every now and then has some solid advice. You might still go out for drinks with him and of course buy a Manhattan condo unit from him. He’s not the devil after all, so why is he so hell bent to convict Desmond Tuttridge and convince the other 11 jurors do the same? And why does he particularly take issue with the jury foreman Jozef Stinebrenner who really only just wants to be left alone—well and fulfill his duties as jury foreman which he takes very seriously (he’s never let a task unfinished in his whole life)? What drives Hardison other than just an overwhelming need to hear his own voice? Sometimes it’s just that for some people.

3. BREAKOUT TITLE
Stinebrenner’s Judgement
The World According to Jozef Stinebrenner
Stinebrenner’s World

4. GENRE/COMPS
Literary fiction
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon): the protagonist of this young adult/contemporary adult fiction novel is an atypical youth, a high functioning autistic spectrum boy, who, like Jozef Stinebrenner, in many ways navigates day to day life as a ‘neurotypical person’ (taking the bus, going to school, talking to neighbors) but at the same time so completely different (1st time on bus, runs away from police, interviewing random neighbors about whether they knew about a dog being killed, but getting off on the wrong foot by either asking them if they’ve killed the dog!, takes special class at school but don’t assume he’s learning disabled-on the contrary he’s taking advanced level maths). Compare with Stinebrenner—rides the subway as if he’s a pro, but missed the social cues of minding one's personal space on the train.

Wicked: lest one think this is a story about an autistic man (period), let him be not mistaken. This is a story of an autistic person, but not just that. It’s really the story about all of us, about human perspective and how one’s own experience impacts our judgements. Wicked as a retelling of a classic story through another perspective.

5. CONFLICT LINE
Heckled by his peers and addled by his own compulsiveness, an autistic Manhattanite must master the fine art of human relationships to save an accused man.

6. INNER CONFLICT
[big picture] Stinebrenner admires hard work and order, shuns chaos and living life unplanned. He sees himself in Singh (the store owner who is robbed, the case of which is being tried), but hears the evidence in the case as black and white. Stinebrenner's upbringing finds resonance with the victim, Singh, though his rational mind must find the defendant innocent. One facet of himself must win over the other, then comes the hard part of overcoming his personal tendencies to communicate these reasoning to his cojurors. He sees life in all its aspects in black and white. While this strait laced approach makes him an impartial juror, it also unwittingly calls out potential prejudices along racial and social lines among his conjurers and society in general.

[breakdown of inner conflict] Sitting in his apartment, a subsidized residence in a Seniors’ Assisted Living Building, Jozef Stinebrenner receives his jury summons. This immediately resonates with his civic sense of duty and order. But his obsessive nature and follow through to the end personality cause worry that he must take time off of work at the bookstore to fulfill his jury duty.

In the courtroom jury duty itself poses a new type of dilemma. Stinebrenner imagines a Justice Utopia where detectives and criminals (those with understanding and skill set to solve a crime and know the criminal mind) serve as jurors and trials take place on scene as reenactments. But inside the State Supreme Court, the process works much differently with random questions and answers spoken between lawyers and prospective jurors. He struggles to assign meaning to the method.

In between jury selection and the trial proceedings, Stinebrenner tries awkwardly to fit in with others. People around him occupy themselves with their cell phones, or easy banter with one another. When he inserts himself into the conversation his timing is off and no one acknowledges him. This comes to a head in jury deliberations when, picked as their foreman, he must lead his fellow jurors to a verdict but none will listen to anything he has to say, despite his verbatim didactic recall of the testimony and general knowledge of obscure but relevant details.

Dejected and demoralized, Stinebrenner returns to his home after Day 1 wishing he could crawl under a rock and never go back. But through the impromptu interactions and offhand comments of his neighbors, he realizes that he alone is the right person for this task, particularly because of his unique perspective. And furthermore, he sees in the Defendant much of his own interpersonal struggling.

7. SETTING
The story takes place on the mundane planet earth, in the everyday apartment complex, subway car, city street, and perhaps less common court house. But the people that make the complex a residential community, and the glimpse inside to a group of people often overlooked by society, yet seen going about their business in the same way that typical society does, compels the reader to stay in scene.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments

#31 Post by WILLMUTTERSC7 » 17 Jun 2019, 23:45

1. THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT
I have two protagonist characters. These story statements represent the characters in the first book of a trilogy in which their story statements will change from book to book:
Taryn: Come to terms with the loss of her parents and grow into the knight she knows she’s meant to be.
Skyler: Prove to himself that he is a force worth reckoning with, tell the girl he loves how he feels

2. THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT
Volos is the antagonist in this story. His family members are antagonists throughout the trilogy:
Greater character arc: Volos is a drow elf who’s mother was tormented, and eventually kidnapped by the gods to protect themselves. He and his brothers have been collecting magical artifacts for hundreds of years that will allow them to bring her back to this world and protect her as she once protected them.
In this story, Volos grapples with who he has become and who he once was. He has had to do things and justifies them as a means to an important end. He has come to define himself by the goal of saving his mother and not letting down his older brothers. His proximity to powerful artifacts is intoxicating and makes it easy to take what he wants to achieve his goals. Often Volos does things that he later reflects on poorly but decides had to be done to get where he is headed.

3. CONJURING YOUR BREAKOUT TITLE
Titles:
Flowing Sands: Dark Tides
The Flow of Fate
Fates Collide on the Liquisand Sea

4. DECIDING YOUR GENRE AND APPROACHING COMPARABLES
Brent Weeks - “The Lightbringer” series books
(The Black Prism is the first Lightbringer title)
This book is most similar to my book because it has a thoroughly built magic system in a world with a well-defined culture. I was inspired by other authors who do these things, and with my background in science, I took great joy in producing a world where the elements of my setting have rippling effects throughout every aspect of the world. Many world building books get lost in some of the minutiae of their world and, as a reader, I find myself losing interest at points. This series, however, strikes the balance perfectly between complex world-building and a story about people.

Brandon Sanderson - “Mistborn” or “The Reckoners” series books
(Steelheart is the first Reckoners title)
This book is most similar to my book because of the level of detail in the magic system. The powers in this series all have physical ramifications and are taken to their limit through the lens of actual physics. I find that this relates to my manuscript in that many aspects of the setting are fleshed out to the point that you believe they could be real. You could guess what would happen if certain fictional objects or substances were right in front of you. This level of realistic immersion is fairly unique to this series.

5. Best friends from childhood, Taryn and Skyler have to stay alive while stopping an ancient villain from obtaining god-like power.

6. OTHER MATTERS OF CONFLICT: TWO MORE LEVELS
Inner Conflict for Taryn:
Taryn has experienced a “glimpse” of her own future in which she is deeply in love with someone she doesn’t recognize. As she developes new romantic feelings for her best friend Skyler she struggles with whether or not to reveal these feelings given that she knows they pale in comparison to the feelings from her “glimpse”. If she persues her emotions with Skyler, they will eventually have to end because of the person in her glimpse. Her friendship with Skyler is too valuable to risk.
During the story, someone interrupts her thoughts about the mysterious love to call Skyler her boyfriend she reacts to the internal conflict. She goes through her emotions for both men and possible outcomes with Skyler then openly denies that Skyler is her boyfriend. He is only her friend.

Secondary Conflict for Skyler:
Skyler likes to think his way through problems, while Taryn likes to take action. This causes Skyler to frequently compare himself to people he perceives are better than him at dealing with dangerous situations. Skyler spends much of the story doubting his own value and importance. Throughout the story, Skyler seeks help from others but eventually sees that only he can take the actions needed.
During the story, Skyler’s friend Taryn has been kidnapped by the villain. Skyler goes to the Abundantium Guard (the local police force) to report the situation so that they can find her and bring her to safety. Skyler thinks that they seem inadequate to the task. Skyler finds himself asking all the right questions that lead him to find and save Taryn on his own.
Several character interactions throughout the story echo this secondary conflict. Other characters who’s interactions boost his confidence or make him questions his worth include: A new friend, A friend of his deceased father, A mentor at “The Queen’s Academy”, and Queen Sutton

7. SKETCH OUT YOUR SETTING IN DETAIL
Big picture setting:
This manuscript takes place takes place on a world called Oerth. One area of Oerth known as The Consa is a desert continent. Once a lush area, The Consa has been changed by the “green-wall coral”, which has evolved to use the magic of Oerth. Green wall coral has changed all of the surface water tributaries into “liquisand” tributaries. The Consa flows abundantly with liquisand making rivers, bays, and seas of the abrasive substance. The liquisand flowing throughout is used for a well-established trade route that allows magically grown fruit and juices to be transported regularly to all areas of the desert that border liquisand. Due to the scarcity of water, traveling outside The Consa into the deserts is deadly. As a result, few outside of The Consa know of its existence, and those inside The Consa are generally unaware of a world beyond the desert.

Liquisand is a major component of the story and the setting. When struck by natural lightning or by blitz magic (magical lightning), it is transformed into a substance called quiksand (different from quicksand). When quiksand and liquisand touch, they explode violently. The whole topic of liquisand is explored in great detail as far as its texture, taste, smell, chemical properties, phases of matter, magical properties, reactions with other substances, by-products, and more. The culture and technology have been shaped by liquisand in many many ways. Some of these ways include quik-engines that use liquisand and quiksand, magical technology called EZ’s or EZ-tech that use electrium (a byproduct of quik-explosions) to manipulate magic without being a mage, explosives, liquisand baths that clean by exfoliation, weather phenomenon associated with liquisand, and more.

The desert has different types of sand depending on the area of The Consa, and different forms of glass are made from these sands. Each form of glass has special properties that make them more useful for one purpose or another. Sands used for glass include gold sand, quiksand, liquisand, crystal sand, brown sand, and white sand. Types of glasses in The Consa include: baseglass (normal glass), flexiglass (cheap, non-rigid, and somewhat flexible), hyperglass (hard, somewhat durable), glass-steal (very durable, non flexible), aeroglass (ultra low density glass), shatterglass (made for shattering explosives), and eluderglass (rigid, highly elastic glass).

There are five intelligent races common to The Consa.
The Oercs are evolved from Orcs primarily through interbreeding with humans. They are generally similar to humans but have cultural differences that resemble Native American culture.
Humans are typical to humans in a fantasy setting.
The Valpyrie are an honor-bound society of flame-wielding humanoids that live in seclusion in the mountains. They are in the public eye often enough to be well known. The Valpyrie look like short humans until they activate magical wings of fire. Some can create swords and shields from the fire as well.
Illithulu are highly magical creatures that live in the caverns under The Consa. They are rare and generally live with the drow elves. Illithulu have squidlike heads, pray to the god Cthulhu, and can speak through telepathy or verbal communication. They live by absorbing brain-waves or by eating food and prefer to live around large groups of people but to do so discretely.
The elves of The Consa have three forms. The Queen and her half-elf children are fair-skinned elves from a land far from The Consa. The second type, drow elves, evolved below the surface when ancient elves from the Consa left the surface as its water changed to liquisand. Drow have dark skin and absorb magic differently than other elves (evolved for sub-surface magic). The third type, eluder elves, are evolved from ancient drow elves who resurfaced long ago and have lighter skin but not like that of the original elves. Eluder elves live inside huge magical storms to keep their ecosystem separate from the green-wall coral in The Consa. Their communities are inside well known permanent storms, but their people and culture are mostly a mystery due to the difficulty in getting inside or outside the sandstorms that surround them.

Main Sub-settings used:
Areas of the Consa will be used more in the rest of the series. Many are named and have different cultures to them.

In this story, the main sub-settings used are the home of one of the two main characters, two important cities in The Consa, and general areas on the trade route that play up the world. Taryn is from a small town called Cranston which is far from any major cities. She works on a fruit farm that sells desert fruit as a local commodity.
Taryn and Skyler end up back together at The Queens Academy in a huge city-state called Syrinx. It is an enormous island in the Liquisand Sea. At the center of Syrinx, a smaller island called Syrachan Island is the home of a booming metropolis. Its streets are filled with glass towers and buildings. Much of the story takes place at The Queens Academy, on Syrachan Island, or in the surrounding boroughs of Syrinx.
Under the borough of Riverbank Heights, a long tunnel leads down to a subterranean city known as Drachenvald. The drow and human community that now lives in Drachenvald found this hidden tunnel to the surface during the last twenty years. As a result, The Consa is still acclimating culturally to the emergence of drow elves depending on the distance from Syrinx. Drachenvald is the second city that much of the story takes place in. Drachenvald is an enormous magical cavern with an entire city inside. Magic is more abundantly used in Drachenvald than elsewhere, and water is readily available to the people who live here.

In addition to physical locations in the setting, two important details of Oerth are fleshed out in this story. One of these is the magic system. Oerth has a unique magic system that includes eight magical realms (nine if you read past book one). These magical realms are earth, air, fire, water, blitz (lightning/electricity), anziehen (a sort of anti-lightning), uber (abundant radiant magic from the sky), and unter (abundant gravitational magic from the center of Oerth).
The second detail that plays an important part of the setting is technology. Oerth has magic, but the people of The Consa have advanced technologically. They have engines using liquisand and quiksand. They have many devices that manipulate magic to achieve tasks similarly to electronic devices in our own world. However, those devices that accomplish similar tasks to our electronics do so via alternate methods using magic. For example, large moving advertisements are in Syrinx but create illusions that impact your mind far more than any image would from a real-world television screen. These illusions carry smells, sounds, emotions, and a true belief that they are actually in front of you. If you try to disbelieve them, or remind yourself that they are just an illusion, the entire advertisement will disappear to you.
They have invented autocarts (similar to cars), floaters (similar to blimp/planes), underships (similar to submarines), and the Untercirque (similar to high speed rail). Each is made with the appropriate details that this world would create, not like their real world counterparts.


A key concern of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is to develop inner warmth, safeness and soothing. The aim of the current study was to develop a compassion focused art therapy programme for clients diagnosed with Personality Disorders (PDs), the goal being to strengthen compassion skills and achieve more adaptive emotion regulation.

The Intervention Mapping Method was used for this purpose, based on: 1) determining needs, 2) goals for behavioural change, 3) theoretical art therapy methods and practical applications, 4) translation into an art therapy intervention, 5) planning adaption, implementation and durability, and 6) an evaluation plan. Use was made of a number of literature studies, focus groups with clients and occupational group professionals, questionnaires and a feasibility study.

The study resulted in the development of a Compassion Focused Art Therapy (CFAT) intervention for clients diagnosed with PDs, in which the most important goal was strengthening their compassion for themselves and for others. Key topics of CFT are found here as well, such as mindfulness, imagery and emotion regulation systems. The programme is based on a number of potentially effective methods that were specifically combined and tailored for this client population. Further research with a larger sample is needed to substantiate the intervention.


New York Pitch Conference Reviews, Algonkian Writer Conferences, and Poetry Forums

Story statement: Discover the truth no matter the cost.
Plot line/Hook: A queer teenage warrior joins a secret feminine cult to discover the truth about the utopia in which she lives.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: The Antagonist Plots the Point

Inspired by ancient Gnostic myths, the primary antagonist, YAHB, is portrayed as the God and Creator of the utopia of Oort. However, Yahb’s insidious plot to control humanity remotely through mind control and systematic self-enslavement becomes evident to MOON, the protagonist, as she risks her life to uncover the truth about her world. In reality, Yahb is nothing more than a deranged extraterrestrial who believes he is God, and he will do anything in his power to prove that he controls the galaxy.

Yahb intends to destroy the planet through MENDA, the leader of the feminine cult Moon joins. By taking control of Menda’s mind, he makes her believe that obliterating the planet will return the cult to the Hathorian Goddess, who they worship. Destroying the planet would eliminate Moon, who unknowingly poses a threat to Yahb’s reign. During the climax, Menda’s possession is revealed, and Moon fights her (and Yahb) to the death.

THIRD ASSIGNMENT: Conjuring your breakout title.

1. Behind Closed Eyes
2. Comply or Die
3. Attainment

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: Deciding genre and approaching comparables

Behind Closed Eyes is a young adult science fiction/fantasy novel with the fast pace and gripping female lead of Marie Lu’s Warcross paired with the intricate worldbuilding and queer romance of Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion.

FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: Considering the Primary Conflict

Upon joining a secret feminine cult, a queer teenage warrior becomes unwittingly entangled in a nefarious plot to obliterate the planet.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Sketch out the conditions for inner conflict your character will have.

In her desperate search for the truth, Moon battles with her Conditioning, her father’s secrecy, the planetary lock-down, and her newfound and mystifying connection to “the Darkness.” Additionally, her rising sexuality distracts her from the destructive nature of the cult’s agenda. Pretty soon, the Darkness is controlling her, and she’ll have to risk everything to overcome it.

Sketch a hypothetical scenario for the secondary conflict involving the social environment.

Already struggling to keep her father’s suspicions in check, Moon realizes the validity of his concerns when the cult’s destruction intentions are revealed. Her lover divulges that she is a spy and, desperate to save her planet, Moon has to choose whether to give up her own life or risk the life of her lover by allying with her to betray the cult.

SEVENTH ASSIGNMENT: Setting

Galactic conquest for human advancement takes center stage on Oort, a technological paradise of genetic engineering and infinite knowledge. A warrior-in-training, Moon spends her days synched up to the SYNCONET, the Synthetic Consciousness Network, where she practices fighting in the Realm of the Mind to spread the Oortian Way across the galaxy. Ever since the Uprising, the establishment of martial law pushes Moon to escape into her dreams. The secret feminine cult meets in the Dreamtime, a dimension of the here and now that affects innumerable layers of reality.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#27 Post by LauraMalin74 » 14 Sep 2019, 22:12

Raised by on the run communist parents, Laura grows up struggling to find her own roots to become a writer, raise her kids alone and find true love.

The world is a tricky place for an independent woman who is trying to figure it all out, even more while raising two daughters on her own.
Most men in Laura’s life are unfaithful or have little stomach for her achievements. Internally, Laura struggles with the notion that even if she doesn’t need a man in her life, she really wants one.

Hyphenated, a memoir
Married to Myself: a memoir
Married to Myself: how I became happy with myself

Laura’s coming of age begins at 15, when she starts looking for her identity and to find love. Her journey on discovering her roots causes her to constantly move countries, sometimes convoluting her path. In parallel, as she stumbles on some wrong men, she ends up hurting from betrayals, heartbreaks and sexual harassments. Laura also struggles to financially support herself and her daughters as a writer.

The need for being loved permeates Laura’s quest for her true self, which she is deeply determined to achieve. But it gets complicated once she also lacks sense of belonging. Laura will constantly feel like she doesn’t fit anywhere, and slowly build her safe haven in writing and motherhood. Deep inside though, she dreams of a partner to walk by her side and have her back.

Having been raised in different countries by communist parents, Laura struggles to feel home. An only child, she was educated by intellectual, divorced parents who gave her much more freedom and books than attention. Lonely, she is also looking for love, which could make her feel protected and grow roots with someone, somewhere.

The story begins in a bomb-shelter in a Kibbutz, in Israel, where Laura falls in love for the first time. She is only 15 and the very rural landscape sets a poetic tone.

Soon, Laura moves to France, the country where she was raised during her early childhood. She finds herself in the arid and cold north region, in a dangerous whorehouse. After escaping it, and surviving winter at a foster home, Laura moves to beautiful Paris to finish her studies in French Literature. Bewitched by the Seventh Art at the Cannes Film Festival, where she falls for a 30 years older lover, she confirms her calling: to write fiction.

Back to her breathtaking hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Laura struggles to fit in, until she finds love with a younger actor. After a helicopter accident that almost kills him, Laura decides to move to the Bay Area to pursue her writing at UC Berkeley relocating later to LA to find an agent.

Back to Brazil to be with her terminally ill grandmother, Laura gets pregnant with her daughters, while she becomes the showrunner of a hit TV show and publishes her first novel. That’s also when her boyfriend of 12 years and father of her babies decides to leave them.

Between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Laura focus on her writing and the upbringing of her daughters – and random sex with men, women, and sometimes both. But her soul is scattered elsewhere, and she constantly travels. California, Angola, Paris, Chile and Russia are the highlights. In cold Geneva, for example, she spends one week with the number one best-selling Brazilian author of all times, in hopes he will endorse one of her novels. But he wants something else.

After publishing seven books and writing for TV and film, Laura moves to California with her girls, where she finally feels home. She gets engaged to the wrong guy, breaks up with him two years later, and holds a small ceremony of getting married to herself.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#28 Post by KendraW6Wood » 15 Sep 2019, 02:12

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.

Lodan and Lizzy embark on an unsanctioned truth seeking road trip to confront the family his mother kept secret and the boyfriend who ghosted Lizzy after she moved away.

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story.

Heather Dawson, Lodan’s mother, is a complicated antagonist. The choices she’s made to keep her son, Lodan, from learning the truth about their family and his father are merely her effort to protect him. Just as in nature a mother may eat her young to protect the other offspring from a sickness she instinctively detects in the ill-fated victim, Heather makes controversial decisions to protect Lodan. Losing her parents at a young age, her mother literally and her father figuratively, fuels Heather’s need to keep her son safe. An act that can be viewed as monstrous to some may be the very reason a family survives. However, how can Lodan love a person that has lied to him and done what she has done even if she is his mother. The question becomes how much sacrifice can human relationships survive? Can Lodan, who is struggling to understand all of the emotions percolating within continue to love him mom? Will he recognize love toward another when he feels it?

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

Truthseeking Roadtrip
Truth, Turtles & Tequila
Truth With a Side of Tequila

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?

Maddy in Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon has limited relationships with other people because her mother has told her she suffers from an auto-immune disease and must stay confined to their home. The only temptation that holds enough allure to defy her mother and risk her health is the boy next door. When Maddy learns her mother lied to protect her, she struggles to come to terms with her conflicted love and hate toward the parent that made bad choices out of love for her. Lodan finds himself in a similar struggle when confronted with the truth about what his mom has done to protect him.

In the book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Madson, two adolescents defy their parents and take their own route on a road trip that helps them better understand themselves and the important components to a loving relationship. Lizzy and Lodan also defy their parents and embark on a road trip with a mission. Their journey takes them on an internal path neither of them anticipated, forcing them to rethink love, passion, and what can tempt good people to make bad choices.

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.

Two teens take an unsanctioned truth-seeking roadtrip to confront her boyfriend for ghosting her after she moved and ask the rest of his family why his mom kept them a secret from him.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: sketch out the conditions for the inner conflict your protagonist will have.
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?

Inner Conflict
Until seventeen year old Lizzy moved next door, Lodan didn’t give much thought to his relationships. He’d been a loner most of his youth and content in that role. He and his mom were a team of two. When Lodan learns his mother has been lying to him about their family history, he’s suddenly a kite adrift, untethered from the security of his mom’s hand. Lizzy’s mothering nature appeals to him. She doesn’t hold tight like his mom, but rather acts as a guiding wind, encouraging him to explore his identity outside of his relationship with his mother. Lodan initially confronts his fear that he will never feel the attraction he’s witnessed between other peers his age. Why can’t he feel that toward anyone? Just when he discovers he does have the capacity to feel attraction toward and could potentially love someone other than his mother, he learns the horrible truth behind what his mother has done to protect him. His shock and anger become tangled with his love for her and his new understanding of love toward others. Placed in a life-threatening situation and bearing witness to emotional losses of all types, Lodan is forced to make decisions that ultimately help him decipher his feelings toward his family and his friends.

Hypothetical Conflict
If Lizzy dragged Lodan to a high school party, he would be hesitant to engage with anyone directly. If a spirited game of beer pong were taking place, he would hang back and watch unless Lizzy begged him to partner with her. If people began breaking off into couples, Lodan would panic and chastise himself for not feeling attraction toward anyone enough to partake.

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.

This story takes place in a number of settings across America. However it begins and ends in Laketown, NY. This small tight-knit community in western New York state is comprised of fourth and fifth generation residents because even the graduates who can’t wait to put the sleepy town in their rearview are drawn back into its open arms like first loves at a reunion. The gray, cold, endless winters are best tolerated by attending the spirited and competitive high school basketball games, themed church events, or belly-up to the bar where everybody knows your whole life story. Summers are spent at Little League games, summer recreation at the park, biking through the quaint streets, or if you’re lucky indulging in all the fun a lake offers. Many of the residents and their stories are deceptively simple on the surface but anyone who takes the time to sit and chat for a spell will get an earful of the jaw-dropping triumphs and tragedies that make Laketown the only place most of its residence would ever want to call home.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#29 Post by MarcW6Hennemann » 15 Sep 2019, 02:56

RICHARD M.: “Too Close to Call”
Marc Hennemann

Story statement:
A self-made man has risen from abject poverty to the heights of American politics. He is about to run for president of the United States against an opponent who has vast wealth, privilege, and family connections.

The antagonist plots the point:

Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy will stop at nothing to make his son President of the United States. Senator John F. Kennedy knows his father bribed at least three governors to win him the nomination. He also knows the ambassador is conspiring with the mafia to help him win the election. Even that isn't enough. JFK and his running mate, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, plot with a Texas banker to bribe electors from the Deep South to vote Democratic. Election night ends in a virtual tie, with a recount in Hawaii set to decide the issue. A Kennedy campaign official threatens a Hawaii state court judge. The Chief Justice of the United States is blackmailed. After a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, Kennedy concedes the election and Nixon is sworn in. The drama between Kennedy and Nixon is not over. It will resume in RICHARD M.: "Dulce et Decorum est. " the second book in the RICHARD M. series.

1. RICHARD M.: "Too Close to Call"

3. The Great 1960 Election Race

Genre: Alternative history

Then Everything Changed (Jeff Greenfield, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2011). Greenfield writes three stories in his book, all of which turn on relatively small events with huge (and sometimes catastrophic) consequences. In the first, Senator John F. Kennedy is assassinated in December 1960, before the electoral college can meet to confirm the election results of the previous November. How does the government handle the constitutional crises? Who will be the next president and vice-president and how are they determined? In the second, Sirhan Sirhan only gets one shot, and that misses Bobby Kennedy. What happens then? Is the Democratic convention a disaster? What about the anti-war protests/riots? Who is elected president in 1968 and how does his term go? The third story allows President Gerald Ford to talk his way out of his “no Soviet domination” gaffe in his debate with Jimmy Carter. What was the effect on Ford? Carter? Reagan? Who would each party nominate in 1980?

My book, RICHARD M.: “Too Close to Call” is, like Greenfield’s, comprised of events which differ only slightly from reality: an FBI investigation that wasn’t actually ordered, a rock that wasn’t actually thrown, a speech that wasn’t actually given, a recount that wasn’t actually crucial, a letter that wasn’t actually written. Another common point between Greenfield’s book and mine is that all the characters in both are real people no fictional characters, no composites. Such is not the case in my second comparable.

The Last Hurrah (Edwin O’Connor, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1956) O’Connor’s iconic character of Frank Skeffington (a thinly disguised James Michael Curley) endears himself to some, astounds others, and enrages still others when he announces his intention to run for another term as mayor of his fair city (a very thinly disguised Boston). O’Connor takes his readers deep inside Skeffington’s campaign, showing them both the strategy and the tactics used by the aging politician. The book climaxes on election night when Skeffington, absolutely certain of victory, unexpectedly loses in a landslide.
RICHARD M.: “Too Close to Call” does much the same. My readers go inside the Nixon campaign as he deals with the many crises during his run for the White House. How does Nixon handle his dreadful debate performance? How does he cope with the steady dissolution of relations between the United States and Cuba? How does he react when Martin Luther King is set up to be murdered in the Georgia State Prison? Here you will meet a different Richard Nixon than you think you know ruthless and frightened, decisive and floundering, cunning and naïve.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the influence on my writing of possibly the greatest alternative history author active today: Harry Turtledove. Turtledove wrote an eleven-book series based on Robert E. Lee’s General Order 191 not being lost in September 1862 and the resultant Confederate victory in the Civil War. As James Baldwin wrote: “For want of a nail…the kingdom was lost.” On such things as these turns the history of man.


Primary conflict:
How does Richard Nixon counter John F. Kennedy’s charisma, his vast wealth, and his political chicanery and win the presidency?

(inner)
As election day gets closer, the tensions within Richard Nixon rise. He has never lost an election, but he has also never faced a foe the likes of Kennedy. How can he respond to Kennedy’s tactics without costing himself votes? Does he have to descend to Kennedy’s level, with JFK’s charges of racism and “soft on Castro” to win, or can he remain true to both his principles and his Quaker upbringing? When the election finishes in a virtual tie, with a recount in Hawaii deciding the outcome, both sides take the issue into both the federal and state courts. Nixon knows the Kennedy team is using threats and bribery. Must he do the same, or will he let others do his dirty work?

(secondary)
Early on Nixon is faced with a choice: will he side with the civil rights revolution which is just starting to heat up in the South, or will he try to retain the votes millions of southerners gave President Eisenhower in 1952 and ’56? His natural instinct is to side with those who are fighting poverty and injustice. He must make a calculated, cold, political decision. Will he give up southern white votes for northern black votes? Or will he turn his back on black aspirations and try to attract the southern whites, thus hopefully depriving Kennedy of a traditional base of support, one he desperately needs. Or will he try and split the issue down the middle, possibly gaining both northern blacks and southern whites, but possibly losing both as well?

Setting
Richard M.: “Too Close to Call” is set in the United States from June 1960 to January 1961. You see John F. Kennedy aboard his campaign plane “Caroline” planning a response to a criminal conspiracy charge by the governor of New Jersey. The Attorney General and Vice President Nixon decide what to do about the charges, and then meet with President Eisenhower in the oval office to get his permission to put their plan into action.
Nixon campaigns in the south getting such a warm reception, particularly in Atlanta, that he questions his strategy of going after northern black votes. Is the south a possibility?

The governor of New Jersey talks to the FBI in his office and vowing to do whatever he can to make sure JFK doesn’t win, meets with the Republican leader in his state to ruin Kennedy’s chances.

As the two campaigns crisscross the country, there are dramatic scenes everywhere: the murder of a county sheriff in South Carolina powerful speeches in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey bribery in Georgia and across the Deep South discussions of blackmail in the governor’s office in Honolulu and actual sexual blackmail in the private chambers of the Chief Justice of the United States. The battle rages from the Federal Courthouse in Honolulu to the Supreme Court in Washington DC, and when the court cannot decide the issue, the final vote has to be taken in a joint session of Congress. There is high drama as Nixon presides over the meeting which will decide his fate: the Hawaii congressional delegation splits over how their votes are to be counted, the Speaker of the House makes a dramatic speech, Senators Kennedy and Johnson do the same and the issue is finally decided! It all ends with the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration of a new president. Or does it?

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#30 Post by AngelinaW6Love » 15 Sep 2019, 03:28


New York Pitch
Story Statement : Alicia James struggles to survive and escape a life of bondage and and return to college in 2015.
Antagonistic Force- The antagonist force is a life of bondage in 1853. She slave trade dominates southern culture . The goal is to keep slaves in bondage mentally and physical for profit. Unfortunately there is no no legal remedy considering the captives are not recognized as humans . The culture has made it socially acceptable to treat humans inferior for the sake of profit . There is a temporary antagonist Robert Wilkes Jr., son of a prominent planter . He struggles with internal conflicts , managing his role on the plantation and desiring to see the captives treated with dignity and equality.
Breakout Titles - HEAVEN MUST BE GREY , DIRTY COTTON CHRONICLES, AND ABYSS OF BONDAGE
My comparable novels are KINDRED by Octavia Butler and TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE by Solomon Northup
A young woman finds herself lost in a world of bondage. She struggles with acclimating as a slave while fighting to escape a life of torture and degradation. She explores emotional conflicts that crosses blurred lines of love .
Alicia takes a stroll as she leaves the field , overhears the overseer Harold speaking with the plantation’s owner. She hears him telling Mr. Wilkes how he’s “keeping the niggers in line.’’ She feels a ball in her stomach , and signs in frustration. She fights her inner voice that tells her to remind Harold he’s being used to abuse other blacks like him. She hears Wilkes tell him”Boy I know you handling business like you always do.” She walks toward Harold and Massa’ Wilkes then stopped as she had a flashback of Harold’s whip across her back . She turned and went towards the cabin fighting back tears of frustration. SECONDARY CONFLICT: Alicia struggles to look Rob in the eye as he caresses her face. She longs to spend every waking moment with Rob. Yet she struggles with guilt and frustration knowing his family has accumulated wealth on the blood and sweat of slaves.It feels so pleasurably wrong. She can’t imagined being the owner’s son little dirty black secret.
Bridges of Grey opening setting is in a the fictitious town of Wilmington, VA , where she’s attending college on a predominantly African -American campus . The campus is close knit and picturesque in a quiet southern town surrounded with memorabilia of the Civil Right Movement in the 1960’s. Alicia is a college freshmen. The town is predominantly black . Alicia’s interim professor takes to group on a trip to Jamestown Island . There is a small settlement of homes nearby owned by descendants of slaves. It has often been said many were killed there or escaped in search of freedom.
7a. The secondary settings vary and change frequently. There is a historical place near Richmond , Va where she is sold for the first time. She works on a tobacco plantation but has traveled with a group of captives over Virginia. Most of the dialogue takes place in the field where she labors until she is bought in the house to work . She travels as a fugitive with abolitionist friends passing through Virginia and Maryland on a quest for freedom. She is captured and sold in Hagerstown Maryland . The story’s tone darkens as she is bought by the Wilkes’ and shipped to Natchez , Mississippi .Natchez is deeply rooted in the slave trade. The city is infamous for uprisings and lynchings. Natchez is the epitome of southern aristocracy and opulence in the 1800’s.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#31 Post by AngelinaW6Love » 15 Sep 2019, 03:35

I tried to attach my file so it look organized and easily legible, kept getting error messages that file was invalid . So I copied and pasted but it looks jumbled. I appreciate any feedback to make it look more organized. I'm not very savvy with tech at times, but this should be simple.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#32 Post by RandalNerhusW6 » 15 Sep 2019, 08:44

1. Story Statement:
In 1879, two girls—Talks Like Thunder, Apache, and Falling Star, Cheyenne—fight to stop the U.S. Army from exterminating their way of life. As soldiers close in, they are trapped in a desperate fight to reach safe haven.

2. Antagonistic force in the story:
The military spend years mercilessly taking the land and resources from the Native Americans. The Army’s size, strength, experience, and assortment of superior weapons make it an unconquerable enemy.

The US Army’s worst is Sergeant O’Riley. Battle-hardened from the Civil War and after many years of eradicating natives from the West, he is a cold-hearted killer. O’Riley tries to molest thirteen-year-old Thunder, but she fights back until help arrives. Soon afterward, O’Riley leads an attack on Thunder’s village, scalps her best friend, and then steals Thunder’s horse. Years later, through a strange turn of events, O’Riley’s patrol attack Thunder’s band at the Canadian border.

3. Breakout title:
Red With Native Blood

4. Two smart comparables:
I’ve been unable to find comparable novels, especially in the Native American genre. I wonder if Red With Native Blood leans toward a high concept novel. Teenage characters mastering the most difficult of adulthood challenges, may appeal to a wide audience. Several beta readers like the idea of a novel reminding them of a long-forgotten time in our history.

I’m looking forward to everyone’s help on this.

5. Conflict line:
As Thunder and Star hide from and ambush soldiers, they meet other native fugitives along the way and form a band. Thunder is also searching for her lost love, Golden Eagle, and Star is looking for a safe place to hide away her sacred medicine bundle for Cheyenne of the future.

6. Protagonist’s inner conflict:
Thunder is on alert day and night for enemies and always psyched to take action.

Scenario: At dawn, she awakens to cattle bawling and spies soldiers heading toward them. Instead of running for safety, she and her band ambush the soldiers, who outnumber them two to one.

Secondary conflict:
Thunder begins by wanting to kill all white people to avenge the massacre of her people. However, Falling Star subtly works on Thunder’s conscience little by little.

Scenario: Thunder’s group meets an orphaned white boy. Thunder spares the boy, and offers him a place among her band.

Staying alive by what only nature provides, brings unique challenges for Thunder and her friends. Nearly every day they are in need of food, water, and shelter.

Scenario: Deep in the Chihuahua Desert, in spite of the band’s tremendous thirst, they let the horses drink their entire water supply.

FINAL. Sketch out your setting in detail:
With the characters on the run from soldiers, settings (roughly thirty-three) take place from Mexico to Canada. Everyone is pushed to their limit when traveling through the Chihuahua Desert, wastelands, and snow-covered Rocky Mountains.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#33 Post by JOHNW6CASTELLANO » 15 Sep 2019, 19:16

First Assignment: Story Statement

Uncover the secrets of a decade-old court case gone wrong before a relentless predator succeeds in committing a series of brutal murders.

Second Assignment: Antagonistic force

The antagonist is a shrewd and cunning woman who uses her physical beauty to lure the protagonist, a private investigator, into accepting a false yet reassuring façade, diverting suspicion in other directions. An exterior of sweetness and sensual overtones covers a dark path of revenge on five co-workers who deprived her from a share of the spoils that put an innocent man behind bars. A calculating killer, she uses the protagonist just as she’s used others, slowly and steadily drawing out information that aids her in the hunt. She takes pleasure in knowing each kill elevates the panic and torment of her next intended victim while awaiting the inevitable.
The antagonist has special ops military training in her past, which aids in the single-minded quest for payback, and which she keeps well hidden from the protagonist and others beneath an unassuming exterior.

Third Assignment: Breakout Title

Dead Man’s Touch
Dance with the Dead
Brick City Boneyard

Fourth Assignment: Two Comparables

Where It Hurts, Reed Farrel Coleman. Why it compares: It’s a noir style thriller with a broken ex-cop protagonist, now a PI, trying to straighten out his life while solving a tough case with little help from others. In my noir thriller, the protagonist is similarly situated in a mental state of hopelessness, working with evasive clients while trying to stop a killer.

Down the River Unto the Sea, Walter Mosley. Why it compares: Another noir style thriller with a flawed protagonist, beaten down by the system, trying to overcome difficult odds and corrupt cops while working his case as a PI. My protagonist is fighting an emotional struggle while dealing with difficult clients, mob types, con men, angry cops, and an elusive killer.

Fifth Assignment: Conflict Line

A disgraced former lawyer turned private investigator must outwit a cunning killer—who’s convinced the police of another’s guilt—before his clients are all brutally murdered.

Sixth Assignment: a) Protagonist’s Inner Conflict

Protagonist must break free from the depths of despair and depression in order to outsmart a savage killer. Why he will feel in conflict: Protagonist’s wife ended up collateral damage in a shoot-out. Blames himself for not keeping her safe, fights his inner demons to rise above his impaired emotional state of mourning. Hypothetical scenario-questioning his ability to catch a clever killer while his mind is clouded with grief, knowing he’s also a target and may be next to die.

b) Secondary Conflict: A low level mobster is out to get the protagonist for not protecting a family member from a gangland hit. The protagonist must watch over his shoulder for the thug and his associates who are out to make him pay.

Seventh Assignment: Setting

The story is set in Newark NJ, (nicknamed Brick City in the second half of the last century), current day. The protagonist lives in a run-down two-room apartment in the tough West Ward district. He’s faced with an array of inner-city types, from low-level mobsters to con men and dirty cops. The sub-setting also includes a local, old-time boxing gym where the protagonist works out his inner rage, trying to rid himself of the demons that have chased him since the death of his wife.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#34 Post by ZyaMosesW6 » 15 Sep 2019, 20:57

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#35 Post by DelphineLedesmaW6 » 16 Sep 2019, 22:06

On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, there’s a grieving mother-daughter duo that’s about to go off the rails. Violet is the reformed good girl who imagines the road to freedom is paved with her lost virginity. Amanda, her mother, is engaging with a multitude of demons to avoid dealing with her self-imposed isolation after the death of her husband. As each woman careens through a multitude of poor choices, what--if anything--will remain of their bond?


2. Antagonist Plots the Point:

Several antagonistic forces fuel this unorthodox mother-daughter tale of female empowerment. One thing both women share: the insurmountable death of the family patriarch, Violet’s father and Amanda’s husband, Tim Lawder. His disappearance leaves an indelible stain in their lives, one that—despite the passing years—remains impossible to erase.

The other antagonistic force they share in common: each other. Violet loves her mother, is devoted to her. She also feels a need to rebel against the crushing pressure to live up to her standards for excellence, to stay strong for the both of them in the face of life’s obstacles, and to always remain a “good girl.” Along the way, school (“the administration”) and the student population (represented by Brooke Dunham, a former childhood friend and popular girl who now looks down on Violet) add to the mix of antagonistic forces that cause Violet to react.

On her end, Amanda Lawder is completely devoted to her daughter. That factor, combined with her depression after her husband’s death, cause her to isolate herself from society, burying her head so deeply in the sand that she neglects the changes in her daughter and in her own body until a health crisis and a crisis at Violet’s school make them impossible to ignore.

How to Succeed at Raising a Slut

How to Succeed at Raising a Slut is comparable to Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young. Both stories contain alternating POVs and combine social commentary about women’s health and sexuality with entertaining writing and sharp humor.

How to Succeed at Raising a Slut is also comparable to Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. An unorthodox tale of female empowerment, Queenie is similar in its poignant yet funny portrayal of women finding themselves in a moment of personal crisis.

5. Considering the Primary Conflict:

Six years after the tragic loss of the family patriarch, a middle-aged mother and her teenage daughter must learn to overcome their shared grief in order to finally find themselves—and each other.

The inner conflict for Violet Lawder has to do with reconciling her responsibility to her mother (and we learn in a twist at the end, to her dead father) while also living her own life, establishing herself as an individual and allowing herself to make mistakes.

The inner conflict for Amanda Lawder has to do with separating herself from her teenage daughter. She must accept that she will end up alone in two years’ time when Violet goes off to college after having spent the better part of six years focusing all her attention on her-- to the detriment of her own social, emotional and physical well-being.

One hypothetical reaction Violet could have would be to tell her mother the secret her father asked her to keep just days before his sudden death. This, of course, would hurt her mother--it’s the reason she’s held it from her for the past six years. The impetus for this revelation might be a huge, blowout fight with her mother over her behavior at the prestigious UES prep school that now threatens to expel her.

A second hypothetical reaction Violet may have relating to her environment would be to turn in her arch-enemy and former best friend, Brooke Dunham, to the school administration for a crime she hasn’t committed (stealing or cheating). The impetus for this action would be Brooke’s repeated bullying at a time when Violet is already feeling overwhelmed by her homelife and the pressures of school.

One hypothetical reaction Amanda may have would be to lock Violet inside their Upper East Side apartment for a few days, not allowing her to leave as punishment for her behavior. This might be brought on by one of their fights over Violet’s attitude in her personal life and at school. It would be Amanda’s misguided attempt at exerting some control over her wayward daughter while also insuring that she would have her attention all to herself for a few precious days.

A second hypothetical conflict Amanda might have in response to her environment would be to steal something from the purse of one of the PTA presidents she is working with in organizing “Teacher Appreciation Events.” She would do this out of anger over a fight she recently had with her daughter and as retaliation against the school that is shunning her.

7. The Importance of Setting

The setting is the Upper East Side of Manhattan today, a world of wealth, privilege and prestige on a collision course with the elements that define our time: the ubiquity of social media, the era of children in cages, the #MeToo movement and the current state of our environment on the verge of collapse (countdown: 12 years).

In this story, we see Amanda and Violet’s home, a comfortable (read wealthy, but not superwealthy) apartment located on East 76th Street. The home is so comfortable, in fact, that it’s the place where Amanda has been hiding out, setting up a fake Instagram persona while also stashing or eating a variety of items she occasionally steals for sport. Her home (and specifically her en suite bathroom) is also the place where Amanda has been concealing and tossing a never-ending succession of feminine hygiene products necessary in battling her ongoing health crisis.

Berkeley-Walsh is the Upper East Side Prep school where Violet Lawder attends high school. In the lower school, her mother, Amanda, is currently lending a hand to a rag tag group of PTA parents in charge of organizing special event for the faculty. For her, Berkeley-Walsh is the perfect place for her only daughter with its prestigious reputation, its state of the art, glass encased STEM facility and its red brick exterior (“with a smattering of ivy”). For Violet, the place is like another version of hell. It reeks of sweating, pubescent bodies. The kids are spoiled, superficial and victims of Instant Gratification Culture. The faculty and staff, while well-intentioned, is powerless before an administration beholden to its board and a handful of generous donors.

Along the way, the reader enters a couple of wealthy homes (each sparse and cold, whether out of aesthetic preference or the fact that their owners are too busy working outside the home to do anything about it) a gynecologist’s office (reception area, office and exam room) that is also cold and bare and a couple of upscale Manhattan coffee houses where Matcha tea infused with a variety of substances (orange blossom, rose water, CBD. ) are all the rage.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#36 Post by JackFieldW6 » 17 Sep 2019, 18:37

Selfish Heroine must learn to accept the help of others in the battle to save her friend and all of those in the dystopian forest city.

The antagonist in this story is the overlord Zyron Crane. He rules all of Greentown from the top of the Jade tower and has many lackeys to do his bidding, including Krimpel Tyke who is his number one catcher of children and his army of Knockknocks. After the “greening” there were many battles to take control of the new world, but it was Zyron Krane who emerged victorious. Through his magic and mad science, he was instrumental in creating many of the “altereds” that now inhabit Greentown. Now he wants to harness all of this power again for his greatest invention of all, the dream machine, a machine that will help him “dream to life”. All of this will be done by harnessing the power of children’s imaginations and dreams, which when combined with some fairy magic and his own abilities he will be able to create his dreamtime creature which will finally do away with all of the altereds and allow him to control everyone and everything that happens in Greentown and all of the surrounding lands.

Bellatrix Moon.
After the Greening.
Dreamers of the Jade Tower.

The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum. Similarities here include the young girl who meets up with an unusual bunch of friends and allies on her way to strange new place except Bellatrix Moon is going to try and rescue her friend and not just get home.

The Wizards of Once – Cressida Cowell. This has some similarities with its strange creatures and mismatched characters who have to come together to help fight dangerous forces that threaten everyone’s lives.

Movie comparable – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Our loner heroine has to learn that she sometimes needs to rely on other people and get the help of other especially if she is going to survive in the dystopian world that she lives in.

Young loner of the forest, Bellatrix Moon must join together with an eclectic crew of altereds to help rescue her friend from the top of the Jade tower, defeat the child stealing Zyron Crane and destroy the dream machine forever.

The heroine of the story is a young girl called Bellatrix Moon. She is self sufficient and independent and lives in Moonshadow forest. Bellatrix ends up on a mission to Greentown to help rescue her friend Reza Lark.

Bellatrix tries to do everything on her own and she does not want the help of others. She believes that she will only be let down by them. The belief that ‘I’m better off on my own” is the demon that haunts her. She believes that she is able to do everything by herself but after she arrives in Greentown, she soon finds out that this is not the case, she absolutely needs the help of others no only to do the basics but just to survive in a place like this.

Bellatrix starts to learn about the importance of family, in whatever form it may be. She begins to realize that she cannot do everything on her own, but she still has a tendency to get in her own way. This at times is her almost fatal flaw and even though she gains allies and friends that help her navigate through Greentown there are times when she still tries to do everything on her own and things don’t always go to plan because of this. It is not until near the end that she realizes that she does need the help of others and that it is ok to ask for help and not have to try and do everything on your own and a family is very important no matter what form it takes.

Moonshadow forest. This is the location for the opening part of the story. At first glance it seems like any type of fairytale forest, but many things have changed in the entire land after “the greening” and Moonshadow is no exception. The world of Zenoss has changed everywhere since the greening. Moonshadow is now a completely overgrown forest where almost no daylight hits. It is a dark and overgrown tangle of leaf and bark. It is a place where plants have mutated with animals and animals have mutated with plants, and it seem as though almost anything can come alive and move. Plants, trees, flowerflies, vinesnakes, jeeper creepers and many more. It is a forest where everyone who lives there has to be on alert all of the time, on their guard from potential threats which seem to be everywhere. This is also the reason that most of the inhabitants of Moonshadow live up high in a place called Treetop Town, where it is safer from the perils of Moonshadow, until they have to venture down to the forest floor in search of food which is very scarce.

Greentown. This is where two thirds of the story takes place. It is a forest like city that is the center of this dystopian fairytale setting. It is the most dangerous location in all of the Kingdom of Zenoss. Greentown is a maze of narrow winding streets and laneways. Imagine strange and unusual characters moving about (similar to Mos Eisley in Star Wars) making their way around narrow dark sinister and murky Victorian style streets and laneways that have all been covered and overgrown with every type of tree and plant during the greening. It is not a place for the faint of heart, and this is where our heroine finds herself for most of the story. Rising out of the center of Greentown is the Jade Tower where Zyron Crane has his seat of power. This is where Bellatrix must go and along the way there, she will come across some very strange characters, some good, some not very good. Greentown seems to be where most of the altereds live now many of them underground and in the shadow, stonemen, treepeople, shapeshifters, fairies, scarecrows and many other types of altereds. It is a bold and dangerous place that Bellatrix must navigate her way through, and she will need the help of all of her new friends if she is to survive this treacherous location.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#37 Post by LANCEJENKINSW6 » 17 Sep 2019, 19:50

1. STORY STATEMENT
A homegrown defense attorney defends a gay music teacher wrongly accused of murdering a student in a rural, Southern town where the radically fundamental church and its pastor rule, risking his reputation, career, and the life he has known to save the teacher from an unjust conviction.

2. THE ANTAGONIST
The antagonist is the face of Freeden and its leader, Dr. Daniel Henson, who pastors the local, ultra-fundamental Baptist church and possesses more respect and authority than anyone in town. Nearly everyone in Freeden attends Dr. Henson’s church and follows him, and he is determined to keep it that way and maintain his power. What Dr. Henson believes is ultimately what the townspeople believe, and this proves damaging for Dwight Kerry, the wrongly accused, who before his arrest was already viewed as an outcast for being a gay man in a town whose citizenry largely characterized such an identity as nothing better than an immoral preference. Once Dwight is accused of murdering his seventeen-year-old student, who is also the son of a prominent member of the church and community, it offers a platform for Dr. Henson to rally his followers and publicly levy hatred toward Dwight, his identity, and the man who comes to his aid, local defense attorney Ben Bailey. Despite an overwhelming lack of evidence, Dr. Henson will stop at nothing to ensure Dwight is convicted and Ben Bailey is exiled for supporting him.

3. BREAKOUT TITLE
A New Requiem
And Silenced He Was
The Guilty Shall Be Judged

4. COMPS
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Owens made her solo novel debut in Crawdads, and like A New Requiem, it is based in a Southern setting (North Carolina as well, actually), exhibits themes of injustice, features a murder and trial story that keeps the reader turning the page and wanting more, and in many ways flows the same. There are moments of easy reading followed quickly by intense drama and a surprise ending that, like in A New Requiem, exhibits deep meaning and is not intended to be the typical “make-everyone-happy” finish. Where the Crawdads Sing, like A New Requiem, prevails as a work of literary fiction in achieving something more special than the typical notion of “good guy triumphs.”

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum – Rum is a debut novelist in 2019 who quickly hit The New York Times Bestseller list and has already received critical acclaim for her novel which brings to the forefront the difficulties Palestinian-American woman face evading the hardships and often-oppressive realities of certain Arab cultures. A New Requiem is comparable because it, too, is a work of fiction examining a certain culture and geographic region’s intolerance and difficulty to advance into a new era of thinking. In the American South and the Bible Belt of America, there is still a stern majority opposition to progressive thought, and my effort, through refined storytelling, is to also bring to light the scathing realities of prejudice that still exist in the United States today.

5. CONFLICT LINE
A gay music teacher is wrongly accused of murder, and a local attorney must defend him against a powerful pastor and his biased followers hellbent on convicting the man whose identity is strikingly different from the town’s radically fundamental norms.

6. INNER CONFLICT
Ben Bailey struggles to fit in with the townsfolk of his hometown Freeden but longs so much to be accepted by his peers despite being so different from them. Freeden is full of people who are narrow-minded and intolerant toward things different than their own social norms, and that could not be more dissimilar from the man Ben has grown to be. He has never known anything but his small-town life in Freeden and feels he must conform to Freeden’s “good ole’ boy club” in order to maintain his reputation. His struggle becomes even more complex when Dwight Kerry is wrongly accused of the murder of seventeen-year-old Braxton Jones. Ben recently befriended Dwight when he joined the community chorus and chose to participate in the chorus’ spring concert, Mozart’s ‘Requiem’, yet he is ashamedly embarrassed to be seen with Dwight in public for fear of what others in the town may think of him for spending time with a gay man in a place where his sexual identity is not acceptable. Once Dwight is accused of raping and murdering Braxton, Ben’s decision to defend him in his trial puts their friendship and his unpopular stance that Dwight is innocent, at the forefront. Ben realizes that he must let go of wanting to appease his peers in favor of doing what is just.

SECONDARY CONFLICT
From the very beginning of the story, Ben begins to realize the people of Freeden are a ferociously judgmental people, yet still struggles with whether to conform and try to fit in with the people he has known his entire life. He realizes the townsfolk are blindly following Dr. Henson and his church’s message of intolerance toward things different than what they are accustomed to, and through the arrest, trial, and the events that follow works tirelessly to change them. He longs for Freeden’s populace to be a more empathetic people and try to understand Dwight’s identity rather than judge him so harshly but wrestles with the reality that their bigotry may never falter. Ben comes to believe some of his fellow townspeople may realize their fallacies if he can expose the unfair, preconceived judgments of Dwight during a public forum such as the trial – and risks everything dear to him to ensure that happens.

7. SETTING
A New Requiem is set in the fictional small, Southern town of Freeden, North Carolina, where Ben Bailey has lived his entire life. He was born into a family that garnered a poor reputation, and in small-town Freeden, reputation is everything. Nothing exceeds the importance of social notoriety, and everyone longs for it. The church, which towers over the town both literally and figuratively, is the most powerful institution in Freeden. Consequently, the pastor, Dr. Dan Henson, is the allegorical mayor of Freeden – people listen to and follow him, and he knows it. The justice system is influenced by his power, as are the major decisions and actions from those in local government to the hierarchy of the local newspaper and television mediums.

The town’s small downtown district is charming and quaint, but poor socio-economic conditions persist and make it even more difficult for successful people like Ben Bailey to fit in when the townspeople resent those who have achieved more than them or whose culture seems more affluent than them. Nothing is more important to the people of Freeden than the church, and anything that violates the basic principles of Dr. Henson and Freeden Baptist is shunned upon. In Freeden, intolerance reigns supreme, and its people possess an inability to see their own hypocrisy.

Southern hospitality is not afforded to those different from the cultural norms of Freeden -- you are like them, or you are the enemy.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#38 Post by AmyJacquemardW6 » 18 Sep 2019, 00:01

AmyJacquemardW6
Escapism: The Awakening
By Amy Jacquemard

FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Story statement

Ellie must play a reality TV escape room game to dodge imprisonment and win the million dollars to buy her way out of the corner she’s backed herself into.


SECOND ASSIGNMENT: Sketch the antagonist

Jacob Novak is an ingenious media mogul whose penchant for testing limits – both human and technological – have built him a reputation as the tyrant of blockbuster box office thrillers. He, along with his guru-like stepbrother Gabriel, are the showrunners of the new breakout reality game TV show Escapism. Only unlike Gabriel, he wants to rule the world not save it. Using his genius intellect and his pioneering technology, Simulated Immersive Reality, Jacob’s goal is to highjack his stepbrother’s genius psychological programming and tools to do something quite different than the promised “transformation into aliveness.” Instead he wants to mentally imprison those who are weak-of-mind, which is most humans, and have them unwittingly pay him handsomely for the privilege. Only Ellie is getting in his way and not following the script. She must be stopped – or used – whichever will move his master plan forward that much quicker.


THIRD ASSIGNMENT: Breakout title list

ESCAPISM: THE AWAKENING (book 1 of 6)
IMMERSION: THE GAME
IMMERSIVE REALITY: THE AWAKENING


FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: Two comparables

YA Genre
In terms of game play and cyphers/puzzles within a virtual reality environment, READY PLAYER ONE is a comparable within the YA/Sci-fi genres.

When looking at the fable aspect and learning through fiction, I have always been inspired by and admire THE ALCHEMIST.


FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: Conflict line
A young woman desperately trying to dodge incarceration for embezzlement joins a sequestered reality TV show to escape the law and potentially solve her money problems, only to get caught up in the psychological machinations of the show runners and teammates playing the game.

SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Internal conflict & secondary conflict
Internal conflict: The main psychological aspect and underlying goal of the game Escapism is the internal shift into awakening that the showrunner Gabriel preaches to the world. Within the first sub-room of the main escape room, Ellie has to face the thoughts, emotions and choices she made on a pivotal day in her past – the day she entered the foster care system, the same day her older brother left, abandoning her to the vagaries of the system. Through the process of solving the puzzle and to escape this particular sub room, Ellie must relive that fateful day until she makes a shift within herself that will change her life. And this is only the first of several sub rooms, all personal maelstroms, that she will need to traverse to escape the first of six main rooms.

Secondary conflict: The game requires groups of six to team up to escape the first of six main escape rooms. There can only be one winner, but they must work together as a team to successfully escape the rooms. Ellie instantly butts heads with a know-it-all prima donna, Malory, and the creepy older man, Peter. Add to that, she experiences stark differences with her new-found friend, Indigo, an extrovert to her introvert, and bad boy rock star Jared who anyone would want to get close to but is way out of her league. Sides are quickly taken and it becomes us against them with not only the showrunners, but the players as well.


SEVENTH ASSIGNMENT: Setting

ESCAPISM starts out in normal everyday settings, but as soon as the game begins the settings veer to the supernatural. The first setting is where production for the reality TV show is housed which is a big barren warehouse out in the middle of nowhere – the players are spirited away to no-man’s land. They are then transported to where the actual escape rooms are located – a old abandoned prison, which is exactly what Ellie is running from.

Inside the prison they enter into different cells to access each of the six escape rooms. The first room, covered in this first book, is a simulated reality of Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” or as most of us know it, the melting clock painting. Only this is not a painting, they are actually within the landscape of the painting and it is all very real. Everything is outsized, including the fly on one of the clocks (and he talks). The entire landscape is real within the room – the players can smell the ocean, touch the gooey clocks and admire the Mediterranean cliffs on the horizon. Even the water appears real to the touch.

Within the Dali room, the players then access sub-rooms. Each room has a different theme and feel. The first is the past room accessed through one of the clocks which is speeding backwards. This is where Ellie must go back to a scene from her past. Her first foster home. The second room is each player’s personalized Fear cell. Each player must enter a cell that contains their worst fear – which is not necessarily what one would assume (i.e., an airplane crashing, spiders, or pitching to an agent/editor). These fears are more personal, the kind that each of us create within our own minds to keep us from being fully alive. Then there is the Distraction room, a very familiar place where players get sucked in by the mirage of fulfillment through outside sources social media, TV, food, alcohol, gambling – all the human vices. The Want room is next which is magical beyond belief, crystal grass, small elephant fairy like creatures, and deer who have crystalline ridges along their pink furred backs. Ellie discovers more rooms, each containing a clue, cyphers to decode and mentors to guide her. All rooms are a means to get back to the Dali room and to finally escape back to the prison to win the first room of the game.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#39 Post by SanjuktaGhoshW6 » 18 Sep 2019, 03:50

I. FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Write your story statement

In the first manned mission to outer space, scientist K. Adams must effectively negotiate a conflict between human ethical conduct in deep space and promoting an overzealous scientific program involving bioengineering

II. 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 first antagonist is a veteran space tycoon, who exhibits time and again an absolute disregard for anything other than his purpose at hand. When he “acquires” the protagonist as his star for the mission, he robs the young man of his past life.
The second antagonist is a charismatic engineer and mission commander - turned friend of the protagonist, with a seriously conflicted persona. He is edgy, smart, confident, an irrational risk-taker and the lucky Jack who is hard not to love. Yet his love for technological advancements transcended boundaries of responsible science. Equally, his craving for the protagonist’s support and consent drives him mad with frustration. He does not stop at attempting on the protagonist’s life even if that meant killing a part of him with it.
The third antagonist comes in even complex form. She has a strong personality. She is the most celebrated astronaut with yet another complicated relationship with the protagonist, which does not alleviate her from his suspicion in secretly participating in an illicit bioengineering program.

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

DIVERGENCE
THE CHIASMA
DIVERGENCE 709

IV. FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: Develop two smart comparables for your novel
I. THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE
THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE (1998) by Ted Chiang, which was made into a feature film “Arrival,” (2016) is a non-dystopian scientific fiction involving arrival of aliens on earth in space ships. The aliens called heptapods are peaceful. There is tension and struggle as the protagonist races against time to understand the communication of the aliens, which is nothing similar to ours. The theme integrates some complex ideas involving non-linear language and Fermat’s principle of least time in physics but tells a compelling story to a wide, unrestricted audience.

Similar to this novel, Divergence sets its storyline on a premise much frequented in science fiction (FTL, galactic mission in case of Divergence), but it is non-dystopic. It features some realistic science and drama. For example, the exoplanet of their destination is lifeless, despite its similarities to earth. The theme in Divergence integrates a few complex ideas involving space science and genetics but it is a story for an unrestricted audience.
In THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE, the underlying question is: does prior knowledge of the future affect a present decision, which could alter the fate, in other words, change the future? The answer can be subjective, and controversial. However, at the end, an aspect of being human is revealed, and that aspect makes one very respectful of what we possess, the conscience.

In DIVERGENCE, the underlying theme focuses on the fact that as science advances, many areas open up that appear theoretically feasible to do. But can we actually perform or test anything and everything that is feasible? Do we arrive and leave a pristine planet as explorers only? Here too, there is an element of our conscience that guides us through the decision. Same as the impact of precognition on decision-making in THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE, the decision-making whether or not to launch a cutting edge scientific experiment in an uninhabited planet’s surface in DIVERGENCE could be subjective and controversial. Ethics can be controversial, wedged in between being conservative and progress retarding in one extreme of the spectrum, and justly protective and futuristic in the other.
Ultimately, both novels tell stories of life, love, friendship and conscience that everyone can relate to.

THE MARTIAN (2015) by Andy Weir is comparable strictly in the sense that it brings in drama and problem solving with a realistic basis throughout the story, which makes it a scientific novel rather than far-fetched sci-fi. It is one of my most favorite novels. It may seem rather outrageous that Divergence perceives itself in the category that involves realistic problem-solving because the latter centers around space travel involving many light years’ distance. However, an explanation of the scientific imagination is laid out where possible without wishing to sacrifice any dramatic aspect. In the least, one logical explanation exists behind each assumption. It may reflect the fair measure of research before writing.

V. FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: Write your own conflict line
His opponent is too smart to reason with and win a clean victory. Adams has to confront and overpower the mission commander with shrewdness to dissuade him from setting up the sinister bioengineering program and steer the mission back to home base safely.

VI. SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: Sketch out the conditions for the inner-conflict your protagonist will have. Why will they feel turmoil? Conflicted? Anxious? Sketch out one hypothetical situation in the story wherein this would be the case -- consider the trigger and the reaction

At the beginning, Adams is unsympathetic to the cause of the mission. His past life is torn from him as he is hauled into an immensely risky program with no hope of making it back alive. Although everyone on board fears his sharpness, assuming he is capable of destroying the mission in one small move, he is not a murderer.
As time passes, his creation fruitions into a viable mode of space travel across the galaxy. He is responsible for their fate. He becomes the one everybody trusts to the helm. He steers them through groundbreaking discoveries. The mission is now his own.
A mounting pressure rises on his conscience. He must severe the unhealthy parts of the program and preserve their seminal achievement. Yet for better or worse, he is completely in dark about the whereabouts and details of the ill-famed RO program. If finally he is unable to prevent the RO program from maturing, he is determined to end the mission such that nobody returns alive.
When he brings everybody back safe, he is no longer the same. The earth he left behind seems unfamiliar.

VII. 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.

• Twenty third century earth: society undergoing a post-war rehabilitation phase with major geopolitical and economic restructuring – life is different from the present.
• An elaborate habitosphere on Mars: the size of a small state of the United States happens to be the pleasure ground of the privileged, shimmering with consumerism.
• Peripherals: a small section of people who are born and raised in the satellite settlements, including Mars. They have developed curious psychosocial framework of mind, such that their logic is what we are unaccustomed with.
• A group of extraordinarily brilliant people concentrates in a small town. There is a piece of history about them is lost and is best that way.
• Adams has his feet firmly planted on the ground, is extraordinarily brilliant, sensitive, mature, responsible, nature loving. He adjusts to any situation. Is he normal?
• A spacecraft. Confined dwelling of twelve intelligent living beings and a variety of intelligent non-living objects. They call it the white planet. It is a very well designed craft with the ability to sustain them, mentally and physically.
• Space. The unknown and the unforgiving territory. Perilous spacewalks, external repairs, accidents, injury.
• An exoplanet in a dual star system. It is beautiful, with active geophysical systems. Yet it is barren. Could it ever bear life forms? Or does it?
• Life. As we know it, there are only carbonaceous life forms with specific self-replicative units. Human imagination has not conceived a self-replicating form that is much unlike our own nucleic acids. Could there be similar forms in a non-carbon backbone? How many abortive attempts at biogenesis did earth suffer before the perfect ribonucleic acid was formed?

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#40 Post by LeoTulchinW6 » 18 Sep 2019, 06:13

1) Story Statement:
Come to terms with past traumas, grow the hell up, and save your world from soul-sucking monsters.

Antagonist: Adamastos
Protagonist: Gideon

Love and hate are two flavors of the same emotion, if you think about it: Intense, laser-focused, all-consuming passion directed towards someone else, unimpeded by rational thought. Adamastos doesn’t have a fixed word for how he feels about Gideon. All he can do is compartmentalize, and focus on his three simple goals: Conquer Green Meadows, find and murder the unknown entities that turned him from human to monster against his will, and make Gideon pay for setting it all in motion.
The two boys are intimately connected, their relationship a relic of Gideon’s murky past. Adamastos knows this. Gideon does not. To Adamastos, this is a problem. What good is revenge when the victim doesn’t understand what it’s all for? As our villain works to uncover the mysteries behind his own creation and lay waste to the town that brought him nothing but misery and shame, he strings Gideon along with terrible reminders of the boy wizard’s greatest humiliation.

3) Titles:
Sunweaver’s Son, Sunweaver, Inkborn

4) Genre: YA Fantasy
Comps: Song of Achilles, The Magicians, Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda

5) Conflict Line:
A socially awkward 17 year-old wizard struggles to protect his New York suburb from an army of beautiful monsters led by a face from his past.

6) Conditions for Inner Conflict:

Unlike most kids, Gideon doesn’t have the luxury of making mistakes. When it’s your job to keep the people you love safe from monsters, even your smallest missteps quite literally cost people their lives.
Gideon’s mother, the Sunweaver, is a radiant beacon of light against the darkness of the world, the one woman even monsters fear. She is an impossible standard of heroism for Gideon to live up to, a daunting legacy for a kid trying his best at a difficult job. She vacillates regularly between babying Gideon and worrying about his every move, and expecting him to live up to his fullest potential as both a wizard and a high school student.
That means doing his homework and keeping up shifts at the local bookstore, and all while juggling his magical apprenticeship and duty to protect the town when night falls. Gideon flounders in this normal world, unable to properly express himself or pursue his passions, not that he even knows what those really are. He may be able to face down monsters with a quip and a spell, but talking to his crush or making new friends feels as impossible to him as magic does to us.
Gideon learns to create his own unique style of musical spell wielding a conductor’s baton rather than a wand, his initial tentative notes increase in confidence and power as he gradually learns to revel in his own sound. He impulsively auditions for Kiss Me Kate at school, is cast as a lead and suddenly is immersed in music in a new and startling way. .
It makes life even more confusing when the seemingly clear division between the natural and the supernatural starts to break down. A mysterious portal appears at a backyard party. Gideon’s best friend Ralda catches him in the act of a spell. Holly Forbett, snooty popular girl extraordinaire, may or may not be one of the Inkborn Gideon is sworn to destroy.
All of this is far more than most adults could deal with, and again, Gideon is a seventeen-year-old kid. He’s anxious, socially awkward with low self-esteem, but fortunately, a wry sense of humor which keeps him buoyant. He struggles with profound, private guilt over his past actions namely, killing his last boyfriend (someone just as damaged as Gideon himself, and evil to boot). Gideon is regularly forced to face these demons in the form of his classmate Bryan, another kid wizard and former friend who never lets Gideon forget his childhood mishaps. Gideon also has to grapple with Adamastos, who dredges up these memories as a way to emotionally manipulate Gideon while quietly consolidating control over the Inkborn factions of Green Meadows.
Many of these inner conflicts come together one fateful night, when Gideon is out on patrol. He sneaks into an Inkborn lair, rushes to save a hostage without having a plan, and almost gets them both killed. Of course, Mom shows up in the nick of time to fix everything. She yells at Gideon for making such a stupid mistake, breaks his wand as punishment, then announces that she has to leave indefinitely to deal with an emergency a few towns over. Little does she know, Adamastos watches this all happen, visible to Gideon but not his mother. The monster taunts him, goads him towards a chase, laughs at him while Mom seemingly does her best to make him feel like an abject failure.
Gideon simultaneously feels ashamed of himself for his inability to live up to his mother’s standards, furious and frustrated with her for not understanding that he’s trying his best, and terrified at the possibility of having to keep everyone safe when she’s not around, especially with Adamastos lurking in the wings, waiting to wreak havoc. Then there’s the added layer of Gideon wondering whether or not he’s even a good person, wondering if all this turmoil and sadness is a work of karma, punishment for everything he did to the boy he once loved.

From above, Green Meadows looks uncannily like a face. Dense forest wraps around town like a beard and a head of hair, wending its way around, between, and through parts of the face like thick scar tissue. Sleek silvery Uptown is the forehead, with wide, winding roads like furrows on a brow. Twin grids of green lawns and white picket fences are eyes, and Main Street cuts through them like the bridge of a pair of glasses. Penwick Hill is the nose, jutting proudly upwards, with Gideon’s house perched on the end like a wart, or a piercing. Downtown is the mouth, a muddled maw of neon and water, reds and blues and violets and inky black.
Move closer, and individual buildings take shape.
On Main Street we spot Bookbeans. It’s the classic independent bookstore, down to the eccentric proprietor and uncanny ability to remain in business despite larger chain offerings. The store looks something like a bicycle wheel from our bird’s eye view. Gideon’s desk is the central hub, and the shelves are the spokes and rim. The coffee counter doesn’t fit the metaphor, plopped to the right of the front door, but like Gideon says, you can’t have everything. Overlapping patterned tapestries hang from the walls, and the beanbag chairs scattered between sections lend the small store a cozy, relaxing atmosphere. The store serves as Gideon’s window into the normal world and a normal life, his “outside looking in”. Its customers are a living, breathing reminder of everything Gideon fights for.
There’s a small outbuilding attached to the back of the Bookbeans, opening out into the alley where Gideon piles the trash. Until recently, it was full of old junk, but Gideon cleaned it out and now it’s his Sanctum. It looks like the back closet of a quirky librarian-archaeologist. Its concrete walls and numerous standing shelves are packed to the breaking point with books old and new, along with magical curios of all kinds. Ventilation issues make the whole place smell like coffee mixed with campfire smoke. Gideon uses his Sanctum to conduct experiments, prepare spells, and occasionally sneak a nap during lunch.
Gideon’s best friend Ralda, meanwhile, has turned her family’s garage into a laboratory. It’s a mad scientist’s dream, full of bubbling beakers and intricate gearworks resting on neatly-arranged lab tables, with just enough space to house a mysterious gadget hidden beneath a large tarp. Whatever you do, don’t mention that last bit to Gideon. It’s a surprise.
Leave Ralda’s house and walk up Penwick Hill. There are twin lines of stainless steel that look like train tracks sunken into the pavement. Nothing runs on them, and no one knows who put them there. Such a small town doesn’t exactly need a trolley. In front of one particular house, a small section of the track is striated with lines of a darker material, a patch job a few years ago. Gideon stays far away from that house, when he can.
Later that night, you may very well find Gideon out on patrol, walking back down the hill towards Downtown in his long indigo coat. Searing neon, filthy water lapping against rotting wooden piers, and every kind of entertainment you want, but certainly don’t need. Gideon feels more at home here than he’d care to admit, especially with monsters lurking in the shadows.
You’ll find Gideon at Green Meadows High the next day, behind on sleep and homework and feeling decidedly out of place. The school is a redbrick square with an American flag planted proudly on the roof. It has a small field out front, surrounded by a horseshoe driveway that feeds directly into Main Street on both sides. Gideon sees little of either, shuffling from math class in the basement to English on the top floor, doing his best to stay out of people’s way and maybe, just maybe, run into a certain attractive someone in the senior lounge. School is Gideon’s main foothold in the human world, along with the root of his all-too-relatable insecurities. It’s almost karmically fair magical powers notwithstanding, school will always suck. To make matters even worse, Gideon has yet to discover that a monster lurks among the student body, camouflaged by popularity and a well-chosen boyfriend. (And for God’s sake, don’t tell him what kind of black magic the social studies teacher is brewing up after hours. He needs something to look forward to in Book Two).
These are just a few of the distinct, dynamic locations that make Green Meadows feel like just as much of a character as Gideon himself. Every locale plays a distinct part in Gideon’s journey, along with immersing the reader in an engagingly familiar world full of perplexing secrets even Gideon himself has yet to uncover.

Re: New York Pitch Assignments - 9/19

#41 Post by ALLIP6MANN » 15 Sep 2020, 19:33

Story Statement
To bring her brother back from the dead by winning a treacherous game run by heroes.

Antagonist
Peter Pan is a hero. He is a hero. He’s a hero. And he’ll do whatever it takes to save his world. So, what if he has to subject people to a deadly game? They’re criminals anyway. So, what if he has to tear apart families? His family was already torn apart because of how he failed. The only way the worlds will be safe is if Peter Pan succeeds in bringing down the celestial beings that nearly destroyed his home. To do that, he just needs a little more power. Neverland thrives on chaos, so he’ll bring the chaos to him in a wicked game of betrayal and blood. People will die, but they always die. At least he’s giving them a purpose when they do. And as for that girl with the dead brother… well we all have family members we’ve buried. Selfishness is just disguised weakness, so if he has to kill her to save thousands, he will.

Break Out Title
1. The Darkness We Hide
2. The Night and Her Darlings
3. All Our Wicked Bones

Comps
The Darkness We Hide is a YA Contemporary Fantasy that has all the strangeness of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle with the magical life of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

Conflict Line
After being framed and tossed into a cruel prison system for fairy tale characters, a young monster hunter must team up with exiled criminals to navigate Peter Pan’s deadly game before her last remaining family member is torn from her forever.

Inner Conflict
To Ari, life is black and white. Monsters and humans. Heroes and villains. Things that kill little brothers and sisters who bring them back. But after a late-night hunting trip accidently makes her an accomplice to treason against a multi-world coalition she didn’t even knew existed, she is forced to confront her own biases and her role in other people’s stories.
As she grows closer to her criminal friends and more desperate to save her brother, Ari is forced to reevaluate the stories she’s been told of heroes and villains. Her friends bring another layer of conflict, coming in all the grays between hero and villain. Love and hate. Found family and the family that you choose.
We’re all someone’s siblings and someone’s friend and someone’s hero and someone’s villain. We’re all someone. Ari is about to find out just how much power you have by being a someone, and the destruction or healing one person can bring.

Secondary Conflict
Ari didn’t come here to make friends she came here to get her brother back. She didn’t mean to get close to the pyromaniacs living in the sewer. But here she is, and here they are, and loneliness loves a crowd.
Ari knows the danger of having a family, and she can’t afford to get too close. But she is attracted to their comraderies, their fearless living, and, fatally, their secrets.
All families have secrets. All families have baggage. But when Captain Hook’s loyalties wobble between his crew and his brother, when Alice in Wonderland disappears into the night, and the dancing princess drowns her rage in underground clubs, their baggage could sink the Jolly Roger. It’ll sink Ari if she’s not careful, and careful has never been her forte.

Setting
Primary Setting- New York City Unbeknownst to the citizens of New York, their beloved city is used as a holding ground for some of the worlds most dangerous exiles and prisoners. Fairy Tale characters from all across the stars are sent here to be held until trial- if trial ever happens. The loud, messy landscape of New York has shadows at every turn, and in this story, shadows bite. The prisoners are getting ready to bite back though, and the undercurrent of revolution stirs through the back alleys and sewers the criminals call home. Since their prison masters keeping them from getting a job, prisoners pay for goods and services with who they are willing to shoot and who they are willing to take a bullet for. With the gun already cocked and loaded, New York City might just become an underground battlefield.

Secondary Setting- Neverland The infamous island-world has always held the Neverland Games- a chance for the greatest heroes to prove themselves against the worst monsters. Steeped in magic fed by chaos and traditions older than the island itself, Neverland has secrets. Ever since Captain Hook was banished, it’s been a dying island. With no one to feed its need for chaos, it’s not going to last much longer. Now, it’ll become the playing ground for the strangest game yet- one played by criminals.

Minor Settings-
• “The Nest”- The home of Ari’s new friends. It’s a small corner of the sewer cluttered with colorful furniture. Tea is always brewing (courtesy of Alice in Wonderland), a fire is always keeping the place warm (the necromancer’s son is scared of the dark after all), and there is always, always, coffee (how else is the dancing princess supposed to cure her hangovers?)
• Auntie’s Shop- Auntie is an exiled witch who makes her living selling odd potions and spells. Her shop is a cluttered safe haven for the group. Plus, it always smells like lavender, which is great for the stress levels.
• The Apartment- Jayce (Captain Hook) is not welcomed in the Nest due to some nasty past with some of the group, and so he lives in what is lovingly called “The Apartment”, a rundown place in Mott Haven that somehow still has a view of the harbor and the many ships that dock in the nearby marina.
• The Society Headquarters- ‘The Society’ is what the group not-so-lovingly calls the government of stuck up old heroes who exiled them all in the first place and now refuse to give any of them a fair trial. This archaic government’s headquarters is located under the Empire State Building and becomes the place of a heist and hostage situation. It’s pristine white walls and top-of-the-edge technology will have to go head-to-head with homemade bombs and sheer will power.


35: 18 Pre-Class Assignment - Inner Product

This is a part one of two-part on how you can make your queries much more powerful. In first part, we look at whether we’re in or not. Part two can be found here.

The IN clause is a great tool to have in your arsenal, it can allow your forms to be editable or filter forms using .

What is the IN clause?

The IN clause is a member of the SQL language syntax and can be used in your WHERE clause to specify which data to include or exclude. (There are other uses too, as discussed here).

Two Syntax Alternatives

You can use the IN clause by specifying the criteria to include in your query. For example, let’s say you want a list of all orders in IL, WI and MN. You could do it this way:

SELECT *
FROM tblOrders
INNER JOIN tblCustomers
ON tblOrders.CustomerID = tblCustomers.CustomerID
WHERE tblCustomer.CustomerState = 'IL'
OR tblCustomer.CustomerState = 'WI'
OR tblCustomer.CustomerState = 'MN'

The problem with the above statement is adding a ton of states makes for a long SQL Statement. Instead you can use the IN clause as a shortcut for the equivalent expression above:

SELECT *
FROM tblOrders
INNER JOIN tblCustomers
ON tblOrders.CustomerID = tblCustomers.CustomerID
WHERE tblCustomers.CustomerState IN('IL','WI','MN')

But what if you don’t want orders from those states? You can combine IN with NOT like this:
SELECT *
FROM tblOrders
INNER JOIN tblCustomers
ON tblOrders.CustomerID = tblCustomers.CustomerID
WHERE CustomerState NOT IN('IL','WI','MN')

Super Charge

The above examples are great ways to use the IN clause, but you can Super Charge your code by using a select statement instead of listing values like this:
SELECT *
FROM tblOrders
WHERE CustomerID IN(
SELECT CustomerID
FROM tblCustomers
WHERE CustomerState IN('IL','WI','MN')
)

Notice how I dropped the INNER JOIN from my SELECT statement and instead I’m using the IN clause to retrieve all orders for those customers who belong in the states in question.

Use IN to query on tables not in the select statement

There are many situations where you need to avoid a JOIN on your select, here are two:

  • You need users to edit data in your form and using a JOIN will make it read only.
  • One or more tables are not stored together. For example: the Order table might be on SQL Server and the Customer table stored locally in Access. Such a join would be slow and not optimal.

Use IN to filter your form

One of my favorite techniques is to filter a form using the WHERE clause of the DoCmd.OpenForm statement. For example, the other day I was building a dashboard for a banking client that included a count of delinquent loans in the system. I made the number clickable, allowing users to launch the frmLoans form with the list of delinquent loans with the following line:

DoCmd.OpenForm _
FormName:="frmLoans", _
WhereCondition:="LoanID IN(SELECT LoanID FROM vw_DelinquentLoans)"

Note that the data is contained in a SQL Server view that’s linked in Access front-end. Instead of joining the view which may cause sub-optimal performance, the IN clause ensure that the list of LoanIDs is evaluated once.

Use IN to avoid duplicates in your queries that has a GROUP BY clause

Many times you will have a query that contains a GROUP BY clause for which you need unique records, but you are getting multiple records due to joins with other tables. Consider using the IN clause instead of joining on one or more tables.


Watch the video: Vector dot product and vector length. Vectors and spaces. Linear Algebra. Khan Academy (November 2021).