Miles must overcome his anxiety and mental illness in order to piece together repressed memories, survive high school, and find real beauty in life.
THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT
The antagonistic force is Miles’ anxiety, depression, and mental illness. Miles' parents are recently divorced after many years of a broken marriage and Miles is soon diagnosed with anxiety and depression after living through the difficult circumstances. As time goes on, repressed memories of his past begin to reveal themselves and Miles struggles to come to terms with major traumatic events that he once lived through.
Another antagonist is Miles’ father who doesn’t seem to accept Miles for who he is. Miles’ father is a man of few words. He’s rigid, controlling, and tries to force Miles into playing high school sports, which Miles has zero interest in doing. Once Miles begins to understand the repressed memories from his past, he starts to understand his father’s actions a little at a time. By the end of the story, Miles’ father asks for forgiveness and the two begin to work on their damaged relationship.
CONJURING YOUR BREAKOUT TITLE
1. Dear Friend, Talk Soon
2. The Photographer’s Playbook
3. The Art of Exceptional Living
DECIDING YOUR GENRE AND APPROACHABLE COMPARABLES
Young adult fiction
Coming of age story
Two Comparables : JD Salinger and Stephen Chbosky have both written works that are comparable to mine because they are all created in stream of consciousness writing. Thus, the thoughts and emotions are written out so the reader can track the mental state of the main character throughout the story.
Miles, an anxious and introverted teen, tormented by repressed memories, drugs, and abuse, goes on a life changing adventure to find real beauty in the world.
OTHER MATTERS OF CONFLICT
Miles deals with various inner conflicts including: anxiety, depression, and memory loss. As repressed memories begin to return, he dreams of his Uncle Benjy, his father’s brother, who died many years earlier from a drug overdose. Miles knew his Uncle Benjy struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse, but he remembers his uncle as a fun, eccentric person. His dreams reveal a different side to his uncle that showed an abusive side that his family was unaware of. Miles’ final memory of his uncle returns on the day of his Mom’s second wedding when he sees the whiskey bottle that his Uncle Benjy used to drink. Miles is found curled up on the floor of his bedroom in a catatonic state. He is told that he’s being sent away to a residential program and instead, Miles flees to Italy, since he finds traveling to be a form of therapy. Miles must decide if he wants to embrace his past and learn to heal or continue repressing it, feeling anxious, depressed, and not ever truly living a fulfilled life.
The secondary conflict is society. Miles feels antagonized by much of society, which to him is filled with inauthentic adults. Miles views children as young, innocent, and intelligent beings that see the beauty in life. However, once a child is no longer innocent, they become inauthentic adults who try to persuade kids to do what they want. Miles hates the fact that his sister goes to college and joins a sorority because he thinks it’s given her a reason to be more immature in life. The older she gets, the more difficult their relationship becomes, which is an additional conflict in the story.
INCREDIBLE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING
The majority of the setting takes place in a small town in New Jersey. Miles’ parents are divorced and he bounces back and forth from house to house. Miles regularly sees his therapist "Doc" who helps him to analyze his thoughts; and he attends high school in this town where he befriends his History teacher and two other unique characters: Ezra and Jessie. All three of them struggle with various inner conflicts and eventually decide to run off to Rome, Italy to see what else the world has to offer them. Upon return, Miles is sent to a residential program where he is evaluated for his mental health and the reader’s learn of his diagnosis.