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    I'm a writer from New York, while currently living in the south with my family and two dogs. When I am not writing or daydreaming about my characters and stories, I work at home in the tech industry and host an online writers group with my fellow UCLA Writers Program Extension writers.

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  1. FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement. Defy everything she knows to help a stranger find a missing parent. 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. There are two, an antagonist and an antagonistic force. The antagonist is Bonnie’s parents, nationwide renowned geneticists. Their goal is to become the leaders in science and invent new methods to treat diseases on a genetic level. They have forgone much in their lives to dedicate that dream into a reality, i.e neglecting their parental duties to their daughter and leaving her to be raised by her grandparents. The antagonistic force is the US government. For Tom, turning eighteen doesn’t mean the time to become an adult, it means that he is the next body ready to be sent overseas. The weight of the upcoming draft forces Tom to feel the pressure to find his missing father before that time comes. If he isn’t there to ensure someone looks for him, then who will? Another force for Tom is Social Services. If they discover that he is all on his own now that his father is missing, they will force Tom to go into foster care, forcing him to be unable to oversee their family mechanic shop and be free to look for his missing father. THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed). Do Me a Solid What Dreams Are Made Of FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: - Read this NWOE article on comparables then return here. - Develop two smart comparables for your novel. This is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen genre. Who compares to you? And why? Comparable one: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. It’s set during the 1970’s and has the main character face both an antagonist and antagonistic force (family troubles and a serial killer). Comparable two: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. This story is comparable as it is centered around two teenagers banding together to uncover a mystery that threatens their personal lives. FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: write your own hook line (logline) with conflict and core wound following the format above. Though you may not have one now, keep in mind this is a great developmental tool. In other words, you best begin focusing on this if you're serious about commercial publication. When a teenage boy’s bereaved father disappears, he seeks help from a teenage girl who may have witnessed his disappearance, until he is found -hopefully alive- the teenage girl must decide if she can betray her own family in order to save someone else’s. 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. After meeting a hopeless stranger, a teenage girl must decide if she can dig deeper into the mysterious workings her scientific parents’ conduct in order to save a life. Vice versa, can a teenage boy entrust the help from a stranger to help find his missing father. Next, likewise sketch a hypothetical scenario for the "secondary conflict" involving the social environment. Will this involve family? Friends? Associates? What is the nature of it? The secondary conflict is Bonnie’s relationship with her parents. Feeling neglected by them for years, her loyalty wavers. Her turmoil is stuck between sticking by her parent’s side for the sake of blood or acting on her deep ceded trauma by investigating their life’s work. FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail. What makes it interesting enough, scene by scene, to allow for uniqueness and cinema in your narrative and story? Please don't simply repeat what you already have which may well be too quiet. You can change it. That's why you're here! Start now. Imagination is your best friend, and be aggressive with it. The story is set in Santa Cruz California in Spring 1970. There were a lot of events going on around during that time that shapes/influences the story. We have the Vietnam war that is a constant worry on Tom’s mind as he is nearing his eighteenth birthday, he very much is opposed to being drafted into the war. The outrage of this war has also helped Bonnie find her passion, voice, and her stance in the world with the protests. There is also the outside threat of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, which is a constant lingering fear among Americans. During this time in CA, we also see the emergence and the rise of the Zodiac, the notorious (and still not captured) serial killer who instilled fear in the Bay Area for years, causing the younger generation of Californians to live in fear and panic. While there is the constant worry of war and violence, we also see some effects of the events in the 60s that brought on hope and a new life path for the next generation. Kids and teenagers have become more freedom fighters and see the rise of individualism, not following the path of life that is enforced by their parents. Of course, there were events like Woodstock that brought on the hippies and the culture of tie-dye, pot, and “chill out dude”, but there was also the rise of women finding their own paths in life, for those who seek a career and not wanting to have to succumb to the domestic lifestyle. This new rise allows the MC Bonnie to think that there is a fighting possibility that she can form her own path in life and not succumb to the typical fifties housewife ideology that still tries so hard to be forced upon all the other young women in her generation. This individualism ideology also allows Tom to seek out a future that’s not within his socioeconomic background; pursue his family dream of him being the first of his family to go to college and get a higher education.
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