New York Pitch Assignments - June 2022 in New York Pitch and Write to Pitch 2022 Posted March 16 Story Statement: In order to earn his place among the pantheon of Gods, Joon must cross barriers of time to obtain an antidote to a deadly plague ripping through all life on Earth. The only problem is that the cure lay in the hands of his ex and her new lover’s army. Antagonist: Zoe (an ancient Greek term for wild, animalistic life, root of the word Zoology, this evil vixen will not be caged!) - beautiful seductress who has controlled the tide of war for eons by manipulating the dark side of life. Preying on weaknesses she has been known to spring honey-traps in order to gain power. She has some supernatural powers and uses them with complete ruthlessness, she is a sexy hate-sink who presents herself as a strong, ruthless diva-villain. Typically dressed in black vinyl leggings, cascading black curls of hair, and leather, peering out with piercing crystalline eyes which are a pathway into her soul, which is cold as ice. A sadist who can turn passive-aggressive (childish-regressions when she feels like tugging on the heart-strings of her rivals, especially Joon! Who just so happened to be her ex, she knows how to push his buttons, manipulate him, etc.) The ex-lover aspect of the narrative gives a dual conflict aspect to the plot. Does Joon still love her? Should he? Or, is Zoe an irredeemable monster? She controls the antidote along with her new squeeze Kireji (which means “diamond cutter” in Kanji, cool name!) - and wishes to use the antidote to mastermind control of the mortal realm and the commoners (those humans who do not possess the gift of divine communication). She came from nothing and through an iron will pushed her way to the top, by using her brazen good looks to “honey-trap” men. “See, when you have everything given to you, your moral choices are your own. When you grow up dirt poor, in a rat-infested backwater colony, scrapping for every advantage you can muster, morals are a luxury.” (her life motto). Core-wound: growing up poor, no security, “When you are penniless, the only thing you obsess about is money.” Breakout Title: 1. Time Guardians (perhaps the name of a series of books) 2. The Cure for Dying (this is the one, truly!) Comparable Titles: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (1968 Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel) Lord of Light takes place among the realm of the Gods. Long after the human species has gone extinct (pfft! Who needs ‘em, am I right?), and the book takes place in the realm of the Gods who mirror Brahmanism. A conflict arises between the Hindu Gods and this upstart know-it-all who outsmarts their ranks calling himself Siddhartha, later the Buddha (or, awakened one). Just a completely unique idea. I like the concept of telling the story from the perspective of the Gods. Although, my plotline traverses the realm of the Gods and the realm of the mortal commoners. Gods are anonymous among us and only intervene when absolutely necessary. The Plague by Albert Camus (no introduction needed, 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature) Great imagery to use regarding the omnipresence of death lingering in the background. The rising-action in this novel is brilliant, and I try to appropriate some of the images with my own spin of course. The rats pile up as the plague gradually encroaches, people blissfully unaware or in denial of the severity of the disease. Its a perfect novel for *now* as for opposite reasons, the panic button was hit early and rapidly, and now the malaise of exhaustion is settling in, when the story begins its 3-4 years (maybe longer) after the initial outbreak, and there is a sense of learning to live with mitigating factors about the diseases in the background. In this novel there is one character in particular whom I find particularly compelling. A man named Cottard who is a bit of a loose cannon in a way, in the film adaptation the character (played by Raul Julia) goes completely insane and cannot cope with the fact that everyone wants to move on, and they shouldn’t, they hadn’t learned anything?! Why aim low? Am I right? I mean, if most people have not heard of the title and if its not wildly successful then its not worth emulating. With elements of Philip K. Dick, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, so on and so forth. I do not want a quick turnover rate that cranks out a piece of nothing. Core Wound / Primary Conflict The source of Joon’s core wound is “daddy died”, and his core wound is the fear of death, fear of not being in control of his own death. If he saves the world Joon can decide to become fully immortal and live forever in the Elysium Fields in eternal bliss - reconnecting with lost loved ones including his father. Or, to fall back to earth and live among the mortal-commoners, returning to the flesh back on the wheel of desire known as samsara, to die and accomplish “moksha”; eternal nothingness. The Universal Carriers of the Light have tasked him with saving the antidote from control by Zoe and Kireji, which is his ticket towards making those choices. Three types of conflict: Since this is speculative science fiction there has to be a brief explication of why this is something a God needs to worry about (aren’t Gods immortal?), so as not to bore the audience, I figure sci-fi fans are up for a small dose of this kind of imagination sandbox escapism sort of thing. Gods need to perform miracles to be fully ingratiated into the realm of the Gods. Time Guardians have been sent throughout human history, we simply did not know it when these things occur. Primary dramatic conflict: find the antidote to the plague Larger context of the conflicts that can be staged over several books in a series; the conflict between two (or perhaps more) categories of Gods who battle for the destiny of the human species. Kireji and Zoe are “Hyperboreans”; a clan of demi-gods in conflict with Joon and his new lover named Rain (who are Time Guardians, “good guys”) - these two main competing groups of Gods are divided over the way to command the destiny of the human species and all life on earth. Hyperboreans want to enslave, manipulate, and exploit humans from behind the veil of another dimension, using humans as tools to command their own selfish pleasures. Whereas, Time Guardians are the “good angels” of our nature, who help and communicate through small veiled efforts in order to steer humans towards the best possible ends. Turmoil with fellow characters: ex-lover Zoe controls the antidote, Joon also has a new partner named Rain who is a minor character who pushes the plot along, may have a few tricks up her sleeves as well, turns on him, so forth. Inner-conflict, “core wounds”: Joon’s are control over death, fear of dying; and Zoe’s are insecurity, lust for power through manipulating men, classic case of the “honey trap” overcompensation. 7. Setting(s) Dystopian Earth setting - rainy, dreary, a virus is breaking out (yes, I know, nobody wants to hear about viruses anymore, but, ya’ know, I had this idea *before* COVID, so I’m sticking with it!) - Joon’s apartment in the city - there are these news flashes in the background that give the reader subtle cues about “plot pinch points” - and also some fantasy, escapist dream sequences, dream within a dream/ play within a play sorts of sequences. Elysium Fields - blissful realm of the immortal Gods. Some time travel - past, flashbacks, etc. examples of former Time Guardians sending messages and influencing history. Snowy Plain, somewhere near Siberia - the setting of the final climactic battle for the antidote. Cabin near Lake Mortis - Joon’s retreat where he goes to get away. Serves particularly useful during the outbreak of a deadly virus as way to avoid social contact. Joon has a key flashback/dream sequence about the death of his father in this setting. It reveals his “core wound” and drives the plot forward.