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K. R. Raye

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  1. Author Name: K. R. Raye Novel Title: The Replicant Prince Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Comparables: The Replicant Prince is a YA version of Amari and The Night Brothers by B. B. Alston crossed with a less-dark An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Think “Black teenage Jason Bourne meets Star Wars – A New Hope.” Hook Line: On a distant planet, a beloved prince gets ambushed and suffers from baffling memory loss. After discovering an illicit doppelganger, he must explore a dangerous land to expose the perpetrator before he’s banished from his idyllic kingdom. Short Pitch: Surviving a surprise attack, sixteen-year-old Taj finds himself in a hospital. His little sister Amira and best friend Wan Ko swear he’s the Prince of Paradise, but he inexplicably can’t remember anything. The bigger problem, they all see another Prince Taj during a live broadcast from the palace. What’s worse, replication is illegal in their Mesopotamian-like kingdom and punishable by immediate banishment to the perilous Badlands. Unsure if he’s the real prince or the replicant, and surrounded by a palace full of suspects, Taj, Amira, and Wan Ko are forced to trek through the harrowing Badlands to find answers. Only by fending off fantastical deadly creatures, fighting a murderous clan, and enduring the harsh environments, can they track down a professor of genetics to uncover the truth. Crippled by his faulty memories and an unknown assailant, Taj races against time, death, and the loss of Paradise to find the mastermind and determine who is the Replicant Prince. Prose Sample: Day Zero: Ambush Someone is following me through the woods. “Who’s there?” I ask, completely still. My ears try to pinpoint the sounds of footsteps and distinguish them from the balmy wind rustling the trees. Far above the canopy, the Ribbon Galaxy swirls, its inky black, navy, and amethyst colors intertwine with its colorful stars. Two of the three crescent moons disappear behind a bank of puffy cumulus clouds. The remaining sliver of moonlight intensifies the murky shadows, making everything appear darker, more ominous. I glance about to get my bearings, but nothing’s familiar. Sensing someone behind me, I spin around. My eyes squint to track any elusive shadows but when I look closer, nothing’s there. “Taj?” I tear away from the menacing gloom and race through the trees toward the voice, dodging low-hanging branches and thick foliage. Crashing through the trees, I screech to a halt and teeter on the edge of a fast-moving creek, my calves straining to stop as my arms windmill like crazy. Just as I regain my balance, but before I can exhale, a thick branch hurtles toward my head. Too late, my hands react to block. But it connects solidly. Splinters scrape skin while the aromas of maple with a hint of pine overwhelm my nostrils until I can almost taste syrup. Stars dance across my vision as the ground tilts. Toppling slowly, then ever faster like a downed tree, I collapse inches from the creek bed, my head breaking its fall on a rock. Blood trickles from my numb temple…onto my limp hand…and into the stream. My eyes focus on the water rushing over the river rocks then flutter shut. Day One: Waking Intense pain ravages across my nerve endings like voracious teenagers at a buffet. Open your eyes! They comply, but the effort comes at a cost. Lightning slices through my brain. I try to grab my head, but my arms are unresponsive, disconnected. What the…? Instead of screaming in agony, I bite my lip and wait. My eyes watering as they adjust and center on the white ceiling. One-one thousand. Two-one thousand. Three-one thousand. Determined to take my mind off the excruciating headache, I let my eyes canvas the surroundings while I regulate my breathing. Where am I? As the shadows recede, dim images flicker into focus in the sterile room. Smells of lavender and medicine tickle my nose. Steady heartbeats of a monitor chirp beside my head. The slow drip of an IV worms into my left arm. Crisp white sheets and a mint green blanket cover the lower two-thirds of my body. A hospital! Why am I in a hospital bed? Alarm settles inside my tightening chest. Then I feel something even worse: dread creeping up my spine from an unshakable sensation that someone is watching me. Bio: K. R. Raye lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing.
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  5. FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement. Determine who the clone is and who created it. 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. Antagonist: On the surface it appears there are three: King Ade detests Prince Taj constantly questioning his methods and wishes his son were more like him. Does creating a clone provide him the “perfect” son? Behind his jovial nature, Duke Bernard harbors the belief that no one “royal family” should rule. Is creating a clone and setting up Ade his way of proving it? Captain Cillian believes in strict adherence to holy laws and order as the kingdom’s spiritual advisor and head of military. By revealing a clone exists, can he prove Ade is morally corrupt and unfit to rule? Despite appearances, Duchess Fatima is the true antagonist. Annoyed at always being overshadowed by older brother King Ade, she plots to overthrow him. Utilizing the fact that everyone underestimates her (education, skills, and abilities as the younger sister), in conjunction with her hidden talent of manipulation, she misdirects everyone into thinking the antagonists are Ade, Bernard, and Cillian. Antagonist Force: The environment also acts as a large antagonist force. The constant threat of discovery in Paradise, coupled with the fantastical yet deadly terrain and creatures in the Badlands, all provide obstacles to prevent Taj from finding the truth. THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed). The Amnesiac Prince The Mystery of the Secret Clone 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? Comparable One: Amari and The Night Brothers by B. B. Alston. Both protagonists must quickly learn about themselves and their abilities after being thrust into a new and fantastical world filled with people and creatures determined to destroy them. Comparable Two: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Both protagonists reluctantly agree to a deadly secret mission in order to save their people. Both feel alone and conflicted as they struggle to find answers, while surrounded by people they’re not sure they can trust. FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: write your own hook line (logline) with conflict and core wound following the format above. A teenager awakens with amnesia and an illegal clone, forcing him to explore a dangerous land with two strangers to uncover who is responsible--before he’s banished from his kingdom. 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. Suffering from a mysterious case of amnesia, a teenage boy must determine if he is a clone or the real prince and why. He forges forward trying to solve a deadly puzzle knowing that he’s missing vital pieces. 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? With secrecy paramount and most of his family as suspects, Taj is unsure of what to do and who to trust. The turmoil makes him question himself, everything, and everyone---including his two traveling companions, little sister Amira and best friend Wan Ko. 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? Setting is key in this story as the environment acts as a large antagonist force. The Kingdom of Paradise: A literal seaside paradise with a white marble palace nestled in the mountain foothills and a protective dome emanating from the Statue of Yah-lah in the city center. Although idyllic and peaceful on the surface, Taj cannot relax his guard here. Amidst the bustling colorful streets, shops and 1- to 3-story buildings, everyone knows who he is. The constant threat of discovery of two Prince Tajs in Paradise, would lead to immediate arrest and banishment. Woodlands: A large national park-like area west of the city center, where people camp or enjoy time away. It’s the last place the trio feels safe before they embark on their quest outside the kingdom. Forbidden Forest: A dark, gloomy forest on the outskirts of the Woodlands. It’s here that the trio illegally leaves the crackling protective dome surrounding their kingdom and emerges into the Badlands. Badlands: The desolate, canyon-strewn wasteland that they incorrectly believe comprises all the areas outside of the protective dome of Paradise. When they finally make it to the Outpost, an old Western styled town a few hours hike away from Paradise, they discover just how wrong they are. In reality, the Badlands includes all of the following locations below within its broadly defined borders. Cyclonic Desert: A golden-grained, mostly flat desert known for its sudden and intense sandstorms that disorient travelers and their navigation, ultimately leading them back to the Outpost. Meadows: Beautiful green hills spotted with wildflowers and trees. Although they never see it, it’s also home to a secret village, but they do meet some of its occupants, a murderous gang known as the Hillside Seven. Dead Lakes: Area consists of three large lakes. The first two are blue, serene, and teeming with wildlife. The last lake has murky brownish-green water and a deadly creature lurking below the surface. Sleeping Sands: Fine pink sand dunes appear disarmingly inviting, until they wind up captured in the cramped limestone caves hidden beneath. Swamps: More boggy than swampy, these muddy fingers of land house the mysterious Professor as well as many snakes, spiders, and alligators hidden amongst its thick jungle of mangrove trees and marshes. Palace: Final showdown happens in the elegant but homey palace. Settings include: the hallways (white and black marble floors with arched ceilings), Taj’s bedroom (large four-poster bed, desk, wall of windows with a balcony that overlooks the kingdom, and attached bathroom), and the Great Hall (large banquet area with warm wooden floors, the king and queen’s thrones, and a wall of windows overlooking the promenade filled with spectators).
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