FIRST ASSIGNMENT: write your story statement.
Remy Cook, a savant with a unique ability, must overcome life-long irrational fears to accomplish a vital mission where failure risks his life and global conflict.
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.
Zhang is officially the Director of the Shen Astronomical Observatory located in Henan Province, China. But he is also a spy chief for Chinese intelligence. In a secret lab underneath the observatory, his team is working on a project to hack and disable U.S. spy satellites. Zhang wants to restore China to the glory of its past. He believes the West’s democracies are weak and too slow to react. China’s authoritarian style of leadership, where a few at the top, including himself, know what’s best for its citizens is best. He sees himself as a patriot. Intimidation, lying, torture, and killing, are all acceptable means to accomplish his goals.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed).
2. Project Verbatim
3. The Satellite Code
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?
1. The Last Protector, by Simon Gervais. A spy thriller
2. The Asset, Saul Herzog. High-concept thriller
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.
Remy Cook’s ability to recall anything he reads verbatim seemingly makes him ideal for espionage, but he’s also burdened with an irrational fear of people and crowds that make him anything but the perfect spy.
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.
file:///C:/Users/jpinera/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg 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?
Remy must travel to the teeming city of Beijing, where he will need to overcome his fear of crowds and people to complete a mission vital to U.S. security. He must enter a world of secrets, satellites, and political intrigue to come away with the code or risk a global conflict.
Remy’s partner on the mission is Melissa Brakes. She is a young Chinese American CIA agent that has all the social skills Remy lacks. The two of them go undercover as a couple to Beijing University to make contact with a professor known to have ties with the secret Chinese program the CIA wants to penetrate. Remy begins to development feelings for Melissa, but his irrational fears get in the way of the relationship he so desperately desires.
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 begins with Remy, an Astrophysics graduate student, at the University of Virginia. The rolling hills of Virginia and the placid university campus allow Remy to navigate through his fear of crowds and people. He runs cross-country where his ability to focus helps him be the school’s top runner.
When Remy is recruited at the university by a CIA officer for a mission, the scene moves to the CIA offices at Langley. Here Remy’s ability to recall anything he reads is tested. The setting at Langley is more threatening to Remy but he is persuaded to go on the mission.
Remy and Melissa, the agent he is paired with, go to the bustling city of Beijing where the chaos and overflowing population of people are unnerving. When Remy is invited to visit the Shen Observatory by his Beijing professor, the sleek and clean observatory where very few people work is a welcome respite for Remy.
However, after Remy finds a way to access the secrete satellite code he and Melissa must get out. The escape goes wrong, and Remy must make a run for it. The setting becomes the wild forest areas surrounding the mountain top Observatory. Remy’s cross-country running skills come to the fore as he makes his way across the rough terrain while being chased.
The settings toward the latter part of the story become even more unpleasant. An indoctrination camp in China that Remy is sent to after he is captured, a hospital in Beijing where a doctor studies Remy to learn his ability to recall all he reads, until at last, he finds freedom at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and a flight back home to the U.S. where he returns to the familiarity and safety of his university campus.