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BeckyLambC6

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  1. Assignment 1. Write your story statement Pursued by the soul-thirsty Keeper, twelve-year-old Micki is thrust into an alternate world, where she must escape his plans for her, all while searching for her wounded brother. Assignment 2. 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. The malevolent Keeper of the Wayward Words is a soul-eater, who has stalked Micki Wordsworth (the protagonist) since a tragic accident. He is a vampire like chimera that feeds on the avatars of emotional seeds he has sown. Resentment, Guilt and Shame have festered within Micki and the Keeper is now ready to reap them from her soul. When Micki’s words call to her from Optasia, unwittingly, she imprints her soul upon a magical book, Optasia’s requirement for entrance. Micki’s brother, Zack is pulled into this daring adventure. The Keeper sees an opportunity to free himself of his rotting curse given to him by the Wordsmith when Micki, not knowing the value, abandons her book. The thirsty soul-eater attempts to snatch it. Unfortunately, Zack gets in the Keeper's way, so he kidnaps her brother instead. This reveals soul-eater’s true nature to Micki. Now, the Keeper must either find a new way to deceive Micki so she will willingly relinquish her soul-bound book, or he must use her brother as leverage, forcing her to hand it over "willingly." Assignment 3. Create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed). Optasia and The Wayward Words Optasia: The Land of Dreams and Nightmares The Land Beyond The Place Between Assignment 4. 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? My novel is a high concept fantasy for upper middle grade readers, with possible conversion to beginning YA readers. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, published 2005, still ranks well on Amazon in the Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books category. The main difference between my novel and Inkheart is that Micki and Zack enter into an alternate world where words come to life, whereas in Inkheart, characters from Inkheart are pulled into the real world by the protagonist’s father, a talented storyteller. Stoneheart from Stoneheart Series by Charlie Fletcher, published 2006, though originally published as a children’s book for middle grade readers, is currently ranked well on Amazon with Teen and YA Fantasy because it doesn’t’ shy away from high emotional content created from tragedy. In this way our books our similar. The main characters also must resolve their emotional wounds in a nightmare world which is also similar to my story. Assignment 5. 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. Thrust into an alternate world, twelve-year-old Micki Wordsworth must evade the plans of the soul-thirsty Keeper to reclaim her soul, but will she risk losing her soul to save her brother? Assignment 6. 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. Inner conflict: Micki is racked with guilt and shame from an accident nearly killing her brother two-years prior. His limp is an ever-present reminder that the near-fatal accident was all her fault. Micki’s parents give all of their time and energy to care for Zack’s needs. This leaves her resentful of the brother she loves for the loss of her parents' affection. When the siblings are stranded in Optasia and Zack is snatch away, Micki fears this will forever estrange her once from her parents' love should she lose her brother. Secondary conflict: The blame weighs heavily on Micki’s shoulders again when the siblings are separated. This time quite literally. Her soul-imprinted book, the key for entrance to Optasia, becomes a physical reminder of her emotions from the last two years. It grows larger and heavier each time she feels guilty, resentful or shameful. She must find a way to offload her guilt, shame and resentment and save her brother and reclaim her soul. Assignment 7. 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 Veil: The space between the Ordinary World and Optasia, where the Keeper of Wayward Words lurks, spying on his prey, and planting seeds as fodder for future feasts. The Keeper uses the Veil to invade Micki's dreams and steal her words: Guilt, Shame and Resentment. The Wordsmith, the Weaver of Dreams, also uses the Veil to visit Micki in her dream, except in this time he shows her the potential of her life with healing of her words. Ordinary World: We first meet Micki and Zack in the ordinary world where her dream of playing tournament class softball is about to come true. We also meet their mysterious Great Aunt Alda. Her grand library holds the key to a secret portal to Optasia, of which she the guardian. Optasia: This is the Origin world where the stories of life are either written or destroyed. It has the makings of dreams and nightmares where both the Keeper and the Wordsmith, reside. In Optasia, words are people, too. Examples of such personas are the Mystic Sisters, Opti and Pessi: diametrically opposite seers; Doom and Gloom: henchmen of the Keeper; and the Babbling Brook: a simple stream, whispering secrets.
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