1. STORY STATEMENT Amidst grief and trauma, India must leave her Dome in order to save her failing community. 2. ANTAGONIST The primary antagonist is the protagonist’s own beliefs about the nature of the world. The Oman of the Dome community of Eden believe in living a cyclical lifestyle that has no impact whatsoever on the planet. When her biome community becomes unsustainable, India, in the face of loss and trauma, must go against what she thinks she knows of the Whole to travel to a different Dome for the seeds to save her community. What she finds outside the Dome forces her to set aside her beliefs and confront her own prejudice in order to reconcile herself to the world as it is. In this way she begins to heal. The environment serves as a secondary antagonist as well. 3. TITLES Bridge to Eden (First Choice- The plot turns on an actual bridge on the way to Eden, but it serves as a metaphor in that India must become the bridge to her community.) Seculum Oman (The age of Oman- Original working title) Beyond the Garden (meh) 4. COMPS: A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet: Lydia Millet’s near world speculative novel with elements of cultural criticism is similar to Bridge to Eden in that it speaks to current cultural practices and all the ways American culture is getting it wrong. Her sometimes fantastical allegory has elements of worldbuilding and stretches the imagination in a way that is grounding and believable in a similar style to Bridge. She shows an aspect of humanity that is painful to look at but must be inspected for us to move forward in this new age of climate change. Bridge is different from her novel in that it creates a world that attempts to get it right, showing a path toward sustainability while allows for inclusive faith-building and community healing. In Bridge we see a picture of the healing planet, and are able to allow the protagonist to explore and celebrate it. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood: The Handmaid’s tale is similar to Bridge to Eden in that it is a window into a dystopia with a central female protagonist who must struggle to extricate herself from a failing system. In both stories, the dystopia is faith-based and restrictive, and the protagonist encounters trauma within the confines of that society. Bridge is different in that the community of Eden is designed to restrict the protagonist in much subtler ways than in The Handmaid’s tale, and the central character finds her salvation internally in the conclusion. 5. HOOK In a future world still healing after the extinction of the humans species, amidst grief, trauma, and a crisis of faith, one woman must leave her garden home in a desperate attempt to save her failing community. In an epic journey set in the majesty of the mountainous west, this story of reconciliation reveals universal truths about who we are and how we interact with the world. It speaks to the very nature of divinity, pointing to an attainable future of inclusion, compassion, and community. 6. CONFLICT The social systems of the Dome are failing; India’s beloved grandfather dies in a community sanctioned suicide. Her grief at his loss is incapacitating, and strains her adherence to the protocols of Dome life. He leaves her with a book that obligates her to serve on the Council, but she doesn’t want the responsibility. This stems from a lack of faith not only in herself but in the precepts of community living. Her mother is sinking into mental illness and her behavior puts her at risk of being expelled from the community, resulting in certain death. India gets raped, an act of violence so foreign to the peaceful Dome that it could rupture the fabric of the community. Furthermore, the mechanical systems of the Dome are failing; the cyclical systems of composting, seed saving and crop rotation, water conservation, all of it-becoming unsustainable. Without new seeds, the Oman will starve. All of the above serve to motivate India to join with her estranged father on a dangerous journey to another dome to get seeds. When she gets seriously injured on the journey and is left for dead, she is saved by a human, a despised species that she believed to be extinct. She must rely on him to help her return to her people. The cultural adaptations she must make force her to reevaluate her beliefs, form a stronger faith, put her ethics into practice, and ultimately serve to help her find own strength. 7. SETTING The setting for Bridge to Eden is at once sweeping and personal. The Dome becomes a character in and of itself as its scope is unfolded to the reader; a garden city paradise set into a majestic mountain valley that holds the seeds of Omanity. When the travelers journey, the reader is introduced to the landscape of the traditional west, a vista that shapes the very fabric of our cultural identity. This setting creates its own aspects of conflict, as the characters interact with it. Eventually, the primary plot twist, a violent storm who’s believability rests on the nature of the setting, is at the heart of the conflict for the protagonist. She is able to explore the setting in a way that brings the reader to celebrate the beauty and magnetism of the natural world, and this exploration goes hand in hand with the ultimate resolution.