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RachelK

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    I'm a medical student and aspiring writer.

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  1. 1. Write your story statement - the goal Emily is looking for a fresh start as she sets off for her first year of college. Excited by the allure of roommate-turned-best-friend, magical first loves, and the freedom that comes with a new beginning, she discovers college is not all what she anticipated. She must learn how to survive crazy roommates, love triangles, and secrets threatening to destroy the first love she’s ever had, all while confronting the emotional loss of her father. 2. 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. Anna is Emily’s roommate and antagonistic force. She’s always had life easy; she comes from money, has good looks, and has never had trouble making friends or attracting boys. She oozes sex appeal and a zest for life that makes everyone want to be around her. She knows everything about Greek Life and has a very fulfilling social life in college. She is Emily’s polar opposite, and it gets under Emily’s skin as she is excluded from Anna’s social outings, then finds she is in direct competition for men with her too. Anna is oblivious to the fact that she stole Emily’s love interest, Jake, away. This drives Emily to go to parties where she is drugged, presumably by said love interest. Anna’s self-involvement prevents her from listening to Emily, so when Anna hears about the rumored night, she perceives Emily to have been a backstabbing friend that was trying to steal Jake and she abruptly moves out of their dorm. This allows for a new, quirky roommate, which leads to the unfolding of a secret about Emily’s other love interest, Brett, and another layer of drama. 3. THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed). 1911 Memories College, Boys, and Lies Remember it All 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? Taking Chances by Molly McAdams: This is a story about a girl named Harper who goes to college, trading her very sheltered life with her marine-father for roommates who introduce her to parties and boys. She starts to fall for two guys at once, Chase and Brandon, and ends up pregnant. The father, Chase, dies in a car accident and she chooses to be with Brandon and raise the child. This compares to my story, as my main character is also a sheltered young woman, entering college in search of excitement, but getting involved with partying and a tough situation (in my story, being roofied, in Taking Chances, getting pregnant). In both stories, the main character falls for two guys, and in both, the favored love interest is killed. Wait For You by Jennifer Armentrout: In this story, the main character, Avery, moves far from home to go to college and escape a mysterious and bad event from 5 years ago. She wants to lay low, but meets Cameron, an attractive guy she is drawn to, but her past secrets threaten to tear them apart. This is similar to my novel in that a girl is going to college to leave her past, in this case that Emily’s father recently died, and she falls for Brett, the guy she is inexplicably drawn to. Brett has a secret that threatens to tear them apart. The style of writing in Wait For You is also very similar to the style of writing of my book. 5. 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. Emily Anne Smith has submerged herself into the chaos of college in a desperate attempt to escape the recent loss of her father, and as her heart is pulled in two different directions, she is forced to confront her new lifestyle of parties, alcohol, lies, and the truth of what happened the night she inexplicably blacked out. 6. 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. Emily’s inner conflict is that she has not emotionally dealt with the recent loss of her father, and she is covering up these emotions with parties and boys in college. She is in desperate search for love, happiness, and an exciting new experience, but she is also naïve, which proves to be a dangerous combination in college. She feels conflicted about her feelings towards Brett since he is not the stereotypical guy she expected to fall for in college, and she thinks Jake is the guy she should be dating. As she slowly falls for Brett, she has to learn how to navigate her first relationship, and she struggles to understand the nature of their relationship and how it can coincide with his role in Greek Life. Her inner conflicts of naivety, strong desires for love and excitement, and her inability to face trauma are the driving forces for the decisions she makes throughout the story. A hypothetical scenario of Emily’s inner conflict is when she goes to her first frat party in an attempt to run into Jake. She bumped into him on campus and he invited her and Anna to come to his frat. Anna last-minute bails on going to the party, but Emily is determined to start a relationship with Jake, so she goes anyway, not knowing what to expect. While exploring her first party and enjoying the rush of booze, beer pong, and boys, Emily’s mind remains set on finding Jake and getting to know him better. As her heart is set on falling in love with the sexy frat star, she sees him making out with Anna, and she runs out of the party in tears. She runs into Brett, who sees her crying, and he offers to walk her home although they do not know each other well yet. The triggers in this scenario are Emily’s naivety about Anna, Jake, and what she expected out of the party. She is hurt by seeing them kissing, and does not know how to process being lied to and betrayed by Anna. She is disappointed that this is how her first party turned out, and she is frustrated that the dorky, crazy-haired guy is the one offering to walk her home, instead of Jake. 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? The secondary conflict is Emily waking up after a night at a party in which she blacked out. She believes she was roofied and is not positive whether or not she was raped. She believes Jake did it and wants to warn Anna about him, but Anna refuses to listen to her, which enhances the drama between them. Further, it drives an intense and awkward wedge into Emily and Brett’s budding relationship. 7. 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. Utilizing present-day college as a setting enables scenes that explore frat parties, dorm life, lecture halls, sneaking into buildings, and a fraternity formal. This setting also allows for exploring love on a college campus with independent adults, and adds drama as the characters are all new adults, making mistakes and learning about friendship, relationships, and real-life consequences along the way. This newfound independence coupled with young adult ignorance allows for a scene of hazing in which Emily thinks she was sexually assaulted, and serves as a catalyst to consider serious topics affecting students in college en masse in the wake of the Me Too movement and sexual assault allegations across campuses every year.
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