Assignment 1, the story statement
Three generations of Southern women have visions of dramatic events they don’t want and can't control, while navigating issues like potentially losing their organic farm and dealing with abusive people. The story alternates between modern-day Texas where Raine Walker tries to avoid and stop the visions that won’t leave her alone, and 1960s Tennessee, where Raine’s grandma Anna Mae obsessively follows her visions, considering them to be absolute truth. Ultimately, both women wind up in grave danger, and have to search out their own purposes in life.
Assignment 2, the antagonists
In this dual timeline story, in modern-day Texas two brothers ran a human trafficking ring. They buy a piece of property from Raine and her brother. They kidnap girls and women all over the country, and smuggle them into Mexico where they are sold at auction. They also want to destroy the Walkers chance of having a successful farm in the hopes that they will be able to buy the property have more privacy. Both brothers are very ambitious, and they plan things very carefully as if they are in a long-running chess game.
In 1960 Tennessee Phil Daley is a pedophile, rapist, and murderer. He had been arrested the year before for kidnapping, but the girl’s family ultimately dropped the charges, and with the help of a slick-talking lawyer, he gets off scot-free, to the absolute embarrassment of the sheriff’s department. This makes him more dangerous as the sheriff and his deputy are warned by the county commissioners to be more careful to not make false arrests. Phil is an expert guitarist and singer. He is extremely charming and clever.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT: breakout title
The Second Sight of Anna Mae
The Imperfect Order of Things
FOURTH ASSIGNMENT: two smart comparables
Genre: Southern Gothic
Genevieve Hudson’s Boys of Alabama
Where the Crawdads Sing
FIFTH ASSIGNMENT: Hook line
Three generations of Southern women foresee future crimes and other mysterious events—in some cases reluctantly—while facing tremendous challenges in the present trying to determine the right things to do in their own lives.
Raine facing off against the human traffickers, and Anna Mae in conflict with the pedophile/rapist/murderer. They both have insights that
That Raine caused her mother’s death. For Anna Mae that she is abused because she doesn’t follow order perfectly (she is obsessed).
protagonists’ inner conflict
Raine is conflicted because she doesn’t want the visions, but they come anyway. When she tries to ignore them they persist. They gradually become more and more serious, eventually describing violent crimes. She wants nothing to do with it but her higher self want to do the right thing. She goes to the police, with mixed results. She discovers that every vision she has is connected with her in some way. When they unknowingly sell part of their farm to criminals, a human trafficking operation literally becomes located in their backyard.
Anna Mae on the other hand thinks her visions are absolute truth, and must be acted on. She follows them obsessively, but over time she finds out that that can be a mistake, and what she once considered absolute truth may not be. When she goes to the police, they do not believe her.
protagonists’ secondary conflict
Raine tries to manage the family organic farm with her brother — whom she has a contentious relationship with — and her alcoholic stepfather. The farm is continuously losing money, and is in danger of being lost. She gets into a hostile relationship with the criminals who bought part of their property — without knowing they are criminals. This puts her in grave danger.
Anna Mae lives in a house with a physically abusive father, and a complicit mother. Her father has a terrible temper and tendencies to be violent. He throws her brother out of the house, threatening to shoot him. She counts the days until she turns eighteen so she can leave home, meanwhile she gets whipped for the slightest infraction. She has visions of a murderous pedophile named Phil Daley, and in the small town they live in, she occasionally runs into him.
FINAL ASSIGNMENT: settings
In modern-day Texas Hill Country, the Walkers own a small organic farm next to the Guadalupe River. The property has 2 acres of pecan trees, and is irrigated from the river. The ground is fairly uneven with several small hills on the property, making it less efficient to farm but more interesting as far as character of the land is concerned. The soil they have is rich, and when they inherited the farm, they thought it would be an easy profit. With the water from the river the landscape is fairly lush, and the crops grow well. The house on the property is modeled after the old Tennessee plantation houses, two stories—unlike most houses in that area—with a balcony all the way across the front. The farm was built by Raine’s great-uncle Jake, and though he meant well, he was not a master builder. There are many things that are not perfect with the house. Still, she loads its rustic charm, and when they are faced with losing the property through foreclosure that makes it more difficult for her. There is also a dock on the property, that Jake had built for Anna Mae back in the nineteen sixties, that Raine loads to sit on and soak her feet in the cloudy waters of the Guadalupe River.
Anna Mae and her family live in the foothills of the great Smoky Mountains, at the edge of the great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hot, humid summers and cold winters plague them, but the forest the house is nestled in is quite lush. They live on a gravel road, as many people in the area do. The forest has a thick canopy, letting very little light inside except for occasional splotches that hit the soft black dirt of the forest floor. The house Anna Mae’s family lives in is simple construction, made just after World War II, is not well insulated, and any conversation anywhere in the house can be heard by everyone. They have a small black and white television, but it is rarely used, except to watch Bonanza on Friday nights.
The sheriff station in Wears Valley Tennessee is pretty cramped for space. There is barely enough room for desks for the sheriff and his deputy. There is a holding cell in the back of the sheriff station, but to get any prisoners past the desks can be a bit of a squeeze. There are cracks in the floorboards, where one can actually see dirt underneath. Needless to say, this lets a lot of very cold air in during the winter months.