1) Story Statement Avis must heal from her past, learn to love again, and believe in her own future. Rafe has to accept his past and learn to let go. 2) The Antagonistic Force: Their pasts For both Avis and Rafe, their pasts/themselves are the antagonistic forces in the story. For Avis, her past is represented by her ex-fiance, Brad: a self-assured, conventional editor who discovered her. He is steady and confident and emotionally shallow. He wants commitment from Avis in a way she cannot give him and wants her to be someone she is not. Feeling like a misfit because of her parents disinterest in her, Avis’s attachment to Brad is unhealthy and keeping her trapped. For Rafe, his past is represented by the death of his sister and the way the memory haunts him. He cannot escape the fact he was involved in the car wreck that killed her and tries to drown the guilt in booze. His past is also represented by his Charleston-elite parents who have been disappointed in him since he was seventeen. He can never live up to their expectations and numbs his pain with denial. 3) Titles Ellison Island A Woman Named Avis Winsome Stranger 4) Comparable Books Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd 5) Hook Line/Log line A reclusive writer, torn between her attachment to her ex-fiance and her fledgling romance with a sensitive but alcoholic surfer, struggles to let go of her past and believe in herself. Can two drowning people save each other? 6) Conflict Inner Conflict: Avis’s primary conflict is her one-sided attachment to her ex-fiance and her inability to believe in her potential apart from him. She is enmeshed in her relationship with him because he rescued her from assault and discovered her talent as a writer, later becoming her editor. She has emotionally tied her worth and her career to him and struggles to believe in her future without him. Her attachment issues are also triggered to her childhood trauma of being an unplanned pregnancy to parents that did not want children and ended up getting divorced. Rafe’s inner conflict is his guilt over his sister’s death in a car wreck and his ensuring alcohol addiction. Secondary Conflicts: Avis is extremely introverted and struggles to make friends. She also struggles to choose between the memory of her fiance, her real relationship with Rafe and the attentions of a doctor visiting town. She also has conflict with her roommate who is Rafe’s ex and with her boss who does not appreciate Rafe distracting her from her job. Rafe has conflict with the local deputy, conflict with Lane (his ex girlfriend), and conflict with Avis for trying to draw her out of her shell, and finally conflict with Brad when he confronts him about Avis. 7) Setting The book is loosely based on Sullivan’s Island and Charleston, where I live. I fell in love with this faded blue beach house on a back street of Sullivans Island and decided to write a book about it. It had sun-stained shingles and sagging from steps and a picket fence with peeling paint that was barely able to contain the waist-high weeds and wildflowers. The book is rich with the details of life in Charleston - the cookie-cutter McMansions next to half-falling down beach houses with fences covered in sickly-sweet jasmine, the smells of fried catfish and fresh bread, the thunderstorms lingering over the marsh grass, the soft, thick southern air that wraps around you like cashmere when you step outside. The stormy island and Rafe’s ramshackle house are the backdrop for Avis’s journey of self-discovery.